Day 1 of G20: Paris attacks, Syria dominate all topics

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The attacks on Paris by terrorists and Syria were the two major topics on the opening day of the G20 summit in Antalya, a Turkish resort town.

In his address during the G20 opening session, PM Narendra Modi told Brics countries humanity must stand as one against terrorism. “It is a major challenge. It has not only taken a toll of our lives, but has threatens our way of life not to speak of the huge economic cost,” said Modi. “It calls for all-inclusive global response. Combating it must be a major priority,” he said.

US President Barack Obama, who vowed to work along with France to hunt down and bring the attackers to justice, said the 13 November carnage was not only against Paris but against the entire world.

“We stand in solidarity with President Hollande and the French people and will hunt down the attackers and bring them to justice,” Obama told a joint news conference with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

The two leaders also discussed various steps to strengthen the border between Turkey and Syria and vowed to strive for a peaceful transition in Syria.

Obama guaranteed to stand shoulder to shoulder with Turkey to deal with the problem where the world’s 20 biggest economies focused on terror.

The G20 summit, which is a global forum to discuss economic and financial issues, was eclipsed by the Paris attacks and calls for action to tackle terrorism grew in tempo.

Erdogan said he the summit must issue a statement on the global fight against terrorism. “We will carry on with our discussions (in the G20 summit) within the predetermined agenda, however, we will emphasise on a firm stand on global terrorism,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he sympathised with the French people. “We are always in favour of coordinating efforts so as to deal with the terrorist threat. Of course, it is necessary to act in accordance with the United Nations,” he added.

Expressing shock by the Paris attacks, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to work with the global community to stamp out terrorism. “We will work closely with the global community to fight terrorism in all its manifestations,” he said.

In a joint statement, EU and European Commission said the G20 must support a collective response to the crisis. “The G20 must be responsible to ensure global organisations assisting refugees have necessary fiscal means.”

The G20 comprises the US, the UK, the European Union, India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

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