The Latest: Russia, Turkey leaders meet at G-20 summit

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The Latest on the Group of 20 summit (all times local):

10:55 a.m.

Russia President Vladimir Putin has met with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit, hailing his contribution to Syria peace efforts.

Putin said at the start of their meeting in Hamburg that Erdogan’s stance “has made it possible to improve the situation in Syria.”

Erdogan similarly praised Putin’s role and noted that efforts by Russia and Turkey “set a clear example for the international community.”

Russia, Turkey and Iran have made a deal in May to set up de-escalation zones in Syria, but specifics related to their boundaries and monitoring mechanisms are yet to be determined.

In a separate development, Russia and the U.S. made a deal to declare a cease-fire in southwestern Syria beginning Sunday. The agreement also involved Jordan.

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10:40 a.m.

The leaders of Germany, France and Russia have met to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The German government said in a brief statement that Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit that a cease-fire that’s part of a 2015 peace agreement must be “implemented comprehensively.”

Merkel and then-French President Francois Hollande brokered that agreement, reached in Minsk, Belarus, but it has proved hard to implement. Germany and France have led diplomatic efforts to keep in a lid on the conflict in eastern Ukraine together with Russia and Ukraine, which is not a member of the G-20. Saturday’s meeting brings new French leader Macron on board the process.

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10:35 a.m.

Officials at the Group of 20 summit say leaders haven’t reached an agreed statement on climate change — one of the most contentious topics at talks after the U.S. said it would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

European Union officials who briefed reporters on draft final statement say the document contained a general commitment to fighting climate change, and then a separate paragraph that “took note” of the U.S. decision to withdraw.

A third paragraph then affirmed the support of the 19 other members for the Paris deal. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the draft before it’s agreed.

Officials debated language pushed by the U.S. in which it proposed to help other countries use fossil fuels more cleanly. That ran into objections.

—By David McHugh

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9:50 a.m.

European Union officials say that leaders of the Group of 20 countries have agreed to keep their markets open to foreign trade. But the group’s draft statement also says that trade needs to be mutually beneficial and that countries can take steps to protect their markets.

EU officials at the summit in Hamburg said that the draft trade language keeps the traditional G-20 condemnation of protectionism, or keeping out foreign competitors with unfair import taxes or regulations. But countries also agreed to fight “all unfair trade practices” and recognize “legitimate trade defense instruments.” The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the draft text before its release.

Trade has been a hotly discussed issue at the summit, as new President Donald Trump pushes his “American First” agenda. Trump has focused on making trade fair as well as free and has criticized trade relationships where the other countries sell more to the U.S. than they buy.

G-20 officials were still haggling over final language on climate change in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

— By David McHugh

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9:15 a.m.

Activists from the environmental Greenpeace group have scaled a bridge in Hamburg, where the Group of 20 summit is taking place, and unfurled a banner saying, “G-20: End Coal.”

The group said in a statement that 65 activists participated in the protest early Saturday demanding from international G-20 leaders to act quickly to phase out coal and speed up global climate action.

Fighting global warming is one of the major issues on the G-20 agenda, but negotiations are proving to be difficult since the U.S. left the international Paris climate agreement a few weeks ago.

Greenpeace’s Susanne Neubronner said, “the millions of people threatened by climate change or already suffering its impact expect the G-20 leaders to accelerate their efforts to reduce their emissions.”

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8:55 a.m.

International leaders are set to convene for a second day of talks on global trade, climate change and international terrorism at the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg that has been overshadowed by violent riots between anti-globalization activists and police.

The summit’s host, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the negotiators, including President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, European and Asian leaders, “still have a great deal of work ahead of them” to formulate the summit’s closing communique planned for Saturday. Merkel told leaders Friday they must be prepared to make compromises as she worked toward a summit outcome that everyone present could accept.

Other the topics on the agenda include the leading economic countries partnership with Africa, migration and heath.



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