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Former Canadian diplomat Tom Bernes said he remains doubtful the leaders will reach any consensus on the major issues when they release the final communiqué on Saturday. "It's still a crap shoot," said Mr. Bernes, a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont.

He said the message from Ms. Merkel to the leaders is if "you bend over too far and paper over differences, you're going to break the G20 as a multilateral institution. It's better to reflect our differences and then let's see how we can work together in the future."

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