Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

G-8 leaders sidestep differences over Syria

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — The United States and leaders of other major industrialized nations Tuesday papered over differences on Syria and the global economy in statements that summarized their two-day annual summit.

On the issue that dominated the private talks of the Group of Eight, the worsening regional war in Syria, the leaders averted a clash with Russian President Vladimir Putin by avoiding mention in their declaration of the most contentious matters that divide him and them. Those include the fate of President Bashar Assad of Syria, Russia's ally, in any peace settlement with the rebels.

Russia refused to back any declaration that made Assad's ouster an explicit goal, arguing that it would be impossible to start peace talks with a predetermined outcome.

And despite persistent differences between the Obama administration and the Europeans over Europe's insistence on continued budget cutting instead of stimulus measures in the face of the continent's recession, the parties' final communique suggested agreement on economic policies in language that either side could embrace.

"Promoting growth and jobs is our top priority," it said in a line that belied divisions between the Americans and European leaders over whether austerity or stimulus best achieves the goal.

While economic issues typically are the focus of these meetings, this gathering was preoccupied by the Syrian conflict. After lengthy negotiations the leaders endorsed the idea of holding a new peace conference in Geneva "as soon as possible," something that British Prime Minister David Cameron, the meeting's host, said had been "slipping away" before the discussions.

The Geneva meeting is likely to be delayed until late August or September, according to one Western official. That has fueled fears that Putin is playing for time on Assad's behalf, calculating that by late summer Syria's fragmented opposition will be further weakened by military reverses.

The declaration gave a little more detail about how a transition to a new government would work. But the absence of a call for Assad's departure — as President Barack Obama and some European leaders demand — underscored Putin's support of him.

G-8 leaders, from left, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Council President Herman Van Rumpuy, meet Tuesday in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

Getty Images

G-8 leaders, from left, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Council President Herman Van Rumpuy, meet Tuesday in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

G-8 leaders sidestep differences over Syria 06/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 12:42am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  2. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  3. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108