Barack Obama Denies Accusations that he 'Crashed' Secret Chinese Climate Change Talks
"His staff aids were totally incompetent and served their POTUS very poorly !"
Senior US officials insist that President Barack Obama did not "crash" a secret Chinese meeting in the final dramatic hours of the Copenhagen climate change talks.
They portrayed the President as pulling negotiations back from the brink of collapse on a day that veered between chaos and farce.Aides said that by standing up to the Chinese on the make-and-break issue of transparency, he helped force a deal, however flimsy.
The President was desperate not to return to Washington empty-handed after his risky one-day dash to Denmark.
But his aides were forced to deny that Mr Obama "crashed" a meeting of the Chinese, Indian, South African and Brazilian leaders when he walked in unexpectedly on the gathering.
The US delegation was caught unawares by the session taking place behind its back involving the Chinese and their allies. Officials acknowledged that they had been frantically trying to keep track of other presidents and premiers.
Mr Obama thought he was on his way to a one-to-one meeting with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, who had earlier snubbed him by skipping a session of world leaders.
But just before he entered the room, he was told that the other three leaders there too.
"Good," he told aides and strode in with the words "Are you ready for me?" The Americans were particularly taken aback by the presence of Manmohan, the Indian premier, as they were told he had already headed to the airport.
"I think there was no doubt there was some surprise that we were going to join the bigger meeting," said a top Obama aide.It was during the 80-minute meeting with the other four that the final details were hammered out.
Earlier in the day, at a one-to-one with Mr Wen, Obama aides said the president pushed the Chinese premier "hard" on transparency language.
Mr Wen apparently took offence because when world leaders gathered later, he was notably absent. Beijing was instead represented by the climate change ambassador in the ministry of foreign affairs.