G20 - divisions on Syria illustrated

US President Barack Obama speaks to UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon US President Barack Obama won support from France, Turkey, Canada and the UK among others

Three hours of speeches. Not much dialogue.

That is the short summary of what followed the caviar and blini at last night's dinner for world leaders at St Petersburg's magnificent Peterhof Palace.

The exchanges seem to have confirmed rather than dissolved divisions over Syria.

British sources say that the leaders of France, Turkey, Canada and the UK gave strong backing to President Obama whilst the Italians and Germans also called for a strong response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The host of this G20 summit, Russia's President Putin, repeated his insistence that it was not clear who had carried out the attack. His spokesman talked of a divide between those who want "hasty action" and those who want "to go by the book".

The leaders emerged to watch a spectacular light show clearer than ever that if America and France take military action they cannot rely on broad international support.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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