G-8 leaders to discuss eurozone crisis, Syria, Iran

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Barack Obama
Washington, May 19: Leaders of the world's eight most powerful economies are set to discuss the eurozone crisis, apart from key international issues like Iran, Syria, Myanmar and North Korea at their crucial summit at Camp David in the US.

President Barack Obama, who welcomed the G-8 leaders at Camp David outside Washington, said that the European situation held "extraordinary" importance for the US. He emphasised the need for G-8 to discuss "a responsible approach to fiscal consolidation that is coupled with a strong growth agenda."

Following a dinner among the leaders at the presidential retreat at Camp David last night, a top Obama administration official said the leaders believe there is a sense of urgency on the issue of Iran and that the onus is on the Iranians to take concrete steps to demonstrate that their nuclear programme is peaceful. They wanted to make sure the Iranians understand that they need to take concrete steps, the official said.

The G-8 comprising the US, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Russia underscored the need for a dual-track process, while also moving forward with the pressure they put on Iran. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not attending the summit. Instead, he would be represented by his predecessor and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

During the dinner which took place around a round table, the leaders also discussed Syria, North Korea, Myanmar and the importance of including women in the political process. On Syria, they discussed the Kofi Annan plan, and focussed on the need for full implementation of it.

PTI

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