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title: 'G8 summit Putin Cameron win win over Syria communique' published: true publish_date: '31-08-2016 14:56' taxonomy: category:

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    The leaders of the G8 countries have agreed a joint statement on Syria which does not specifically call for president al-Assad to go, a position robustly defended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. VoR's Tim Walklate spoke to VoR reporter Scott Craig who was at the announcement. UK Prime Minister David Cameron admitted the talks over the Syrian conflict had been “difficult.” He said: “the first priority would be to help those caught up in the conflict”. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the discussions on Syria had been “a joint decision with great interest demonstrated”.He described the final statement as “an effective joint and common solution to Syria”. But when asked why there had been no agreement furthering the peace conference in Geneva, Cameron said: “Every day without a peace conference is another day of violence and destruction. Clearly you need not just the regime and the opposition to say they are willing to take part, you have to be negotiating about delivering a transitional government which has full executive power.” On the talks between Russia and the US towards achieving a dialogue in Geneva Cameron said: “I commend the work of Russian Foreign Secretary Lavrov and US Secretary of State Kerry”. He said: “It is no secret there were very different views, but we all share a common interest in bringing this to an end.” He said al-Assad “has blood on his hands. He has used chemical weapons.” PM Cameron said he wanted “a Syria free from Assad.” When asked whether Russia’s President Putin had blocked a statement calling for al-Assad to go, Cameron replied: “What we have done is achieved a strong and purposeful statement on Syria, including that there should be a UN investigation into the chemical weapons in Syria. I don’t believe a price has been paid.” Separate statement from Russia Russia will issue a separate statement on the use of chemical weapons in Syria as an attachment to the joint declaration, underscoring the divergence of opinions on the issue among the participants of the summit, a senior Russian diplomat said. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the statement would clarify the Russian position on several aspects of the G8 document, including the investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. He redismissed Western claims that Assad's forces used chemical weapons against the armed opposition as unproven, and said a new investigation involving a team of independent international experts must be launched to determine the validity of such claims. The G8 communique The joint communique signed by all the G8 leaders said: “We are determined to work together to stop the bloodshed and loss of life in Syria and to support the Syrian people to establish peace and stability through political means. We are gravely concerned at the appalling human tragedy that the UN estimates has cost the lives of over 93,000 people and led to 4.2 million internally displaced persons and 1.6 million refugees. “We acknowledge the vital humanitarian role played by neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, above all Lebanon and Jordan, in dealing with the significant economic and security pressures they are facing as a result of the conflict and refugee influx. “Given the extraordinary humanitarian need as reflected in the latest UN appeal for $5.2 billion in 2013, we are resolved to make exceptional contributions commensurate with the scale of the problem. “At this meeting G8 Leaders confirmed additional contributions of almost $1.5 billion to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and its neighbours. We recognise that further contributions will be needed given the scale of the challenge. "We urge other countries and organisations to make similar commitments. "We call for aid agencies to be given immediate access to provide humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need, in accordance with humanitarian principles and international law, particularly in the worst affected areas such as Qusayr. “We remain committed to achieving a political solution to the crisis based on a vision for a united, inclusive and democratic Syria. We strongly endorse the decision to hold as soon as possible the Geneva Conference on Syria to implement fully the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, which sets out a number of key steps beginning with agreement on a transitional governing body with full executive powers, formed by mutual consent. “As the Geneva Communiqué says, the public services must be preserved or restored. This includes the military forces and security services. However all governmental institutions and state offices must perform according to professional and human rights standards, operating under a top leadership that inspires public confidence, under the control of the transitional governing body. “Both sides at the Conference must engage seriously and constructively. They should be fully representative of the Syrian people and committed to the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and to the achievement of stability and reconciliation. We will engage actively with the parties in order to achieve successful outcomes. "We condemn any use of chemical weapons in Syria and call on all parties to the conflict to allow access to the UN investigating team mandated by the UN Secretary-General, and drawing on the expertise of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and World Health Organisation (WHO), in order to conduct an objective investigation into reports of use of chemical weapons. "The UN team should make their report and deliver it to the UN Security Council for their assessment. "We are determined that those who may be found responsible for the use of chemical weapons will be held accountable. "We emphasise the need for the secure and safe storage of all chemical weapons in Syria, pending their destruction under international verification. "We also condemn in the strongest possible terms all human rights violations and abuses in Syria, committed by anyone, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians. We call on all sides to respect international humanitarian and human rights laws, noting the particular responsibility of the Syrian authorities in this regard." Putin and Obama agree closer ties

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