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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Syria chemical weapons expected at G-20 summit in Russia

The meeting in Russia will pit two leaders with polar opposite views on Syria -- U.S. President Barack Obama, who wants to launch limited military strikes against the Syrian regime, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country stands by its longtime ally in the Middle East.
The views of the 18 other countries at the G-20 run the gamut -- but could be influenced by whatever happens in St. Petersburg.
 
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that Brahimi was on his way to St. Petersburg, where the G20 developed and developing economies were gathering on Thursday for two days of talks.

"While the world is focused on concerns about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria we must push even harder for the International Conference on Syria to take place in Geneva," the statement said.

"A political solution is the only way to end the bloodshed in Syria," Ban was quoted as saying.

Russia and the United States announced in May they would try to bring Syrian government and opposition representatives together at an international conference, but no date has been set and there is no sign it could be held in the near future.

With host Russia opposing possible U.S.-led military strikes to punish President Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical weapons attack, talks on the Syria conflict may overshadow the G20 summit talks on the global economy.

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