Trump Faces ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ With World Leaders at G20 Summit – NBCNews.com

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s second foray on the world stage will include navigating a much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a potentially chilly reception from European leaders over his recent decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

The stakes for Trump are especially high as he travels to the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, beginning Friday to discuss critical issues of counter-terrorism, the civil war in Syria, and trade, among other topics, with his European counterparts. In his meeting with Putin, Trump will have to work to confront and deter Russia, but also find ways to work together on issues like Syria and combating ISIS, experts said.

And he must do this mindful of the increased scrutiny over his administration’s relationship with Moscow and an FBI investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.

Meanwhile, European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in May said the U.S. could no longer be relied on as an ally, are prepped for tough talks on trade and climate change.

“The G20 agenda is set for some uncomfortable conversations,” Charles Kupchan, a Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow, told NBC News. “It will be dominated by climate change, by free trade, by immigration, and these are issues where Trump is — more or less — alone.”

Watch Germany’s Merkel

“All eyes are on Merkel,” Sudha David-Wilp of the German Marshall Fund said, pointing out that the German leader has “not been shy” recently about setting the tone for the upcoming summit.

In a speech to parliament, Merkel predicted that conversations at the G20 “will not be easy talks” and though she did not name Trump, her remarks were clearly directed at the president. She defended efforts on climate change and pushed back against the kind of isolationism sometimes promoted by Trump, who recently proclaimed he was the leader of “Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

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