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Obama, G8 leaders to discuss Iran, European crisis

The two-day summit, however, does not include new Russian President Vladimir Putin.



Washington: US President Barack Obama and the G8 leaders, attending the summit meeting at the Camp David, would discuss a wide range of global issues at the top of which would be the Iranian sanctions, Burma crisis and the economic crisis in Europe, a top presidential aide has said.

"The message will be that the Iranians should seize this opportunity. And while this goes on, in parallel, the sanctions and pressure effort will continue, led by the United States and the others who will be at the table on Friday evening," US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told reporters at a news conference yesterday, giving details of the Camp David summit of G8 leaders.

The two-day summit meeting beginning on Friday evening with a dinner, however, does not include new Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ahead of the meeting, Obama would meet new French President Francois Hollande at the Oval office of the White House. This is for the first time that the G8 Summit is being held at Camp David.

Besides Iran, Donilon said he expects G8 leaders to discuss Syria, North Korea, Burma.

"There`s been remarkable progress in Burma, and the leaders will want to engage on this on Friday evening. Burma`s at the start of a long but promising path towards democracy. As you know, the (US) President`s made this a top priority," he said, adding that the main focus of the meeting would be on security issues.

However, on Saturday the focus will turn to the economy, he said.

"The global economy, especially the economic situation in the eurozone, is going to be at the top of the agenda. This is the first opportunity for the leaders of the major developed economies to meet face to face since President Hollande`s election in France and the political events in Greece.”

"This of course also will be the first G8 meeting for Prime Minister Monti of Italy and Prime Minister Noda of Japan. And obviously this comes at a very delicate time with respect to the European economy, the eurozone economy," the top Obama aide said.

After the discussion on the global economy, focusing again on Europe, there will be separate, sequential sessions devoted to the following topics: Energy and climate, food security that would include a working lunch on food security attended by four African heads of states, from Benin, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia.

G8 leaders would have another session on Afghan economic transition. "This is obviously important, as we`ve put together the non-security aspects of the follow-up in Afghanistan post-2014. That is, how is Afghanistan going to come out of its war economy into a stable economic situation? And what are the needs that it`s going to have from the international community?" he said.

Responding to questions, Donilon said the leaders are also expected to discuss the current oil situation.

"The leaders and we have been engaged in an ongoing way in monitoring the global oil situation, particularly in light of the effective sanctions that we`ve had on Iran and its effect on oil markets. We`ll continue that monitoring," he said.

PTI

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