International media reactions to Hamburg G20 | News | DW | 08.07.2017
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International media reactions to Hamburg G20

DW provides a wrap-up of international media commentary on the Hamburg G20 summit. A common theme was a lack of trust in Donald Trump and a decline in US influence.

France's Figaro newspaper commented on US President Donald Trump in Hamburg.

"The danger for Trump is that he might turn into precisely the kind of person he has been criticizing so vehemently: Someone who talks but doesn't act. He laughed about Obama's 'red line' in Syria...just to go on and draw such a line in North Korea - which was promptly crossed. Now his credibility is on the line."

"Trump has not managed to make any major improvements with regard to the big international problem areas. But he has managed to shake and wake up the Europeans. He made them realize that they have to cooperate more closely and take their security concerns into their own hands."

Click here to read live coverage of the Hamburg G20 summit

Russia's independent outlet said that Trump's meeting with Putin was "not in vain" and detailed the relatively friendly tone between the two leaders.

"The G20 summit in Hamburg is not even over, but it's already made its way into history. While the world leaders were sitting in the comfortable and safe summit venue and discussing global issues, there was real trouble outside the window – protests raged on the street. Despite starting peacefully, demonstrators got into the groove and starting smashing the city with gusto."

"There is an unavoidable question: why did the Germans decide that downtown [Hamburg], a stronghold of the German Left party, would be an appropriate location for the summit? There is no sympathy here for leaders of economic powers."

The outlet also reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel "greeted Russian President Vladimir Putin friendly enough" but "slightly evaded" the careless pat she received from Donald Trump.

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The Washington Post wrote that the G20 meeting revealed deep divisions between the United States and other major powers on trade, climate and other issues.

"The tensions were a measure of Trump's break with previous US policies. They were also a warning signal of Washington's diminished clout, as leaders of other nations who gathered in Hamburg mulled whether to fix their signatures to statements what would exclude Trump or find some sort of compromise."

Die Presse of Austria wrote that Trump is giving autocratic regimes an opportunity to play a greater international role.

"For countries like China and Russia, whose autocratic regimes have had a hard time asserting themselves on the international stage, Donald Trump really is a godsend. They are now eagerly jostling to fill the vacuum he has created by pulling out of international commitments. China and Russia welcome every opportunity to split the Western powers. Because that boosts their significance. That is their only motive. They cannot, however, replace the US as partners for Europe."

Read: Violence and the G20

Burhanettin Duran of Turkey's pro-government Sabah daily highlighted the violence around the G20 summit. He also touched on the German media's critical coverage of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"It is impossible to avoid seeing heavy criticism of Turkey and Erdogan. Over the past couple of years attacking Erdogan has become a domestic political tool in Germany... In Germany, where more than 3 million people of Turkish origin live, the perception of Erdogan has become even more influential in defining German identity. The writings of Turkish government opponents are filling up the pages of different German newspapers. I look around and am surprised to see how much coverage Turkey gets in the newspapers. It would take paragraphs to list all the negative topics."

The Italian daily La Repubblica writes:

"The 'match of the year' was preceded by fear, suspicion and mistrust. When Trump spoke in Warsaw, he accused Putin of destabilizing Ukraine and Syria. The very next day in Hamburg, it was all jovial backslapping and optimism. Trump the chameleon, the improviser, the opportunist, the showman who follows his instincts and adapts to his audience (...) Putin, however, will always be better prepared and more devious; he will always manage to have the upper hand over Trump.

International affairs analyst Enriqueta Cabrera of Mexico's El Universal commented on the first face-to-face meeting between Trump and President Enrique Pena Nieto. The talks focused on renegotiating NAFTA, migration and the drug trade.

Answering a journalist's question on whether he would make Mexico pay for a wall, Trump said "absolutely" as he walked into a meeting with Nieto. But Cabera downplayed Trump's short statement because the wall issue was not part of the official talks.

"The important thing is that Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said he never heard what Trump said, and therefore for Mexico the wall issue remained formally outside of talks," she wrote, noting that it therefore didn't violate an agreement not to bring up the wall issue in formal talks. 

China's state run Xinhua focused on President Xi Jinping's call for G20 countries to foster an open world economy and trade to boost economic growth. "We must remain committed to openness and mutual benefit for all so as to increase the size of the global economic 'pie,'" the paper quoted Xi as saying.

Canada's CBC broadcaster reported on the meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It said the two leaders focused on the CETA free trade agreement between the EU and Canada and climate change.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's tough stance on extremism and terrorism was the focus of a Times of India report. Modi took aim at rival Pakistan, accusing it of supporting terrorism as a political tool.


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