NEWS ANALYSIS: G-20 Summit shocked by Paris attacks, to focus on fight against ISIL

NEWS ANALYSIS: G-20 Summit shocked by Paris attacks, to focus on fight against ISIL

Serkan Demirtaş
NEWS ANALYSIS: G-20 Summit shocked by Paris attacks, to focus on fight against ISIL

People react outside the Paris morgue in Paris on Nov 14. AP photo

The gravest terrorist attack in the history of France, which killed at least 128 people, has also shaken the G-20 Summit to be held in Antalya on Nov. 15 and 16, as well as participating world leaders, with expectations that the agenda of the world’s richest nations will swiftly turn to the fight against extremist terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

A high-level diplomatic source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Hürriyet Daily News that the scope and content of Syria talks will surely be affected by the incident in France. “This is not an ordinary attack. This is an attack making clear that the ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] targets Western civilization. It’s quite obvious that the only way is to directly address the threat from where it organizes its assaults,” the source said.  

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will host U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Saudi King Salman, British Prime Minister David Cameron and other G-20 leaders during the two-day summit.

Although the main agenda of the summit is economy and trade, the G-20 of this year will surely focus more on global political issues, with the unrest in Syria and fight against ISIL topping the agenda items.

A working dinner to be held by Erdoğan late on Nov. 15 will focus on Syria and the anti-ISIL fight. A written statement is expected to be released afterwards.

Equally important is the fact that Erdoğan will hold bilateral meetings with both Obama early on Nov. 15 and Putin later the same day to exchange opinions on Syria-related issues. Diplomatic sources have underlined that the Obama-Erdoğan meeting will surely focus more on the anti-ISIL fight, and the two men are expected to introduce a rather different perspective to the issue in comparison with previous conversations.

Both countries have pledged full support and solidarity with the French people and announced they will do their best in the anti-ISIL fight.

In the meantime, French President François Hollande has canceled his visit to Turkey and instead delegated Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Finance Minister Michel Sapin to represent him at the G-20 Summit.