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Putin Pleased With Lack of Consensus On Syria at G20

Those who expected no progress on Syria at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg were proven right.
U.S. President Barack Obama departs a news conference at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg September 6, 2013. Obama said on Friday that most leaders of the G20 countries agree that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for using poison gas against civilians as the U.S. leader tried to rally support at home and abroad for a military strike. 
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With regard to the debate over Syria, the G20 ended just as expected— with nothing. Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama ended up talking for 20 minutes, even after apparently trying, ultimately without success, to avoid each other. It could not have happened any other way.

It was obvious from the beginning that the less they talked about Syria, the more successful the meeting in St. Petersburg would be. I certainly understand the desire of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, to attract the world’s attention — from their perspective, this representative assembly was just about the last chance to turn back toward a more coordinated approach. In fact, however, the debate on the Syrian issue is a waste of time for one reason: The US president arrived at the event with no room to maneuver.

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