President Barack Obama, with China's President Xi Jinping, delivers remarks prior to participating in their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Sept. 6, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
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.
President Barack Obama stands between Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyonoas he joins other leaders for the group photo at the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
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.
President Barack Obama holds a press conference at Konstantinovsky Palace (Constantine Palace) during the G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Sept. 6, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
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.