Two of the most powerful men in the world, United States President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were seen in an intense “power huddle” over a coffee table at the G20 summit in Turkey. The two huddled in closely as they had an intense discussion over a coffee table at the sidelines of the G20 summit. The brief power meeting comes following President Barack Obama’s pledge to “redouble” his fight against the Islamic State following the Paris attacks.
The Daily Mail reports that Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin were seen getting cozy at the G20 summit. The two stepped to the sidelines during the meeting to have a private conversation away from the rest of the summit participants. The pair sat down at a coffee table and seemed to be in deep discussion as Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice sat to the right of Obama and a Russian aide appeared to the right of Putin.
— DW (на русском) (@dw_russian) November 15, 2015
It was noted that video of the pair speaking was plastered on the summit’s television screen; however, there was no audio during the conversation. Though there was no sound, those watching the video of the encounter noted that President Obama was gesturing expressively throughout the meeting and that the two were leaned in close as they spoke. The private discussion took place for approximately half an hour before the pair returned to the rest of the group.
The meeting follows President Obama’s statements that he would “redouble” his efforts in the fight against ISIS. The statements followed the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, France, that left 129 dead and over 300 injured. The attack, the deadliest in France since World War II, sparked concern across the globe of the growing power of the Islamic State and resulting terrorist attacks across the world. Therefore, in response, Obama has stated that the United States will stand with France and help them tackle the problems with ISIS.
At the G20 summit when speaking in Turkey, President Obama said that the attack was not just on France but on the civilized world as a whole.
“The killing of innocent people, based on a twisted ideology, is an attack not just on France, not just on Turkey, but it’s an attack on the civilized world.”
The meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian Vladimir Putin was not anticipated, as President Obama has been openly cautious about Russia’s involvement in Syria. In fact, U.S. government officials noted that Putin’s involvement in the war in Syria was more focused on targeting rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government than defeating ISIS. Therefore, the U.S. and Russia seemed to be on opposing sides when it came to the civil war. Therefore, no one anticipated the pair to have such a close encounter during the summit.
@LanaLukash Rare footage of two world leaders with opposing views discussing things like adults. The world needs to see more of this.
— Steve Myrdal (@Stevovan) November 15, 2015
In fact, leading into the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, the pair had scheduled no official meetings. Interestingly, Antalya is located just a few hundred miles from the Syria border, making the troubles in the embattled country all the more evident due to the close proximity. It seems that Obama and Putin’s meeting at the G20 summit was unplanned and may have been an impromptu meeting that resulted from the terror attacks in France.
What do you think about Barack Obama meeting with Vladimir Putin in private at the G20 summit? What do you think the pair discussed in the intimate sit-down?
[Photo by Cem Oksuz/Anadolu Agency via AP, Pool]