1. ITV Report

Stark divisions exposed between Russia and US over Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes US President Barack Obama for the G20 summit. Photo: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/Press Association Images

The G20 summit in St Petersburg exposed stark divisions between host Vladimir Putin and US President Obama over Syria following a chemical weapons attack.

Obama is seeking Congressional support for punitive strikes on Syria, while the Russian President indicated he was ready to give further military assistance to the Damascus regime if it comes under attack from the US and France.

Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports from St Petersburg:

Mr Obama was left relatively isolated at the G20, as only France indicated it was ready to join the US in taking military action, while Britain, Turkey, Canada and Saudi Arabia voiced support for robust action to respond to the poison gas attack on a Damascus suburb which claimed hundreds of lives on August 21.

The US president insisted he was "encouraged by my discussions with world leaders this week" and said there was "a growing recognition that we cannot sit idly by".

After the most divisive leaders' summit in the event's five-year history, the G20 concluded with a 27-page official communique which did not use the word "Syria" once, concentrating instead on agreements on boosting economic growth and creating jobs.

But 11 members of the group of 20 leading economies - including the UK - issued a joint statement declaring that:

The world cannot wait for endless failed processes that can only lead to increased suffering in Syria and regional instability. We support efforts undertaken by the United States and other countries to reinforce the prohibition on the use of chemical weapons.

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