News / Middle East

Major Discussions on Syria Expected at G20 Summit

Major Discussions on Syria Expected at G20 Summiti
X
September 04, 2013 10:04 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama made a stop in Sweden Wednesday before heading to the summit of the world's 20 major economies later this week in Russia. Syria is expected to be one of the main topics on the sidelines of the summit as President Obama seeks international support for a military strike on Damascus, in response to its alleged used of banned poisonous gas against the Syrian people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Major Discussions on Syria Expected at G20 Summit

Zlatica Hoke
U.S. President Barack Obama made a stop in Sweden Wednesday before heading to the summit of the world's 20 major economies later this week in Russia.  Syria is expected to be one of the main topics on the sidelines of the summit as President Obama seeks international support for a military strike on Damascus, in response to its alleged used of banned poisonous gas against the Syrian people. 

Sweden's capital, Stockholm, has strengthened security ahead of Obama's arrival Wednesday.  The Arctic, free trade and Syria are the likely topics of his talks with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Before leaving for his three-day trip Tuesday evening, President Obama secured support for military action against Syria from top congressional leaders, and expressed confidence that Congress will pass his resolution authorizing a strike against Damascus.  But Obama also wants international support for such an operation.

French President Francois Hollande already has promised his support. On Tuesday, he expressed hope that a broader consensus can be reached at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

"When a chemical massacre happens, when the world knows about it, when the evidence is provided, when the perpetrators are known to us, there has to be a response," he said. "The international community expects this response. And coming together - German president, French president - we express the same indignation, the same condemnation, and at the same time the same hope, that a political solution will be found for Syria.''

Hollande spoke to reporters after meeting with the German president, Joachim Gauck, in Paris.

"[German Chancellor] Angela Merkel considers that during upcoming meetings, for example at the G20, that it will be possible to come to an international agreement about the appropriate response as regards Syria,'' said Gauck.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon also will attend the summit in Russia's second largest city.  He has warned against any military action in Syria before a U.N. team reports the results of its investigation conducted in a suburb of Damascus, where Syrian forces allegedly used chemical weapons August 21.  Before heading for the summit, Ban also stressed that the use of such weapons would constitute a grave violation of international laws.

"We must put an end to the atrocities the Syrian people continue to suffer," he said. "We should avoid further militarization of the conflict and revitalize the search for a political settlement. I take note of the argument for action to prevent future uses of chemical weapons. At the same time, we must consider the impact of any punitive measure on efforts to prevent further bloodshed and facilitate a political resolution of the conflict."

Syria has denied using chemical weapons, and its ally Russia, the summit's host, is expected to try to dissuade participants from joining a coalition for a strike on Syria.

While in Russia, Obama also is expected to meet a group of rights activists to discuss the country's controversial laws that critics say clamp down on freedoms and repress minorities, such as the opposition and gay and lesbian communities.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid