Washington briefing: World leaders to gather in Washington for economic summit

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Saturday November 15, 2008

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan will be among heads of state and government and senior officials from the world's 20 biggest economies who are arriving in Washington on November 14 for a summit called by President George Bush.

The summit was called with a stated intention of addressing the global financial crisis, but for some visiting foreign leaders this would also be the first opportunity to meet with key aides of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama. Mr. Obama said he would not attend the summit and would not be meeting with any of the summit participants, according to the Washington Post.

Mr. Erdogan reportedly sought a meeting with Mr. Obama to offer mediation between the United States and Iran, while also urging him not to change the U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide. According to Hurriyet, it is unclear if Mr. Erdogan would agree to meet with Mr. Obama's advisors.

According to Referans, Mr. Erdogan also wants to meet with the chair of U.S. Federal Reserve to ask for U.S. financial aid on more preferential terms than are offered by the International Monetary Fund.

The summit will be the first opportunity for a meeting between U.S. and Russian leaders since the war in Georgia last August. Mr. Medvedev told Le Figaro that he already had a "very good conversation" with President-elect Obama, RIA Novosti reported on November 13, and they would "meet will meet without delay and obstruction," although apparently not this week.

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