G-8 summit begins with focus on trade, Syria


Associated Press

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 17 at 8:04 AM

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) — As the G-8 summit gets underway in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight of the world's wealthiest nations are looking for progress on lowering trans-Atlantic trade barriers.

They're also hoping to push the warring factions in Syria toward the negotiating table.

Ahead of the official welcome gathering, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have been appealing to their colleagues to take inspiration from Northern Ireland's efforts to reconcile British Protestants and Irish Catholics. Obama told an audience of 1,800 teenagers from dozens of largely segregated schools that Northern Ireland's young people must take the lead in building on the Good Friday peace accord of 1998.

Obama and Cameron then visited together one of Northern Ireland's relatively few integrated elementary schools aimed at mixing children from both communities.

The two leaders and counterparts from the European Union are expected to unveil a formal agreement today to open talks on an EU-U.S. free trade pace. It would be designed to cut tariffs, boost exports and fuel economic growth.

Later, over a working dinner, the focus will be on President Vladimir Putin and Russia's support for the Syrian government.

%@AP Links

136-w-36-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with President Barack Obama)--In Northern Ireland for the G-8 Summit, President Obama is urging the people of the province to build on the peace that he says gives hope to people in embattled countries elsewhere. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. ((opens with sound)) (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *136 (06/17/13)££ 00:36

123-a-12-(British prime minister David Cameron, in interview)-"issue of taxation"-British Prime Minister David Cameron says world leaders have chosen three specific areas they want like to address during the G8 summit meetings. (17 Jun 2013)

<<CUT *123 (06/17/13)££ 00:12 "issue of taxation"

GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama, as US President, waves as he arrives to deliver a speech at the Belfast Waterfront Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland, graphic element on gray (17 Jun 2013)

GRAPHICSBANK: David Cameron, as British Prime Minister, and Barack Obama, as US President, help students paint a mural during a visit to the Enniskillen Integrated Primary School in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, graphic element on gray (17 Jun 2013)

APPHOTO VLM167: Russian President Vladimir Putin, second right, poses with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson, right, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, left, and Joan Christie, The Queen's official representative in County Antrim, during arrival at Belfast International Airport, in Northern Ireland, on Monday, June 17, 2013. President Putin is in Northern Ireland to attend the G-8 Summit in Enniskillen. (AP Photo/ Peter Muhly, Pool) (17 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO VLM167 (06/17/13)££

APPHOTO VLM155: President Barack Obama, rear center, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, rear left, help students as they work on a school project about the G-8 summit during a visit to the Enniskillen Integrated Primary School in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Monday, June 17, 2013. The visit takes place before leaders from the G-8 nations are to gather to discuss the ongoing conflict in Syria, and free-trade issues. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool) (17 Jun 2013)

<<APPHOTO VLM155 (06/17/13)££