Harper lauds G8 declaration on Syrian conflict despite lack of consensus

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland – Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the outcome of the G8 summit was better than he expected.

On the eve of the summit in Northern Island, Harper had said the gathering of world leaders was basically the G7 plus one — Russia — when it came to the issue of Syria.

But as the two days of talks wrap up, Harper now says the G8 leaders are on the same page on Syria.

He says the G8 statement on Syria marks a real shift by Russia, a staunch ally of the regime of President Bashar Assad.

While the statement condemns the use of chemical weapons, it does not actually acknowledge any were used.

The Russians have cast doubt on American claims that Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against the Syrian rebels.

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