The smiles at the traditional family photo at the end of the G20 summit in Russia disguised deep divisions.
Supposedly about the world economy, the summit has been dominated by American President Obama’s call for military action against Syria, and Russian President Putin’s opposition.
Obama did manage to persuade ten other G20 countries to sign a statement calling for what it calls a ‘strong international response’ in Syria but the statement fell short of endorsing military action.
Putin had a one-on-one meeting with Obama, but although neither convinced the other, both were at pains to to avoid an escalation.
The Group of Twenty meeting, which took place in St Petersburg, did however put aside their differences when it came to the world economy, with a call for growth and jobs.
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Laguarde, believes the Eurozone will soon start to pick up: “I think what the European partners conveyed was a sense of collective determination to reinforce coordination.We all hope that the eurozone is about to turn the corner, that there is stabilisation of the situation and hopefully a recovery that will really take roots and create jobs much needed in Europe,” she said.
Laguarde also welcomed plans to take the right steps for financial regulation and tackling tax evasion.