G20, BRICS, and Putin on Syria and Iran

Most of the press will cover the G20 proceedings and specifically on the USA and Russia in regards to Syria and Iran. Well they should, but so far there is little to report from their private meeting. The meeting marked their first bilateral talks since Mr. Putin returned for a third term as Russia’s president in May.

President Putin met with US President Obama in regards to Syria as the two men had a closed door meeting. Emerging, they sat down for a photo op but both looked uncomfortable.

Mr. Obama said that they “agreed that we need to see a cessation of the violence, that a political process has to be created to prevent civil war and the kind of horrific events that we’ve seen over the last several weeks.”  Mr. Putin said that regarding Syria “We’ve been able to find many commonalities” but refused to elaborate on the commonalities.

The two have never had much chemistry and in Russia it is widely acknowledged that Putin detests Obama, believing him to be weak. In the Russian political campaigns Putin called the USA “a parasite.” Putin prefers someone he can manipulate and would rather see Obama re-elected than have to deal with a Republican in the US White House.

President Putin, 2nd from left, with BRICS leaders at G20 in Mexico.

While in Mexico President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa on the sidelines of the G20 summit yesterday. The BRICS nations are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. They discussed the affairs in the Eurozone, IMF reform, Iran and the fighting in Syria.

The next full-scale BRICS summit will be held in March 2013 in South Africa so the G20 in Mexico offers a chance for leaders of BRICS nations to share policies and formulate and coordinate strategies.