”Gaps of trust” hamper Syria deal with Russian Federation, says Obama

A communique is to be issued before the meeting wraps up later on Monday.

Advertisement

He acknowledged that a flurry of diplomacy at an economic summit and a 90-minute meeting earlier Monday with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, did not yield a breakthrough.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov have for weeks been trying to broker a deal that would curb the violence between the Russian-ally Assad’s government forces and moderate rebels backed by the U.S. Talks are expected to resume quickly, probably later this week.

Obama said he would not comment on “specific investigations that are still live and active”, an apparent reference to a computer breach of the Democratic National Committee, which some USA officials have blamed on Russian Federation.

Reuters said that Mr Putin said on Monday that an agreement with the United States on finding a way to significantly reduce the death toll in Syria could be reached in the next few days.

With the summit taking place after Britain’s vote in June to exit the European Union and before the USA presidential election in November, G20 leaders had been expected to mount a defence of free trade and globalisation and warn against isolationism.

One of the few areas where there was progress was in protecting the environment.

Nothing spells out the difference between the mature statesmanship of President Obama and Republican nominee Donald Trump like this situation.

The Paris Agreement has charted the course for post-2020 global cooperation against climate change, and it indicates that a cooperative, win-win, equitable and fair climate governance mechanism is being shaped.

Mr Xi and Mr Obama met in Hangzhou in eastern China where leaders from the world’s 20 leading economies, the G20, were gathering for a summit on Sunday and Monday. “If an agreement can be reached, we want to do so urgently because of the humanitarian situation, however we must ensure it is an effective agreement and so that is why we continue to have these discussions”. Before the summit, European G20-sources doubted that the Chinese agenda would mark a real new chapter to create more sustainable growth for the global economy.

“The one thing that we have to ensure we do is to move in concert with other countries, because there is always a danger that if one. acts unilaterally, that it’s not just a matter of a USA company being impacted, but it may also have an impact in terms of our ability to collect taxes from that same company”, Obama said.

Advertisement

China levelled responsibility at the United States and journalists for the fracas.

President Obama John Kerry at G20