Despite differences over the Middle East violence, the US president and his Russian host have tried to put on a display of harmony as the Group of Eight summit officially began. They jointly resurrected an old proposal for averting nuclear terrorism and talked about a plan to halt the spread of atomic weapons.
On Iran the summit appeared certain to struggle for a common position with Russia opposing – for the time being – any talk of U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programmes. Some hope persists world leaders will show they are willing to end the deadlock on global trade talks. Meanwhile about 100 anti-globalisation protestors took part in a rally in a suburban sports stadium, far from the G8 proceedings. They complained they were not allowed to leave the stadium.