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G20 Summit’s Biggest Outcome: 'Triumphant Return of Presidents Putin, Erdogan'

© REUTERS / Rolex dela Pena/PoolRussian President Vladimir Putin (C) arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) arrives to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. - Sputnik International
French daily Le Monde analyzed the recent meeting of the world’s major economies in China’s Hangzhou, stating that the biggest outcome of the Summit of "twenty" was the "triumphant return of the Russian and Turkish leaders to the international arena."

British Prime Minister Theresa May drinks while addressing reporters after the closing of G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, September 5, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The newspaper notes that unlike at the two previous summits in Australia (2014) and Turkey (2015), this particular gathering was a triumph for the Russian leader.

Citing as an example of Vladimir Putin’s success in Hangzhou, the authors say that the Russian leader set a new tone in his talks with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, a sharp contrast to his rather aloof meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman last year in Antalya.

"The two countries, whose positions are diametrically opposed, particularly regarding the plight of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, have even signed an agreement on oil production," the article says.

"Another ‘surprise" was a one-on-one meeting with US President Barack Obama, after which the Russian president acknowledged the ‘sincerity’ of the American colleagues in finding solutions to the Syrian crisis," according to Le Monde.

The result is even more unexpected as the bilateral meeting was agreed upon only after the two leaders arrived in Hangzhou. The tone of the talks was that of a "business negotiation," said an unnamed US official.

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One of the diplomats who attended the summit but preferred not to reveal his name, told the newspaper that is was a "clear revenge" for the Russian president, who this time, unlike two previous meetings, "found himself in a situation where everyone was looking for a chance to talk to him."

The outlet also noted that Vladimir Putin emphasized in his opening statement, and later G20 leaders anchored it in their final communique, that the major focus of the summit is the prospects for the further global economic growth, thus implying that the Ukrainian crisis and the Syrian conflict are of "less interest."

The authors also noted the cordiality of Sino-Russian relations, which was evident at the summit. The two countries support each other to be able to remain in a position of strength against the western countries, but keep a distance on a range of topics.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) attends the opening of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, September 4, 2016. - Sputnik International
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In Hangzhou, President Putin expressed solidarity with Beijing on a number of issues, including the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Another leader who enjoyed much success at the summit was Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The newspaper notes that it has been the first high-level international negotiations for the Turkish leader since the failed coup attempt at home.

The aftermath of the attempted overthrow led to a deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and a number of western countries.

The Turkish leader used the summit to once again push his idea of a buffer zone at the Turkish-Syrian border.

"Unlike last year, this time he did it with confidence, backed by the reset of relations with Russia," the outlet states.

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