BBC, RUSSIA TODAY, AL JAZEERA (Qatar)
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.