Terror attacks in France overshadow G20 summit

The terror attacks in France are likely to dominate the two-day G20 summit in Turkey as world leaders gather in the resort of Antalya

Photo by: TRTWorld
Photo by: TRTWorld

The summit is meant to focus on economic issues

The murder of more than 120 people in Paris and the possibility of further terror attacks is now likely to dominate the G20 summit in Antalya.

As world leaders congregate in the Turkish resort town, the war in Syria and the threat from DAESH, also known as ISIS, will also overshadow what is primarily an event to discuss economic issues.

“If there is not a decisive stance against terrorism, this fire will spread throughout the world,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s President, warned just a few days ago.

“Countries that believe they’re safe, should know they could find themselves in the same fire.”

France was already well aware of the threats posed by Al Qaida and DAESH after the Charlie Hebdo and Jewish supermarket attacks in January.

The French President Francois Hollande is no longer attending the G20 in Turkey as he deals with the fallout from the second mass attack in Paris in less than a year.

The summit, which represents the world’s leading industrial nations including the United States, China and Russia, is meant to promote global finance.

Across the G20 zone in Antalya, billboards carry the same message: “Together for inclusive and robust growth.”

Rows of security fencing around the G20 summit [TRTWorld]

Presidents Obama, Putin and other leaders will discuss ways of boosting the slowing global economy and how to strengthen financial systems.

But as they dine out in luxury hotels overlooking the Mediterranean Sea another topic, refugees, will also be a focus.

Nearly 550 people have drowned in the waters between Turkey and Greece so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Most of the dead were fleeing the conflict in Syria.

Stopping the deaths and the continuing passage of refugees to European shores was previously listed as the EU’s number one priority ahead of the summit.

Turkey, which has taken in more than two million Syrian refugees, is also pressing for a solution.

The G20 has often been criticised in the past for failing to agree on significant measures that deal with difficult issues.

Turkey, the US and the EU are pushing for the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to be removed, which is directly at odds with Russian foreign policy.

The terror attacks in Paris will give world leaders the chance to express solidarity with France, but a substantial shift in their positions regarding the conflict in Syria is less likely.

Author: Duncan Crowford