September 21, 2023

DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi joins Joe Biden for G20 summit in Rome to discuss global challenges, including COVID-19 and endorsing landmark global tax plan

US President Joe Biden (L) and DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi joke during a group photo at the G20 of World Leaders Summit. POOL/AFP via Getty Images
US President Joe Biden (L) and DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi joke during a group photo at the G20 of World Leaders Summit. POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi joined U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other world leaders for the G20 summit in Rome, Italy. Tshisekedi is the chairperson of the African Union. Some other African leaders at the summit included the Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the president of Rwanda Paul Kagame and the Africa Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki.

The Chinese and Russian leaders were expected to attend virtually, and not in person.

The G20 group is made up of the world’s major economies, accounting for more than 80 percent of global GDP. They are expected to discuss global challenges, including climate change, COVID-19, the economic recovery from the pandemic and taxes.

The summit is hosted by Italy on October 30-31, and is the culmination of a series of high-level international talks held during Italy’s presidency of the G20.

A White House official said on Saturday that the leaders will be endorsing a landmark global tax plan to prevent large companies from shifting profits to avoid paying taxes, a top priority for President Biden, and a move seen a solution to ending the global race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax.

On Saturday, the G20 session is on the coronavirus pandemic and the global economy, with the objective being to endorse a global minimum tax.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Saturday morning welcomed the leaders of some of the wealthiest nations on earth to the Nuvola Congress Centre in Rome, where they are expected to discuss global challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and the economic recovery.

The convention center, a rectangular glass building encasing a cloud-like structure, is located in “EUR/Esposizione Universale Romana”, a neighborhood created by Benito Mussolini to glorify his fascist regime.

President Biden was greeted by the Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi at 11:33 am. Draghi walked towards Biden, they chatted briefly on the red carpet then walked up to a platform where they posed for photos.

President arrived around 11:40 am for the family photo, stood on the far left near the French president Emmanuel Macron, who greeted him warmly.

UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the final leader to arrive for the photos. First responders were brought in, and several of them took selfies with Biden at the end.

Biden stood near his seat at a massive table shaped in an oval shaped ring.  Biden sat down at his chair and looked briefly at a white folder. He then chatted with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who had a desk behind him. Then the president walked over toward Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and whispered something that pool could not hear.

Biden also interacted briefly with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UK’s Boris Johnson.

The White House said at the summit, President Biden will meet with Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, and Dr. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany to discuss the path to resuming negotiations for a return to the JCPOA and our shared concerns about the state of Iran’s nuclear program.

In the afternoon, President Biden was scheduled to attend a leaders’ side event on supporting women-owned businesses while the First Lady Jill Biden will join him in the evening for a gala dinner with other heads of state.

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