British Prime Minister, David Cameron and Russian President, Vladimir Putin have said although a meeting between the pair may have highlighted the ‘huge difference’ between their approaches to Syria, they both shared the same goal of ‘ending the killing’ in the country.
Mr Cameron, who was one of the loudest voices for ending the arms embargo on Syria, told the joint press conference that the situation could only be resolved through political and diplomatic means.
This was a view shared by his Russian counterpart. Mr Putin, who has armed the Syrian government with advance anti-aircraft missiles, believes getting all parties around the negotiating table was important. However the Russian did say that both the Syrian rebels and government force had ‘blood on their hands’, which may open the door for some lucrative cleaning product contracts.
The press conference followed a meeting between the pair ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland next week. Both men have been praised for being able to sit together and discuss the problem and talk to the media about it, all with a straight faces.
The Prime Minister is also likely to discuss the issue of Syria with American President, Barrack Obama ahead of the G8 summit. President Obama is another world leader calling for a diplomatic end to the civil war, and has already agreed to ask the rebels to promise they will attend peace talks, organised by the US and Russia, in Geneva next month. If they cannot agree to this, America may withhold some of the ‘direct military aid’ promised to them on Friday.
The increased influence of the west on the conflict is likely to cause increased protests at the G8 summit in County Fermanagh. The summit has always drawn anti-capitalists to the venues and often seen violence erupt. Although wanting all protests to be peaceful, Mr Cameron has promise the Police Service of Northern Ireland extra resources to deal with any trouble makers that turn up. Mr Putin has also asked for calm during the talks, but just to be fair has armed protesters with bricks and Molotov cocktails.