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Syria to top G8 agenda

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Syria to top G8 agenda

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As world leaders arrive for the G8 in Northern Ireland, the debate on Syria threatens to overshadow any other item on the agenda, though the topics include pressing issues such as an EU-US free trade deal worth more than 100 billion euros to each economy, the role of central banks and clamping down on tax havens, a key topic for the British hosts.

“I’m delighted to welcome world leaders here in Northern Ireland for this G8 summit. And the agenda we have is one that is about helping the world to grow together, both the developing countries but also the developed countries too,” said prime minister David Cameron.

US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will go head to head on Syria in their first private meeting in a year. Obama has said he will arm rebels after confirming Damascus had used chemical weapons. However, Putin dismissed the opposition as ‘cannibals’ in a meeting with British leader David Cameron on Sunday.

Cameron re-branded the G8 as a ‘peace conference’ to stop the killing in Syria which has already claimed at least 93,000 lives.

At a round of TV interviews in Lough Earne the British prime minister said no decision had been made regarding sending arms to the rebels. He hopes to revive flagging peace talks tentatively scheduled for July in Geneva to bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria.