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World: COVID-19, corporate taxes, Iran nuclear deal on Biden's agenda for Day One of G-20 summit

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ROME – President Joe Biden and leaders of some of the world's wealthiest nations opened their first in-person summit in two years on Saturday with an agenda that includes discussions on two of the world’s most pressing matters: the global economy and the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden arrived at the modernist, cloud-shaped convention center in Rome where the Group of 20, or G-20, is meeting and was welcomed by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. A few minutes later, he joined other leaders for a traditional "family photo."

G-20 leaders are expected to formally endorse sweeping changes to the international tax system and adopt a global minimum tax. The changes are intended to make sure large corporations pay their fair share and keep them from stashing profits in lower-tax jurisdictions.

US, China, Russia join Asia summit amid regional disputes

  US, China, Russia join Asia summit amid regional disputes KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — President Joe Biden and China’s Premier Li Keqiang will join an annual summit of 18 Asia-Pacific nations by video Wednesday in a region where the world powers have dueled over trade, Taiwan, democracy, human rights and Beijing’s increasingly assertive actions in disputed territories. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also speak at the East Asia Summit, a wide-ranging forum on political, security and economic issues organized by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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Nearly 140 countries already have agreed to adopt a global minimum tax of at least 15%. But Saturday’s meeting would mark the first time the tax has been officially backed by G-20 leaders, who represent more than 80% of the world’s gross-domestic product and 75% of global trade.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi greets President Joe Biden as he arrives for the G-20 Summit of world leaders in Rome. © BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, POOL/AFP via Getty Images Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi greets President Joe Biden as he arrives for the G-20 Summit of world leaders in Rome.

Biden is pushing a 15% minimum tax on corporate earnings to help pay for his ambitious package of climate change and social safety net proposals.

Global health concerns also will be on the agenda for Saturday’s session. G-20 leaders are expected to explore ways to prevent another pandemic like COVID-19, which has killed nearly 5 million people worldwide, including more than 743,000 Americans.

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In addition, Biden will meet on the sidelines with three European allies – German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – to chart a path forward on negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

Biden’s advisers have been trying to revive a 2015 agreement that limited Iran’s ability to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels. Then-president Donald Trump withdrew from agreement in 2018.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Saturday’s meeting will give Biden an opportunity to closely coordinate with the U.S.’s European partners on a joint negotiating position.

Ahead of the summit, Biden held separate meetings in Rome on Friday with Pope Francis and Macron.

More: Biden says Pope Francis OK'd him receiving communion, calling him a 'good Catholic' amid abortion debate

Iran nuclear talks: US is deeply skeptical and considering taking tougher action as Iran says it will return to talks

  Iran nuclear talks: US is deeply skeptical and considering taking tougher action as Iran says it will return to talks US officials are highly skeptical that renewed talks over the Iran nuclear deal will yield the desired results and are actively discussing imposing penalties on Tehran as President Joe Biden prepares to meet with key allies on the margins of the G20 to chart a path forward. © Shutterstock Biden and his counterparts from the United Kingdom, Germany, and France will meet in Rome on Saturday just one day after the US imposed new sanctions on Iran related to its drone program and less than a week after Tehran announced it would return to the talks in Vienna following a months-long hiatus.

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Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.

President Joe Biden and other world leaders gather for the official © LUDOVIC MARIN, POOL/AFP via Getty Images President Joe Biden and other world leaders gather for the official "family photograph" on day one of the G-20 Summit in Rome.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19, corporate taxes, Iran nuclear deal on Biden's agenda for Day One of G-20 summit

Biden and Tehran are running out of time to salvage the Iran nuclear deal .
The Iran nuclear deal remains in serious peril, and with its demise comes a likely return of regional conflict and Iran's nuclear acceleration.This prolonged delay, alongside interpretations of both Washington and Tehran's negotiating positions, has raised many questions as to whether the gaps can be narrowed and the JCPOA restored. While diplomatic efforts are picking up momentum, the only viable pathway to resolve differences, restore confidence and build trust in the process is through diplomacy.

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