World leaders converged Sunday for a summit in Turkey to send a message of unity in the face of the Paris attacks but confronting a gaping divide over the multiple conflicts tearing Syria apart. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin of Russia will join other leaders in the southern Mediterranean resort of Antalya less than two days after the attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists killed at least 129 people and sent shockwaves across the world. The character of this Group of 20 summit has been transformed by the attacks, with security and the Syrian conflict now eclipsing a traditionally financial agenda that must also deal with the spreading refugee crisis, climate change and tax avoidance.
“I pray and hope that G20 will provide a platform whereby all of these issues can be discussed openly and then we can understand each other” – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
An official in the French delegation, led by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius after President Francois Hollande stayed home to lead his shaken nation, said it was expected that during the meetings “there would a particular emphasis on terrorism”. The gathering offers the first possibility of a meeting between Obama and Putin since Russia launched its declared anti-lslamic State air campaign in Syria, which the West suspects is aimed at propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The White House has said there may be an informal meeting between the pair, whose icy body language at previous encounters has grabbed as many headlines as their comments. No formal summit is scheduled, however.
Photo: G20 Antalya, Turkey 2015 Summit / Wikimedia Commons
The Group of Twenty (also known as the G-20 or G20) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies. The members include 19 individual countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States – along with the European Union (EU).
Reuters – Obama in Turkey for summit overshadowed by Paris attacks – U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Turkey on Sunday for a summit of world leaders that has taken on a sense of…