G20: 'UN paralysed over Syria'

World leaders have failed to reach agreement on the Syria crisis despite days of talks at the G20 summit in Russia. In a joint statement, 11 country's leaders - but not Vladimir Putin - admitted the UN Security Council "remains paralysed over Syria."

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Countries agree to boost Syria humanitarian support

A group of humanitarian donor countries to Syria has met during the G20 Summit in St Petersburg to agree its priorities on tackling the medical and refugee crisis in the region.

Countries including Britain agreed a three point plan:

  • to increase "collective humanitarian assistance"
  • to train medical teams in Syria for dealing with future chemical attacks
  • to push for "unfettered humanitarian access inside Syria"

PM calls for G20 nations to send humanitarian message

The Prime Minister has also called for G20 delegates to agree on three points to promote "unfettered humanitarian access inside Syria":

  • Priority routes for aid convoys
  • Humanitarian pauses in the fighting so aid canget through
  • Dedicated officials to resolve problems on theground and the lifting of bureaucratic obstacles for aid workers

Mr Cameron said he hoped that despite large outstanding differences in opinion about a potential military strike, the Summit would send a "very large message on humanitarian aid".


PM announces UK plan to 'scale up medical response'

The Prime Minister has outlined plans that will see Britain helping to scale up the medical response to future potential chemical attacks in Syria.

He told a meeting on the fringes of the G20 Summit in St Petersburg:

On chemical weapons, a strong response must be about saving lives as well as preventing future attacks.

Britain's new support will include scaling up medical response in the face of chemical attacks, through the training of medical and civil defence teams, protective equipment to assist decontamination and medical supplies including antidotes and response medicine.

– Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister announces £52m extra in Syrian aid

The Prime Minister has announced an additional £52 million in aid to Syria in the wake of an alleged chemical attack in Damascus.

Speaking at a G20 meeting he chaired on the humanitarian situation, Mr Cameron said he hoped the leaders present could "send a strong signal that we can act, and act specifically to relieve this appalling suffering caused by the war crime of chemical weapons use".


Downing St source defends Britain after 'Russia snub'

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron for the G20 summit. Credit: Kay Nietfeld/DPA/Press Association Images

A Downing Street source defended Britain amid reports that an aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin had dismissed Britain as "just a small island; no one pays any attention to them".

The source told the Press Association: "As host of guests from the world's leading countries, I'm sure the Russians will want to clarify these reported remarks, particularly at a G20 where it's a very British agenda on trade and tax.

"It highlights how a small island with great people can achieve a big footprint in the world."

Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied making the comment, which was attributed to him by the BBC.

Syria urges US Congress not to vote for military action

A letter from the Speaker of the Syrian parliament to the US Congress asks members to "communicate with us through civilised dialogue rather than the language of fire and blood" ahead of a debate on American military action, Sky News reported.

It said: "We write to you as fathers and mothers, as members of families and communities which really are not so different to yours.

"Moreover, we write to you as human beings asking: if you bomb us, shall we not bleed?! The innocent people will be harmed."

British scientists find evidence of deadly sarin in Syria

British scientists have found positive evidence of deadly sarin gas on samples of cloth and soil from the Damascus suburb believed to have been targeted by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad.

The UK's confirmation of poison gas use will further fuel calls for action against Assad at the G20 summit, where host Vladimir Putin has agreed to put Syria on the agenda for talks over dinner tonight.

Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports from St Petersburg:

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