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Obama, Japan's Abe discuss Syria crisis at G20

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia September 5
U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia September 5

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shared the view that chemical weapons use in Syria was a violation of international law that must be addressed.

Obama and Abe met on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg as Washington sought to rally international support for a U.S. military strike on Syrian targets.

"I ... look forward to an extensive conversation about the situation in Syria and ... our joint recognition that the use of chemical weapons in Syria is not only a tragedy but also a violation of international law that must be addressed," Obama told reporters.

Abe, who has refrained from speaking publicly about Japan's stance on Obama's push for military action against Damascus, said he looked forward to discussing with the U.S. president ways to improve the situation in Syria.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick, Editing By Timothy Heritage)

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