Here in Hamburg, leaders from the G20 economies have been enjoying themselves, relaxing at the fantastic new Elbphilarmonie concert hall, where they've been listening to Beethoven. While their aides have been slaving away overnight, trying to narrow their differences on climate and trade policy. Here in Hamburg at the G20 meeting, I'm Paul Carroll with Reuters.
Well, two big take aways really inside the meeting. First of all, Presidents Trump and Putin met for their first face-to-face meeting. They met for over two hours and they really agreed to let bygones be bygones as far as the controversy over alleged Russian meddling in the US election was concerned.
That's caused some consternation back home in the US for Trump, with Democrats not happy. Well, they kinda agreed to put all that in the past, and instead focus on better ties going forward. And they talked about Syria, of course, where they both have interests, at some length. The second take away is that the Germans have managed to finesse the differences that the 20 powers came into this meeting with.
Trump was pretty isolated when he arrived here, particularly on trade and climate but the aides, led my Merkel's Scherfer, have worked overnight. They've pretty much narrowed the differences on that, with just a little bit of a wrinkle still to iron out on climate policy. But I think they will resolve that.
And so by bridging those differences this marks a diplomatic success for Merkel, who is seeking re-election in September. The other big memorable moment here is not what's going on inside the meeting, but what's going on outside where anti-capitalist protestors have clashed with police. 200 police injured. This was a high-risk venture, really, for Merkel holding the summit here in Hamburg.
She wanted to use the port city as a symbol of openness. She wanted to show the world's leaders that you can have a meeting like this in a city and tolerate some healthy protest. Fortunately, no one killed and no one seriously injured so that's good for Merkel. And Trump complimented her also on the way she's finessed and for her stewardship of this meeting, and he said, you've done a fantastic job.