British Prime Minister David Cameron is claiming a remarkable set of agreements for the latest G8 summit, especially on Syria, where he said the leaders had been able to bring to the table a number of issues that had previously been thought to be off limits.
Importantly, the G8 declaration will also carry Russia’s signature.
“It’s no secret that there were very different views around the G8 table, but we all share a vital interest in bringing this conflict to an end, and helping the Syrian people to achieve the change they want,” he said.
In an overt appeal to the Syrian elite Cameron insisted institutions would be preserved to prevent a power vacuum, so their fate was not tied to Bashar al Assad’s. They would not fall with him.
“To those who have been loyal to Assad but who know he has to go, and who want stability in their country, they should take note of this point,” he continued.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had never felt isolated at the G8 despite being Assad’s main backer, but warned unproven claims of atrocities were a poor reason to arm the rebels.
“We think any decisions on providing arms to the opposition based on the unproven accusations of Damascus’s use of chemical weapons could just additionally destabilize the situation.”
“The disagreements between Russia and the other G8 members have been clear. But what is not clear is whether President Putin’s backing the call for a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis will be worth much, given that Moscow still plans to press ahead with shipping arms to the Assad regime,” says euronews’ James Franey in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland.