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Syria crisis: Barack Obama faces growing opposition to airstrikes as he arrives for G20

 
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09/06/2013 02:33 AM
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Syria crisis: Barack Obama faces growing opposition to airstrikes as he arrives for G20
President Barack Obama is facing growing international opposition to military intervention in Syria as China, the European Union and the Pope all warned against attacks on the Assad regime.

Mr. Obama arrived St Petersburg for a tense G20 summit amid signs that Russia's opposition to US airstrikes was gaining significant international support.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, welcomed Mr Obama to his home town in an encounter that laid bare the increasingly difficult relationship between the two men.

After exchanging a stiff handshake and stern looks, Mr Obama and Mr Putin offered fixed smiles for the cameras before entering the Konstantinovsky Palace.

In the summit room, diplomats said the two men were seated well aware from each other and did not speak to one another directly during opening talks about the world economy.

The awkward initial encounter came after some other leaders arriving in St Petersburg pointedly sided with Russia in its opposition to US-led military action.

Intervention would damage the global economy by pushing up oil prices, China said. Syria is not a significant oil exporter, but the prospect of conflict in the Middle East often pushes up oil prices.

"Military action would have a negative impact on the global economy, especially on the oil price - it will cause a hike in the oil price," said Zhu Guangyao, the Chinese Vice Finance Minister.

Brazil, India and South Africa also worry that intervention would do economic harm, according to Mr Putin's officials.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president, said the leaders of the large emerging economies spoke before the St Petersburg summit and agreed that Syrian intervention would have an "extremely negative effect" on the global economy."

While the British and French governments have both backed the principle of military intervention to punish the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons, the European Union as a whole is opposed, European officials said.

Herman van Rompuy, the EU president, arrived at the summit with a warning against military action...

Read more: [link to www.telegraph.co.uk]
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09/06/2013 11:00 AM
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Re: Syria crisis: Barack Obama faces growing opposition to airstrikes as he arrives for G20
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