Russian President Vladimir Putin met with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Downing Street ahead of today’s G8 summit.
Before leaving London the two leaders discussed Syria – a subject set to dominate the international get-together in Belfast.
The US decision to send weapons to Syria’s rebels has angered Putin, whose government is an ally of President Bashar al-Assad.
Referring to an unverified gory video released last month, the Russian leader said: “I believe you cannot deny that blood is on the hands of both parties. I believe one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public gaze and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Are they the ones you want to supply with weapons?”
It was a surprised David Cameron who responded to President Putin’s remarks: “You can see there are very big differences between the analysis we have of what happened in Syria and who is to blame. But where there is common ground, is we both see a humanitarian catastrophe. We both see the dangers of instability and extremism. We both want to see a peace conference and a transition.”
Meanwhile waiting for them in Belfast was a group of protesters dressed up as G8 leaders pretending to cook up a recipe to end global hunger. Tax avoidance is one of the other main issues to be discussed at the two day summit in Northern Ireland.