President Donald Trump has made another visit to the old continent where he met with the same European leaders he met six weeks ago. American President has returned to Europe to attend a G20 summit in Hamburg – a meeting convened by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her hometown, which has also become the setting for Donald Trump’s first in-person meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
European leaders also hope that the American leader will offer assurances that he will hold Vladimir Putin accountable for various grievances including Crimea and provocative cyber activity. During President Trump’s time in the northern German city, he will also meet with the leaders of eight other countries including China’s President Xi Jinping.
Hamburg has thus likely become a stage for a number of confrontations over a broad set of issues where American and European leaders have previously disagreed, such as climate, migration and trade. On climate, Chancellor Merkel has convened a separate session and invited two of the world’s leading carbon emitters, China and India, both of whom say they will remain committed to the Paris agreement. The objective is to keep Donald Trump isolated on the climate issue, hoping that he will eventually align with the rest of the word.
“The big question is whether he will repair some of the damage from the stops in Europe in May, or will they be compounded?” commented Jeff Rathke, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Before the Hamburg summit, President Trump made a stopover visit to Poland on Wednesday (5 July) where he showcased his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) while receiving a warm welcome by the country’s conservative government and pro-American population.