Wednesday 12/8/21
G20 SUMMIT

Sanchez and Biden: half a minute of mutual affection

The US President was kind to Sanchez and had a brief but lively chat with him
30 October 2021, Italy, Rome: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks with US President Joe Biden at the start of a plenary session on day one of the G20 World Leaders Summit at Rome Convention Center (La Nuvola). Photo: Celestino Arce Lavin/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (L) speaks with US President Joe Biden at the G20 World Leaders Summit. Photo: Celestino Arce Lavin/dpa.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had a brief meeting with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, at the beginning of the G20 summit in Rome.

The meeting lasted barely half a minute, when Sanchez walked to his seat in plenary and stopped to greet Biden.

The president of the United States, who the previous day had had a long audience with Pope Francis, was kind to Sanchez and had a brief but lively and affectionate chat with him, as seen in the photos and images released by the Spanish government press services.

The images show how both leaders greet each other, shake hands and even touch each other while talking in a relaxed atmosphere.

Later, Sanchez continued on his way to his seat, but stopped to greet the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was also very kind to him.

Last June, during the NATO summit, Sanchez and Biden had another brief chat of less than a minute in a short walk, which sparked controversy in Spain.

Controversial 'meeting' in June

But on that occasion, the image was very different. Biden's face was very serious and grim.

Many in Spain understood that Sanchez had approached Biden in search of a joint image following the failure of the Spanish delegation to agree to a bilateral meeting with the US president.

The Spanish government press services had announced an almost certain encounter between the two leaders, which in the end did not take place. Thus, the image of Sanchez 'chasing' Biden through the corridors of the summit sparked harsh criticism from the Spanish opposition parties.

On this occasion, at the G20 summit in Rome, a bilateral meeting between Sanchez and Biden is not on the agenda and has not been even requested, said the Spanish government.

Biden has held meetings in Rome with other European leaders.

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