November 29, 2018 / 10:12 PM / 14 days ago

From Malbec to scarfs, G20 leaders showered with Argentine gifts

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte drinks during a toast with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri and First Lady Juliana Awada during arrivals ahead of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The leaders of the world’s largest economies received alpaca scarfs, silver bracelets, wine from Argentina’s Mendoza region and teas from Patagonia as they arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday for the first G20 summit to be held in South America.

Heads of the Group of 20 industrialized nations touched down in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, for what looked to be a tough two-day summit that opens on Friday, with big differences on major issues including trade, migration and climate change.

But first they were treated to a taste of Argentina.

Women received silver bracelets with a commemorative design while men received alpaca scarfs woven in Catamarca, a mountainous province in western Argentina.

A spokesman for President Mauricio Macri’s office said first lady Juliana Awada had personally selected the gifts. Awada posted a video on Instagram of women hand-weaving the scarfs in Catamarca, using a technique hundreds of years old.

Leaders will also receive chocolates stuffed with caramelised condensed milk - a local speciality known as “dulce de leche” - as well as specially made tea, candles and wine from the western region of Mendoza, which is renowned for its Malbec red wines.

At a gala dinner on Friday in Buenos Aires’ world-renowned theatre Teatro Colon, G20 leaders will dine on a traditional Argentine menu of steak, lamb and “choripan,” a sausage served between bread, the event’s head catering chef told Reuters on Wednesday.

Reporting by Lucila Sigal; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Leslie Adler

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