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Syria the main course on G20 menu

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia continue at G20 summit with no sign of accord on Syria.

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St Petersburg: World leaders have arrived for a dinner hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin, where they would discuss the crisis in Syria, with US President Barack Obama showing up alone and well after the main group.

The main group of leaders led by Putin arrived together at the historic Peterhof palace outside St Petersburg, with British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande seen talking animatedly at the back of the pack.

US President Barack Obama smiles as he walks to a dinner event that will take place with other G-20 leaders at Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The threat of missiles over the Mediterranean is weighing on world leaders meeting on the shores of the Baltic this week, and eclipsing economic battles that usually dominate when the G-20 world economies meet.

US President Barack Obama smiles as he walks to a dinner event that will take place with other G-20 leaders in St. Petersburg. Photo: AP

But Mr Obama was nowhere to be seen and only arrived at the palace a good half an hour after the rest.

Striding purposefully through the palace park, he smiled and waved for the cameras, images broadcast by the organisers showed.

Also arriving late, showing up to the dinner just before Obama, was Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

It was not immediately clear why they lagged behind the main group.

Mr Putin said earlier that the G20 leaders would have the chance at the dinner to discuss the conflict in Syria, which until now was not on the G20 agenda.

Brazil-US tensions are running high after Brasilia demanded explanations from Washington for reports that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on Rousseff's communications.

AFP