Maria Golovnina and William Schomberg
June 17, 2013
Western leaders criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for
supporting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad in his battle to crush a two-year-old
uprising, setting the stage for what could be a difficult meeting of
world leaders over Monday and Tuesday.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who chairs the G8 summit in
Northern Ireland, acknowledged there was “a big difference” between the
positions of Russia and the West on Syria. Moscow said it would not
permit no-fly zones to be imposed over Syria.
U.S. President Barack Obama will meet Putin later on Monday and, in
what could be a frosty encounter, will try to convince the Kremlin chief
to bring Assad to the negotiating table. Putin has warned the West it
risks sowing turmoil across the Middle East by arming the Syrian rebels.
Other Western leaders criticized Russia, Assad’s only big-power ally,
for delivering arms to Assad while the rebels – whom Putin described on
Sunday as cannibals who ate their enemies’ intestines – perished.
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