G20 Summit kicks off in Turkey, calls world leaders to unite against extremism
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered the opening speech at the G20 Summit in Turkey. (AFP/File)
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has delivered an opening speech at the G20 Summit in Turkey's coastal southern city of Antalya.
The Turkish president welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping. Condemning the Paris attacks on Friday night that left 129 people dead, Erdogan said: "We need to establish a common platform to struggle with terrorism."
“We have been sensitive to terrorism as a country fighting against terrorism for 35 years. We know quite well what terrorism brings and what it takes away."
Jinping too condemned the deadly attacks in Paris and described terrorism as humanity’s “joint enemy”. He agreed that a consensus must be built around the world and suggested taking joint action within the framework of the United Nations to fight against terrorism, which, he said, was important in economic and political terms.
President Erdogan is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Earlier Saturday, Erdogan met Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in a closed meeting at lunch. He then came together with Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is attending the summit as a guest of Turkey.
Erdogan also held closed-door talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and South African President Jacob Zuma.
As Turkey gears up for the summit, already stringent security measures were raised further after the terrorist attacks in the French capital.
The G20 was formed in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis. Later on in 2008, the first G20 Leaders' Summit was held and the forum played a key role in helping member countries respond to the global financial crisis.
Since then, G20 leaders have met nine times, keeping the focus on supporting strong, sustainable and balanced growth, fostering job creation and financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises, and modernizing the international financial architecture.