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G8 unified on approach to Iran: Obama

The G-8 leaders are united on their current approach of sanctions, pressure and diplomatic discussions with Iran over its nuclear programme, US President Barack Obama said.

Washington: The G-8 leaders are united on their current approach of sanctions, pressure and diplomatic discussions with Iran over its nuclear programme, US President Barack Obama said on Saturday.

"We are unified on our approach to Iran," Obama said Saturday, before the G-8 leaders at the presidential retreat started their series of meetings. G-8, as it is called is the exclusive group of top eight economic nations of the world powers.

It is up of the leaders of the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.

On the discussions the G-8 leaders had at the dinner last night, Obama said they all agree Iran has the right to a peaceful nuclear programme but that the weaponisation of nuclear power is unacceptable.

"We are hopeful about the discussions that will be taking [place] in Baghdad, but all of us are firmly committed to continuing with the approach of sanctions and pressure, in combination with diplomatic discussions."

"And our hope is, is that we can resolve this issue in a peaceful fashion that respects Iran`s sovereignty and its rights in the international community, but also recognises its responsibilities," Obama said.

On Syria, Obama said they all believe that a peaceful resolution and political transition in Syria is preferable, and added that the G-8 leaders are all concerned about the violence taking place there.

Supportive of the Annan plan, Obama said that this while this will be reflected in the G8 communique, they believe that the Annan plan "has to be fully implemented and that a political process has to move forward in a more timely fashion."

All G-8 agreed that North Korea is violating its international obligations and there`s a path for them to rejoin the international community, Obama said.
That objective will not happen if the North Koreans continue along the path they`ve been on over the past few months.

Referring to their discussions on Burma, Obama said G-8 leaders "are hopeful" about the developments there.

"Our hope is that this process will continue and we`re going to do everything we can to encourage that process," he said.

Obama said G-8 leaders agreed that when it comes to economic development and peace and security issues it’s important to empower women to have a seat at the table.

Noting that their discussions so far have been "very fruitful," Obama said now they would be discussion on economy, with Euro Zone being one of the topics.

"All of us are absolutely committed to making sure that growth and stability and fiscal consolidation are part of an overall package" to achieve the kind of prosperity, he said.

Obama said they would also be talking about uncertainty in the energy markets and how to resolve some of those issues.

Also, he said they`ll talk about development in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Afghanistan.

"So far this has been a frank and useful conversation," Obama said.



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