President Obama and other world leaders at the G-8 summit Tuesday agreed in calling for an end to the two-year civil war in Syria, but the U.S. and its allies could not convince Russia to unite behind a call for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin would not explicitly endorse an agreement to force Assad, his longtime ally, to step down from power. In other words, the gathering of leaders from the largest industrial nations produced no major breakthrough on a civil war in Syria that has amassed more than 93,000 deaths and counting.
Instead of putting heightened pressure on Assad, the leaders chose to keep the focus on the atrocities in Syria.
“We strongly support the proposal for a conference to reach a political solution to the appalling conflict in Syria through full implementation of the 2012 Geneva Communiqué,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “We will contribute generously to the latest United Nations appeal for humanitarian help. We condemn in the strongest terms any use of chemical weapons and all human rights violations in Syria. We are committed to leading international support for Libya’s security and democratic transition and to urgent work for a lasting peace in the Middle East.”