G20 SUMMIT— On Syria’s latest news update at the G20 meeting, China has joined Russia in opposing military strikes on Syria, saying it would push up oil prices and create an economic downturn.
Despite pleasant views of St. Petersburg and a large list of economic challenges on world leaders’ agendas, political tension was evident during the second and final day of the world leaders G20 meeting as the United States faced questions regarding its standpoint on Syria and the NSA spying program, RT.com reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his opposition to military intervention in the crisis without the support of the United Nations Security Council, and repeated his belief that fatal chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which U.S. President Barack Obama says were carried out by the ruling regime, were actually planned provocations, reports said.
The Chinese deputy finance minister, Zhu Guangyao, told a pre-G20 briefing: “Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on oil prices – it will cause a hike in the oil price.”
The European leaders have expressed concern at the pace of the drive to war. The president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, said consensus in the international community was needed on Syria and argued that efforts should be focused on a political solution.
Pope Francis sent a letter to Russian President Putin, in which he criticized world leaders for standing by while a “senseless massacre” unfolded in Syria. The Pope also warned President Obama that targeting Syria with military strikes would be a “futile pursuit”.
The Pope wrote, “To the leaders present, to each and every one, I make a heartfelt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit of a military solution…
Rather, let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.
Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country’s borders.”
It was not clear if the world leaders would have another chance to discuss the crisis in Syria on the summit´s second day or if the main session would focus on purely economic issues.