President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin shared a long handshake with smiles for the cameras as the G-20 Conference kicked off. Although the summit is supposed to center around the global economy, the debate over possible military strikes on Syria is already the main subject on the table.
While Obama wants to launch limited military strikes against the Syrian regime, Putin and Russia stand by their longtime ally in the Middle East. According to CNN, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that while the international community “cannot remain idle” in the face of Syria’s apparent chemical weapons use, “there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict.”
“Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed, grave violations of human rights and the far-reaching destruction of Syria” he said. “Too many lives have already been lost and too many people have suffered for too long and lost too much.”
Pope Francis also had something to say in a letter to Putin: “… Let there be a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community,” Francis wrote. “Moreover, all governments have the moral duty to do everything possible to ensure humanitarian assistance to those suffering because of the conflict, both within and beyond the country’s borders.”