Erdoğan breaks protocol to stand next to Trump in G-20 family photo
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ignored the designated placement of world leaders and dignitaries in the official “family photo” at the G20 summit on Saturday as he stood next to U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Turkish president took the place allotted for Chinese President Xi Jinping instead of adhering to his official placement next to Russian President Vladimir Putin in the traditional photo at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan.
The Chinese president who then moved to the Turkish leader’s spot next to Putin hesitated as he looked at the floor, where signs marked the placement of leaders and dignitaries in the photograph.
The annual photograph has made headlines over jostling among the heads of government to be on the front row, in addition to leaders being pushed to the fringes of the image.
U.S. President Trump at the G-20 summit expressed sympathy with his Turkish counterpart Erdoğan over Turkey’s planned purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system, while noting Washington had a “complicated” situation in how to respond to Turkey’s deal to procure the system.
Washington opposes Turkey’s procurement of the S-400s over concerns that the Russian system will have implications for NATO interoperability and expose the F-35 fighter jets to possible Russian subterfuge.
Last month, the Pentagon said that Turkey would be ejected from the F-35 programme by July 31 if it went ahead with plans to acquire S-400s. Turkey also risks U.S. sanctions that can be imposed under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Erdoğan on Saturday said that Trump had assured him Washington would not impose sanctions on Turkey over the purchase.
According to a twitter user, AFP also confirms that Chinese President is supposed to be next to Trump.