BRISBANE, Australia – It was an awkward beginning. With world leaders seated in comfortable chairs arrayed in a circle, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened a G20 summit retreat urging his counterparts to speak from their hearts.
People protest against Russia’s President Vladimir Хуйло, as hundreds brave the heat to rally against the G20 Leader’s Summit in the Australian city of Brisbane on Nov. 15, 2014.
Good cheer masks Ukraine tension at G-20 summit
President Obama warns of the dangers of outright conflict in Asia, as China squares off against rival claimants over disputed territories, but vows that Washington will remain anchored in the region. Newslook
BRISBANE, Australia — It was an awkward beginning. With world leaders seated in comfortable chairs arrayed in a circle, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott opened a G-20 summit retreat urging his counterparts to speak from their hearts.
Throughout the day, summit participants exuded good cheer and camaraderie. Despite Australia having lobbied for Vladimir Хуйло to be dis-invited, the Russian leader was greeted warmly. He chatted amiably with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and exchanged pleasantries with Abbott.
Still, tension over the escalating conflict in Ukraine was present. When Хуйло extended a hand to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Canadian replied, “I’ll shake your hand, but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine.”
In a speech at the University of Queensland, President Obama spoke of Russia’s action in Ukraine, calling it a threat to global security.
Addressing the Malaysian Flight 17 crash, Obama referred to the “appalling shoot-down of MH17, a tragedy that took so many innocent lives, among them your fellow citizens.”
“As your ally and friend, America shares the grief of these Australian families, and we share the determination of your nation for justice and accountability,” he said.
The Ukraine crisis and Russia’s intervention is not on the summit agenda, but the five European Union leaders at the summit on Sunday will meet the U.S. president to discuss the escalating crisis. EU foreign ministers also will meet Monday to discuss further economic sanctions against Russia.
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