Sunday, November 15, 2015 3:20 pm
G-20 leaders united Sunday to denounce terrorism at a heavily-guarded summit in Turkey after the gun and bomb assaults in Paris, despite divisions over conflict-riven Syria.
US President Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin of Russia, China’s President Xi Jinping and other leaders gathered at the Mediterranean resort of Antalya two days after the Paris attacks claimed by Islamic State jihadists.
Obama condemned the killing of 129 people in Paris as well as a double suicide bombing in Ankara last month as attacks “on the civilised world” and vowed to “redouble our efforts” to eliminate the Islamic State network.
“We stand in solidarity with France in hunting down the perpetrators of this crime and bringing them to justice,” Obama declared after talks with his host, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
– ‘Strong, tough message’ –
The Paris killings darkened the mood of the summit of the Group of 20 top world economies, with security and the Syrian conflict now eclipsing an economic agenda that will also deal with the spreading refugee crisis, climate change and tax avoidance.
Erdogan said the summit agenda was now “very different” given the massacre in Paris, with the leaders to condemn the attacks in their communique or a separate statement.
“I believe that our stance against international terrorism will find its expression in a very strong, tough message at the G20 summit,” Erdogan said.
“This terrorist action is not only against French people but all humanity.”
Russia’s Putin said that overcoming global terror was possible only “if all the international community unites its efforts”.
Putin is key to the gathering, which is taking place without French leader Francois Hollande who remains home to lead his shaken country in the aftermath of the attacks.
Russia launched its own Syrian air campaign in September but the West suspects the Russian bombardment is aimed at propping up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a difference that risks driving a wedge through the summit.
European Union President Donald Tusk told reporters that Russian actions in Syria must be focused on Islamic State and not the anti-Assad opposition