G-8 finds some ground for agreement on Syria, but differences remain

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Associated Press

Posted on June 18, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 18 at 12:04 PM

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) — The host of the just-concluded G-8 summit, Britain's David Cameron, says it's "unthinkable" that Bashar Assad could play a role in a future Syrian government.

But Syrian ally Russia isn't ready to share that view. So a joint statement issued at the end of the summit stops short of demanding that Assad be removed as Syria's leader. The statement calls for a negotiated Syrian peace settlement that would bring a "united, inclusive and democratic" government.

In addition to the disagreement over Assad's future, there are also differing views on the arming of rebels in Syria. Russia's Vladimir Putin says sending arms supplies to the opposition will destabilize the situation even further. Putin also referred to last month's killing of an off-duty British soldier in London, as he warned that weapons sent to Syria might end up being used to kill people in Europe.

And Russia isn't ready to accept the claim that Syria's Assad has used chemical weapons in the civil war -- a claim that was repeated today by Britain's Cameron. Putin rejected that statement as unproven.

%@AP Links

159-a-17-(Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at news conference)-"and the Russians"-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Russian leader Vladimir Putin has moved some distance towards other G-8 leaders on Syria. (18 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *159 (06/18/13)££ 00:17 "and the Russians"

165-a-11-(British Prime Minister David Cameron, at news conference)-"used chemical weapons"-British Prime Minister David Cameron says Syria's leader simply can't be a part of a post-civil war, democratic Syria. (18 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *165 (06/18/13)££ 00:11 "used chemical weapons"

166-a-17-(British Prime Minister David Cameron, at news conference)-"a transitional authority"-British Prime Minister David Cameron says representatives from both sides in Syria now need to step forward. (18 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *166 (06/18/13)££ 00:17 "a transitional authority"

141-a-16-(Sergei Ryabkov (sehr-GAY' ree-ahb-KAWF'), Russian deputy foreign minister, in interview)-"including President Assad"-Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov says foreign nations shouldn't try to dictate Syria's political future. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) ((note cut length)) (18 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *141 (06/18/13)££ 00:16 "including President Assad"

GRAPHICSBANK: Vladimir Putin, as Russia President, arriving at Belfast International Airport for G8 Summit, Northern Ireland, graphic element on gray (17 Jun 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: Vladimir Putin, as Russia president, David Cameron, as British Prime Minister, and Barack Obama, as US President, (l-r), wave during a group photo opportunity during the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, graphic element on gray (18 Jun 2013)

APPHOTO VLM199: British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a media conference at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The final day of the G-8 summit of wealthy nations is ending with discussions on globe-trotting corporate tax dodgers, a lunch with leaders from Africa, and suspense over whether Russia and Western leaders can avoid diplomatic fireworks over their deadlock on Syria's civil war. (AP Photo/Matt Cardy, Pool) (18 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO VLM199 (06/18/13)££

APPHOTO VLM176: Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking during a media conference after a G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The final day of the G-8 summit of wealthy nations is ending with discussions on globe-trotting corporate tax dodgers, a lunch with leaders from Africa, and suspense over whether Russia and Western leaders can avoid diplomatic fireworks over their deadlock on Syria's civil war. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool) (18 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO VLM176 (06/18/13)££

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