warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

No Syria Support For Obama At G-20 Summit

Sara Newman |
September 7, 2013 | 9:32 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer


On Thursday night, the Group of 20 (G-20) world leaders—making up 2/3 of the world population and 90% of its economic output—gathered in Russia for an international summit, supposedly to discuss economic issues. But President Obama had a different idea in mind. 

Fully aware of the tremendous criticism that he has faced in the past week for his Syrian involvement, President Obama used the conference as an attempt to try to win support from other world leaders—in effect turning the economic forum into another long debate about Syria. 

With Britain’s noninvolvement in Syria, President Obama was hoping to find other global allies to boost domestic and international support for his proposed military strike. 

G-20 International Leaders, photo by DonkeyHotey via Creative Commons
G-20 International Leaders, photo by DonkeyHotey via Creative Commons

Recently, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said that as far as using the U.N. to clamp down on Syria, there is “no viable path forward in this Security Council" due to the veto power of both Russia and China. While Russia is the most obvious Syrian ally, China is also strongly opposed to striking in Syria due to the skyrocketing oil prices that the Chinese government fears would surely ensue. 

"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 Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao in a briefing near the summit.

After discussing the issue in Syria for the majority of a three-hour dinner, the global leaders agreed that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is deplorable, but failed to agree upon a course of action to address the issue. Many of the present leaders also remained unconvinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime was actually behind the chemical weapon attack, according to a French official.  

President Obama and Russian President Putin greeted each other with a businesslike handshake, “a fleeting interaction [that] became the high-drama moment of the summit,” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/06/obama-presses-world-leaders-f... " target="_blank">according to Fox News.

Relations between the two leaders remained visibly tense, without any of the arm clutching or hugging that is customary between the Presidents.  

When all was said and done, President Obama failed to gain support from the other nations in regards to taking military action in Syria. Led by Putin, many of the world leaders urged President Obama to reconsider his plan of launching a military strike in Syria due to concerns over the problems that such strikes would create for the global economy. 

Contact Executive Producer Sara Newman here and follow her on Twitter.




Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.