December 9, 2013
CFK to meet Russia’s Putin at G20 summit
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner will hold bilateral meetings with the heads of state of Russia, China, South Africa, Japan and India during the Group of 20 gathering in Russia tomorrow and on Friday. Fernández de Kirchner does not have a bilateral meeting scheduled with US President Barack Obama.
Although there is speculation the summit will revolve around the Syrian crisis and the United States’ plan to carry out military strikes, Syria is not officially on the agenda at the economy-focused G20 summit.
On the contrary, the agenda includes issues related to growth and global economy, growth and inclusive development, investment in growth and job creation, and growth and trade. The slowdown of the global economy will also be a topic of discussion.
Fernández de Kirchner will try to raise the issue of sustainability of sovereign debts in connection to the claims made by “vulture funds” on Argentine debt. As the president takes this matter to the summit, domestically the Senate will debate the bill for a new swap for creditors who refused previous restructuring.
The bill was announced last week following an unfavourable ruling issued by a United States court.
However, no meeting with Obama has been officially scheduled.
Obama’s administration has been harshly criticized by Fernández de Kirchner recently because of the US’s secret government spying programmes revealed by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, to whom the Kremlin granted temporary asylum.
In this sense, focus will be on the ongoing tension between the United States and Russia, which is on friendly terms with Syria and supplies President Bashar al-Assad with weapons.
The Argentine government has rejected a military strike against Syria, considering it would only aggravate the situation and would undermine the United Nations’ legal system.
The United States reacted to the alleged use of chemical weapons in that country. The Syrian Embassy in Buenos Aires issued a statement yesterday rejecting that allegation once again.
As reported by the president’s Chief-of-Staff Oscar Parrilli yesterday at Government House, the head of state will meet with her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Chinese head of state Xi Jinping, Japan’s Shinzo Abe, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and India’s Manmohan Singh.
The main topics during the meeting with the Russian leader will be possible investments by energy company Gazprom for the extraction of gas and oil in Argentina.
Parrilli said the president will sign agreements with China aimed at “deepening the strategic partnership between the two nations,” including a “Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Mechanism of Strategic Dialogue for the Cooperation and Coordination Between the Governments of the Argentine Republic and the People’s Republic of China” and a Joint Action Plan for 2013-2017. The latter is part of the decision by Fernández de Kirchner and Chinese former premier of the State Council Wen Jiabao last year to develop a five-year action plan in order to plan and guide cooperation in a comprehensive way and with a long term vision.
The president will also hold a special hearing with Roberto Azevedo, the director-general of the World Trade Organization.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman will hold working meetings with his colleagues from Turkey and Korea.
Two stopovers scheduled
It was reported that the presidential flight will stage two technical stopovers in the airports of Natal, Brazil, and in Marrakech, Morocco, before arriving at the Pulkovo international airport located in St Petersburg.
The report comes after television journalist Jorge Lanata claimed the president had spent two days in the Republic of Seychelles in January as she returned for an official visit to Asia, which was denied by the government.
The president took off for St Petersburg yesterday accompanied by Timerman, Economy Minister Hernán Lorenzino, Labour Minister Carlos Tomada and the president’s spokesman, Alfredo Scoccimarro. Fernández de Kirchner will be greeted on arrival by Juan Carlos Kreckler, Argentina’s ambassador to Russia, and Cecilia Nahón, Argentina’s ambassador to the United States. The latter has been appointed Fernández de Kirchner’s sherpa (guide) during the summit.
Other countries attending the summit are Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Italy and Mexico.
— Herald with DyN, Télam, AP