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G-8 finds some ground for agreement on Syria, but differences remain

Tuesday - 6/18/2013, 3:40pm  ET

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) -- The host of the just-concluded G-8 summit, Britain's David Cameron, says it's "unthinkable" that Bashar Assad could play a role in a future Syrian government.

But Syrian ally Russia isn't ready to share that view. So a joint statement issued at the end of the summit stops short of demanding that Assad be removed as Syria's leader. The statement calls for a negotiated Syrian peace settlement that would bring a "united, inclusive and democratic" government.

In addition to the disagreement over Assad's future, there are also differing views on the arming of rebels in Syria. Russia's Vladimir Putin says sending arms supplies to the opposition will destabilize the situation even further. Putin also referred to last month's killing of an off-duty British soldier in London, as he warned that weapons sent to Syria might end up being used to kill people in Europe.

And Russia isn't ready to accept the claim that Syria's Assad has used chemical weapons in the civil war -- a claim that was repeated today by Britain's Cameron. Putin rejected that statement as unproven.

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159-a-17-(Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at news conference)-"and the Russians"-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Russian leader Vladimir Putin has moved some distance towards other G-8 leaders on Syria. (18 Jun 2013)

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