G-8 agrees plan to promote Syrian peace talks

Associated Press
G8 leaders from left, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy attend a working session during the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Jewel Samad, Pool)
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ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) — The leaders of major industrial nations including the U.S. and Russia say they are united in wanting a negotiated and peaceful end to the Syrian civil war that will produce a government "under a top leadership that inspires public confidence."

The declaration at the end of the two-day Group of Eight summit Tuesday seeks to narrow the ground between Russia and Western leaders on starting peace talks in Geneva that could end with the ouster of Bashar Assad from power.

Russia refused to back a declaration that made such a goal explicit.

Tuesday's G-8 declaration says participants in any peace talks must agree to expel al-Qaida-linked fighters from Syria. It also commits a further $1.5 billion in aid for Syrian refugees. It condemns human rights abuses committed by government forces and rebels alike.

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