Even though Vladimir Putin slotted Syria into the G20 agenda last night, no-one seriously thought that this meant the world leaders would come to a proper agreement on what to do about the conflict. In the last few minutes, David Cameron has told journalists covering the summit that ‘divisions are too great’ for a deal, and that Russia wants further evidence that the Assad regime was behind the terrible attack in August.
George Osborne was on the Today programme earlier discussing the summit. He said:
‘We’ve set out what we think is the right response, obviously President Obama has set out what he wants to do and there is a disagreement around the table, I don’t think there’s any secret about that. I was not at the leaders’ dinner, but what I’ve heard is there were a number of people around the table – for example the Turks – who put a very strong argument about how the world must respond to the use of chemical weapons and that was a very passionate and heartfelt appeal.’
He also made clear that while Britain is a ‘small island’, it can still set the agenda, and even though Parliament has rejected military action, this country can still help in Syria:
‘But Britain is today leading efforts to step up the humanitarian response to what is happening in Syria, the tragedy of 2m people leaving that country, fleeing for their lives.’
But even on that front David Cameron is now dropping hints that there may need to be a UN security council to ensure access for the aid agreed at the summit into the country. That small island will need to keep acting big.Tags: Aid, G20, Syria, UK politics