ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland: The two-day summit of eight of the world’s wealthiest countries has ended in Northern Ireland without reaching any breakthrough on Syria.
The G8 leader, with deep divisions firmly in place between Russia and the west, only managed to promise efforts toward a transitional government in Syria that could include the renegade members of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who chaired the summit, said Assad could not join a transitional administration but the final statement made no reference to the issue saying only that the transitional body should be “formed by mutual consent”.
They also set no timetable for the proposed second peace conference in Geneva and the outcome contributed little to the aims put forward at the first Geneva conference last year.
The split was also clear within the other G8 members as the US plan to arm foreign-backed Syrian militants was opposed by Germany and Italy while Britain and France, which supported the idea, are themselves holding back.
British Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the leaders had forged a strong agreement on Syria despite a split with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the divides were showing through the final statement.
There were also two points of consensus on Syria.
The group pledged almost $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees inside and outside the country.
They also called for the United Nations investigation into the chemical weapons use in Syria, which the US and Britain claim were carried out by the Syrian army.
The allegations have been rejected by the Syrian government while the UN has said in an investigation that they have concrete, strong suspicion that foreign-backed forces carried out the chemical attacks.