G20 summit kicks off in Hamburg

G20 summit kicks off in Hamburg
# 07 July 2017 16:11 (UTC +04:00)

The leaders have gathered for the first working meeting, APA reported citing TASS.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the participants in the summit with an opening speech.

Then the meeting continued behind closed doors.

Prior to the beginning of the session, the G20 heads of state and government held an informal discussion. Since it concerned political issues, it was not formally part of the G20 agenda.

While waiting for the beginning of the session, the leaders of various countries had on-the-go contacts. In particular, the Russian president spoke briefly with the German chancellor.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump shook hands as they met on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

The summit also brings together Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a time when Washington is raising pressure on Beijing to rein in North Korea and threatening the Chinese with punitive trade measures.

Large groups of protesters are rallying against the summit under the slogan “Welcome to Hell”.

Around 350 activists in Hamburg have tried to storm police barricades and enter the red zone - the blocked-off area close to the G20 summit venue, the city’s law enforcement authorities reported on Friday.

"Officers used tear gas and batons on demonstrators," the police reported.

76 protestors and 130 police officers injured in the rallies.

Tensions were high on the streets of the German port city, prompting police to order a lockdown of the hotel where ­Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Russian President Vladimir Putin were staying, as protesters sought to storm the building before being deterred by a wall of security.