France’s Hollande cancels trip as G-20 leaders arrive in Turkey for summit

Most of the leaders of the G-20 members arrived in Turkey late on Friday and Saturday to attend the G-20 summit of world leaders in the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya, while French President Franandcois Hollande on Saturday told his Turkish counterpart by phone that he would send his finance and foreign ministers to the summit, Turkish presidential sources have said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Hollande to offer his condolences following multiple attacks in Paris, which left at least 127 people dead. Hollande had already said he would not attend the summit in the wake of Fridayand’s killings.
andquotPresident Erdogan reiterated that terrorism had no religion or nation and that the Turkish people are standing behind France. Both leaders expressed their determination to tackle terrorism,andquot one of the sources said.
As a nation that has suffered from terrorist attacks, Erdogan said Turkey shares the pain felt by France.
A diplomatic source said Finance Minister Michel Sapin and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who will first go to Vienna for talks on Syria, will attend the G-20 meeting instead after Hollande called off his trip.
On Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Turkey two days before the G-20 summit to hold meetings with Turkish officials. He first met with the countryand’s president, Erdogan, and then held talks with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu at the Turkey-Japan Business Forum in Istanbul late on Friday.
Davutoilu thanked Abe for Japanand’s contribution to Turkeyand’s large-scale infrastructure projects and expressed his wish for further cooperation in new mega projects that are currently under consideration.
Japanese firms played major role in the construction of Marmaray, an underground rail project that connects Asia and Europe below the Bosporus. Japan is also taking part in Turkeyand’s nuclear power plant project in the Black Sea province of Sinop.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and a delegation accompanying her arrived in Antalya on Saturday to attend the summit, which will take place on Sunday and Monday. She was welcomed by Turkeyand’s EU Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator Beril Dedeoilu.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to arrive in Antalya on Saturday evening. The prime minister told reporters at New Delhi International Airport before his departure that he plans to meet with leaders and officials from Turkey, France, Germany and Japan to discuss bilateral relations.
Malaysiaand’s Prime Minister Najib Razak also arrived in Antalya on Saturday.
Among the leaders who came to Antalya on Saturday was South Korean President Park Geun-hye. He also plans to hold meetings with leaders of a number of countries on the sidelines of the G-20 summit.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, before leaving Moscow, told reporters he will meet with the presidents of China, Turkey, South Africa and Argentina, and the prime ministers of the UK, Italy and Japan during the G-20 summit.
Though Senegal is not a member of the G-20, Senegalese President Macky Sall also came to Antalya upon a special invitation from President Erdogan as president of the New Partnership for Africaand’s Development (NEPAD).
h2 China urges solidarity among G-20 in light of Paris attacksh2 Events such as the attacks in Paris made it crucial for the worldand’s top economies to stand strong and enhance their solidarity when they meet at a summit this weekend in Turkey, Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyou said on Saturday.
Leaders of the G-20, including the United States, China, Japan, Russia, Canada, Australia and Brazil, are to meet on Sunday and Monday in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, primarily to discuss global economic issues, but the Paris attacks would also figure.
andquotWhile we recognize the risks posed by terrorism and its great negative impact on economic development, we must make our due response to that,andquot Zhu told a news conference in Belek, southwest Turkey, speaking through an interpreter.
andquotWe must work together, we must enhance our solidarity.andquot
Gunmen and bombers attacked restaurants, a concert hall and a sports stadium across Paris on Friday, killing 127 people in what President Hollande has said was the work of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
G-20 leaders will meet at a working dinner on Sunday to discuss terrorism and migration. A statement on fighting terrorism is to be issued after the dinner, Russian officials said earlier.
Zhu said it would be decided together with other G-20 members whether the fight against terrorism was added to the agenda of the group when China takes over its presidency in 2016.
andquotIt is of special significance for us to ensure the success of the Antalya G-20 summit, as strong, balanced and sustainable growth is surely in the interest of not only the G-20 but also of every country in the world,andquot Zhu said.
andquotIt will be of important economic and political significance for us to ensure the sustainable, balanced and strong economic growth, and also deliver on the UN pledge that by the year 2030 poverty should be eradicated worldwide, because we believe this will eliminate the soil that breeds terrorism.andquot
Commenting on Chinaand’s economy, he said growth would have to reach more than 6.5 percent annually to reach a target for GDP to double by 2020, adding he was confident growth would be around 7 percent this year.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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