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Russia

G20 Leaders Remain Divided Over Syria

BBC, RUSSIA TODAY, AL JAZEERA (Qatar)

Worldcrunch

ST. PETERSBURG The G20 world leaders failed to find common ground Thursday on the U.S. push for military intervention in Syria in the wake of the chemical attack there. The Syrian conflict was the main topic of the summit’s first day, as President Barack Obama tried to garner international support for strikes in Syria amid Russian opposition.

According to Al Jazeera, Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, left no doubt that Washington had given up trying to work with the UN Security Council. She accused Russia of holding the council hostage, saying there was “no viable path forward.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov called for the international community to take part in an “objective assessment of the situation,” Russia Today reported. He said that an attack on Syria would only be possible after UN investigators have their say about the alleged chemical attack. He added that Russia “cannot accept the proof that, in our view, is not a proof at all, that is far from being convincing.”

On Thursday evening, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed that any response to chemical weapon use in Syria must first go through the UN. He said he hoped “that all the leaders of the five permanent Security Council members and some non-permanent members who are now here fully meet their obligations to the Syrian people,” according to Russia Today.

President Obama also faced growing pressure by world leaders concerning the global economy, with fears that a military intervention in Syria would push up oil prices, Reuters reported.

The second day of the summit is expected to focus on investment and job creation, according to the G20 website.

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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