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G8 leaders leave N Ireland still divided over Syria

ENNISKILLEN (NEWS1130) – The Prime Minister’s Office says Stephen Harper is expected to chat with US President Barack Obama today as the Group of Eight summit comes to a close.

Harper and Obama are not scheduled to have an official sit-down meeting, but rather to walk and talk.

The encounter comes the morning after a private dinner was held at the lakeside Lough Erne resort in Northern Ireland for the leaders of eight wealthy countries.

Reports in the British press say the other G8 leaders pressured Russian President Vladimir Putin at the dinner to agree to a joint statement condemning Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime for attacking rebels with chemical weapons.

Russia has refused to acknowledge that chemical weapons have been used. The United States, meanwhile, claims to have proof the Assad regime attacked its foes with chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin.

The G8 wraps up this afternoon.