The three ‘T’s – trade, transparency and tax – look likely to be usurped by Syria as the topic of the day at the G8 summit, which has opened in Northern Ireland. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama will meet in their first private tête-à-tête in a year to find common ground in the Syrian conflict which has divided the opinions of the two nations’ leaders. As world leaders met in the Lough Erne golf resort, Russia said a no-fly zone over Syria was a no-go.
After significant progress made over the weekend the EU and US are sitting down for talks on what would be the world’s largest free trade area. Worth 100 billion euros to each economy, the British hosts of the summit are hoping to see progress on the deal despite French objections over threats from Hollywood to the nation’s cultural sector.
The UK prime minister David Cameron met with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe ahead of the official opening of the summit to discuss economic policies and working together against terrorism.
However, the main focus remains on the summit as a ‘peace conference’ to end the bloodshed in Syria.
However, on all issues, euronews correspondent James Franey reporting from Lough Erne feels that the G8 has become outdated by new geo-political realities, saying:
“G8 members have an ambitious agenda over the next two days. But the world is a very different place to when this club was created. Can these eight leaders really deliver on promises they are about to make, when emerging superpowers such as China and India aren’t even sitting at the table?”