Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, from front left, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sign the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) at the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday. Image Credit: Bloomberg

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina: The Group of 20 summit enters its crucial second and final day with hours left for diplomats to bridge divisions on major issues including world trade, climate change and tackling migration.

Saturday will also see a highly anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose nations have been embroiled in an escalating trade war with new U.S. tariffs on China goods set to take effect a month from now.

The divisions among the world's leading economies were evident from the moment Argentina's president opened the summit Friday with a call for international cooperation to solve the planet's problems.

Diplomats are haggling hard over a final joint statement, with disagreement over what language to use on the Paris climate accord and the World Trade Organisation.

Putin slams sanctions, protectionism at G20

Prince Mohammad and Putin
Prince Mohammad and Putin share a lighter moment at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Image Credit: Reuters

BUENOS AIRES: G20 leaders opened their annual talks stalked by the deepest divisions since their first summit 10 years ago, with US President Donald Trump under fire for destroying the group’s past consensus on trade and climate change.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, under pressure himself after his security forces seized Ukrainian ships, set the tone by condemning the “vicious” use of sanctions and trade protectionism. The target was clear, as Trump — who cancelled a planned meeting with Putin in Buenos Aires — tears up the stability promoted by the G20 powers when they first convened in November 2008 in the grip of financial crisis.

Hanging over the two-day summit in Buenos Aires is the trade dispute between the US and China, which have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars on each other’s imports. Beijing hopes to persuade Trump to abandon plans to hike tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 per cent in January, from 10 per cent at present.

World leaders, meanwhile, welcomed Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at the summit. Putin welcomed the Crown Prince with a high-five. The Prince was also seen chatting with Trump and his daughter Ivanka and shaking hands with French President Emmanuel Macron.