President Obama's Final Day at the G-20 Summit

Posted by Megan Slack
September 6, 2013
World Leaders Pose for a Photo at the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia

Friday marked President Obama’s second and final day of the G-20 Summit in St. Petersburg.  In the morning, President Obama held a bilateral meeting with President Xi of China, building on discussions the two leaders had earlier this year. President Obama said that their “significant progress on a range of issues” including addressing climate change, expanded military-to-military consultations, and growing the economy “gives us an additional opportunity to discuss some of the topics at issue here at the G20.” Read full remarks here. The President then attended the second G-20 Working Session before participating in a G-20 family photo in front of the Konstantin Palace.  After a working lunch on growth and trade, President Obama held a bilateral meeting with President Hollande of France. President Obama explained he and President Hollande discussed concerns with Iran’s nuclear program, as well as the use of chemical weapons in Syria.  Both our countries have concluded the same thing, that chemical weapons were used in Syria, that they were used by the Assad regime against civilians, that the chemical weapons ban is a critical international norm, and that it needs to be enforced.  Read full remarks here.

Following the G-20, President Obama held a press conference where he discussed a number of issues, including America’s financial recovery. “We’ve put more people back to work, but we’ve also cleared away the rubble of crisis and laid the foundation for stronger and more durable economic growth,” the President said. He then turned to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.  "Over 1,400 people were gassed. Over 400 of them were children. This is not something we’ve fabricated. This is not something that we are using as an excuse for military action. As I said last night, I was elected to end wars, not start them.  I've spent the last four and a half years doing everything I can to reduce our reliance on military power as a means of meeting our international obligations and protecting the American people. But what I also know is, is that there are times where we have to make hard choices if we’re going to stand up for the things that we care about. And I believe that this is one of those times."  Read full remarks here.

Before departing St. Petersburg, the President held a roundtable meeting with a diverse group of civil society leaders. Read full remarks from that meeting here.

About the Author: Megan Slack serves as Deputy Director of Digital Content for the Office of Digital Strategy. 

Editor's Note: This entry originally appeared on the White House Blog

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