News / Middle East

Obama Presses Syria Strike at G20 Summit

President Barack Obama listens as Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the start of the G-20 Working Session at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013.
President Barack Obama listens as Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the start of the G-20 Working Session at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 5, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Russia for backing of a possible U.S. strike on Syria.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced plans to add Syria to the agenda shortly after summit participants arrived Thursday in St. Petersburg.
 
In an opening session, Putin said some leaders had asked him to set aside time to discuss "very acute topics of international politics," in particular Syria. He said talks could take place during Thursday's working dinner (approximately 16:00 UTC).
               
The Syrian crisis is not on the official agenda for the two-day global economic summit, but Obama and other leaders have been discussing the issue on the sidelines.
 
The president is seeking broader support, both at home and abroad, for military strikes against Syria's government for allegedly using chemical weapons on its civilians.
 
Obama commented on Syria as he headed into a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 
"I also look forward to having an extensive conversation about the situation in Syria and I think our joint recognition that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is not only a tragedy but a violation of international law that must be addressed," he said.
 
After the session, White House advisor Ben Rhodes said the two leaders were in agreement that the Syrian crisis demanded a strong international response.
 
On Wednesday, Putin warned Western strikes without U.N. Security Council approval would be an unacceptable "aggression." But he said he would support a strike if there were "convincing" proof that Damascus used chemical weapons.
 
White House adviser Ben Rhodes says there are currently no plans for a bilateral meeting between Obama and Putin, but there will be opportunities for "interactions" between the two leaders on the sidelines of the summit.
 
Rhodes told reporters on Air Force One en route to the summit the United States will continue to present evidence to Russia that the Syrian regime was behind the attack, but will not "entertain implausible theories."
 
Russia has been a key ally to Syria. Russia says Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem is traveling to Moscow for talks on Monday about the crisis.
 
Russia and China have already vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions that would have punished President Assad's government.
 
The U.S. hosted a series of briefings at the U.N. Thursday. Afterwards, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said Russia continues to hold the Security Council hostage on Syria, and shirk [avoid] its international responsibility.
 
"There is nothing in the pattern of our interactions with our colleagues in the Security Council, our Russian colleagues, that would give us any reason to be optimistic," she said. "And, indeed, we have seen nothing in President Putin’s comments that suggests there is an available path forward at the Security Council."
 
Speaking before the summit, Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said Thursday any military action against Syria would cause a hike in oil prices and have a "negative impact" on the global economy.
 
Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate could begin debate next week on a measure calling for limited military strikes on Syria. On Wednesday, a key Senate panel approved the plan, which also rules out deploying U.S. ground troops to the country.
 
U.N. officials continue to look for a political settlement to the conflict.
 
Officials say U.N.-Arab League envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is headed to St. Petersburg to help U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon organize a Syrian peace conference.
 
Also, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will discuss Syria's crisis with European Union and Arab League representatives during a visit to Europe next week.

  • Russia's President Vladimir Putin, center foreground, gestures as he walks by U.S. President Barack Obama, front row second right, as he takes his place at a group photo outside of the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama, right, walks with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel prior to a group photo of G-20 leaders outside of the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013. 
  • An image of U.S. President Barack Obama drinking out of a paper cup is shown on a large screen in the media center of a G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013. 
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference after a G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) arrives for the family picture event during the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Sept. 6, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama walks away after shaking hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G20 Summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013.
  • A man protests possible military action in Syria as the first day of the G20 Summit gets underway in St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013.
  • BRICS leaders' at the G20 Summit in Strelna near St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013.
  • Participants sit at a table during a BRICS leaders' meeting at the G20 Summit in Strelna near St. Petersburg, Sept. 5, 2013.
  • Apples are seen on the ground next to statues across the street from the Constantine Palace, the venue for a G20 meeting in St. Petersburg, Sept. 4, 2013.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: The area from: Phnom Penh
September 05, 2013 6:27 PM
I trusted the report from the UN, i support american presidnet but why don't you use seal to catch Assad like you did on bin la den? Air strikes or launch missiles will cos a lots of damages and kill.


by: Babeouf from: Ireland
September 05, 2013 10:03 AM
Today or yesterday the Russian's revealed a report actually claiming to contain evidence that the rebels in Syria used Sarin gas in their attacks. As you will soon see the US population is opposed to the war in Syria that Obama has planed. He does not appeal to them at all. Rather he appeals to their Congressional representative to ignore their electorates and follow his path to destruction. I doubt such a plan will cement democracy in place in the USA.

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 05, 2013 4:20 PM
You couldn't be more wrong. Besides assad crossed a red line longggg ago with the use of conventional weapons anyways. He bombed civilian areas for 2.5 yrs and murdered nearly 100,000 civilians. Long before chemical weapons came in to play assad was implementing crimes against the people of Syria. Many of the Syrian Army are defecting to the FSA to protect their own families, homes, and nation. They refuse to take orders from top dog assad who wishes for them to kill their own people and destroy their nation.

Majority of North Americans are disgusted in what is going on in Syria. All because assad has not gone and stays to continue murdering the innocent.

Praise to the Syrian people and the FREE SYRIAN ARMY.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid