By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday September 6, 2013
Obama Arrives In Russia For G20 Summit
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — President Barack Obama is heading into the lion’s den of Russia, confronting Syria’s key patron as well as foreign leaders skeptical of his call for an international military strike against Bashar Assad’s government.
Obama on Thursday began a two-day visit to St. Petersburg for the Group of 20 economic summit, putting him in the same country as Edward Snowden for the first time since the American fugitive fled to Moscow earlier this year. Both Syria and Snowden have been sore points in an already strained U.S.-Russian relationship, fueling the notion that Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin just can’t get along.
The White House went out of its way to say Obama, who arrived Thursday after a quick flight from Stockholm, would not meet one-on-one with the Russian leader while in St. Petersburg. But officials predicted the two would still have a chance to interact when they cross paths at various meetings.
Still struggling to persuade dubious lawmakers at home on Syria, Obama in Russia will seek to win over world leaders reluctant to get drawn in to yet another U.S.-led sortie in a Mideast nation. Although Syria wasn’t formally on the agenda for the economy-focused summit, U.S. officials were resigned to the fact that the bloody civil war there surely would overwhelm any talks about global economics. (Source: Huffington Post)