As leaders of countries making up half of the world’s population firmly opposed military action against Syria without a UN mandate, the US kept pushing for a strike, claiming that many countries represented at the G20 summit were “comfortable” with it.
Although discussion of the Syrian conflict was never officially on the G20 agenda, world leaders used their statements and speeches to outline their stance on a possible US-led military strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed the notion that there was a 50/50 split of opinion on the issue, alluding that leaders of the majority of the world’s largest economies clearly stated their opposition to military intervention in Syria.
Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, and South Africa were among the countries that openly spoke out against military action not authorized by the UN Security Council, Putin revealed.
Putin himself said that he believes the alleged chemical weapons attack was nothing more than “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.”
Taking a stand against a US-led strike
During his closing speech at the G20 summit, the Russian President pointed out that the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation – Indonesia – was among those “categorically opposed” to a strike against Syria.
Indonesia has been calling on the international community to refrain from extrajudicial justice on Syria, and to wait until UN investigators publish the results of their work.
“Indonesia’s stance is clear. President Yudhoyono has said that, while affirming that the use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians cannot be accepted, we need to ensure who actually carried out the attacks. In this sense, we should wait for the UN’s inspection team to announce the result of its investigation,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said in a statement published on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s official website.
“International responses should not lead to more and worse humanitarian problems. The misery of the Syrian people has been too long and we need to ensure there is no military approach used, but instead peaceful diplomatic measures must be utilized to settle the problems,” Natalegawa added.