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Buenos Aires on lockdown as world leaders gather for G20 summit

South Africa is one of 19 countries represented that, together with the European Union, account for 80% of the world's trade.

President Cyril Ramaphosa arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina, through Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini International Airport where he is leading the South African delegation to the G20 Summit which takes place from 30 November to 1 December 2018. Picture: GCIS.

BUENOS AIRES - World leaders are gathering in Argentina for the annual G20 summit.

South Africa is one of 19 countries represented that, together with the European Union, account for 80% of the world's trade.

This is the first time the summit is meeting in South America and it comes amid new tensions between Russia and the United States and a US trade row with China.

On Friday, downtown Buenos Aires was on lockdown with some 22,000 police officers deployed to prevent riots and violence.

Authorities are trying hard to avoid similar clashes that marked previous summits and say they will crack down hard on any illegal acts.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has cancelled a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in protest over Russia's seizure of Ukrainian naval boats.

Trump is expected though to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, although there's not much hope that progress will be made in the trade war between the two countries.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is also in Argentina to try to rescue the international reputation of her Brexit deal.

And the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will also be meeting with world leaders in an effort to salvage his reputation after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey last month.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)