Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison meets with Trump at G20

Scott Morrison has met US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina after an initial snub from the White House.

Mr Trump said he was anticipating having a "fantastic relationship" with Mr Morrison. "We are just getting to know each other" Mr Trump told reporters.

"So far so good."

The two leaders held private talks on the first day of the meeting of the 20 biggest economies in the Argentinian capital on Friday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Mr Morrison did his best to avoid Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

But the Crown Prince wasn't shunned by everyone with Russian President Vladimir Putin high-fiving and laughing with the Crown Prince on the sidelines of the summit.

In the official leaders photo, Mr Morrison was standing near both Mr Putin and the Crown Prince but avoided chatting to the controversial pair. Instead he opted to chat with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On Friday, Mr Morrison also held meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Brazil's President Michel Temer.

He will also meet with representatives from the European Union to continue negotiations on a post-brexit free trade agreement.

 

Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrive for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrive for the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch

 

Trade tensions are have dominated talks between global leaders on the first day of the summit.

Tonight Mr Morrison will join the 19 other leaders, including India's Narendra Modi, Germany's Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Theresa May for a South American cultural performance.

During the summit the Prime Minister also plans to meet Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), who has warned about the ongoing trade stoush between China and the US.

World leaders are expected to try and encourage the two superpowers to back down from their escalating trade war, as fears mount that it could damage financial markets. Shortly after arriving in South America on Thursday night, Mr Morrison said he came to the G20 as an optimist.

 

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at the Ministro Pistarini international airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at the Ministro Pistarini international airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Picture: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

"Australia has always been a successful trading nation and that's how we'll continue to ensure the prosperity for our people," he told reporters.

"It's not just for our people, all of the G20 have all benefited so significantly by the exchanges in trade with each other and we all want to see that continue."

"I believe both China and the United States are both very keen to see a more open trading environment around the world...particularly between these two nations and we all benefit from that."

The PM said ‘watch this space’ when asked about meeting Trump. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
The PM said ‘watch this space’ when asked about meeting Trump. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch

In a dramatic twist, Donald Trump cancelled his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, after a Russian attack on three Ukrainian naval last week.

The cancellation allowed Mr Trump time to meet with Mr Morrison on the second day of the summit.

Mr Morrison is also expected to keep his distance from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - who faces widespread claims he ordered the killing of a journalist - while in Argentina. The Prime Minister locked in a seat near Argentine host President Mauricio Macri and Brazilian leader Michel Temer on day one of the global summit.

 

The pair arrive after a tumultuous week in Canberra. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
The pair arrive after a tumultuous week in Canberra. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch


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