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G-8 leaders to end meet with declaration on combating terror

Kyodo

Leaders of the Group of Eight nations were set to wrap up their two-day summit Tuesday by adopting a declaration to combat terrorism.

The leaders were expected to address in the declaration the need for rules designed to prevent multilateral corporations from avoiding taxes, while hammering out G-8 responses to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

They were also expected to address concerns about human rights violations by North Korea, including the abduction of Japanese nationals.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined Japan’s pledge at the African development summit in Yokohama earlier this month to provide about $1 billion over the next five years to help the Sahel region become resilient to terrorism, according to a Japanese official.

Tax avoidance and evasion by large multinational corporations, a big topic in Europe and the United States, and efforts to counter money laundering, were also to be addressed during the meeting.

Syria, where forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces have continued to fight for more than two years, dominated discussions at this year’s G-8 summit, which was held at the Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen in Northern Ireland.

In a communique, the leaders, who discussed Syria during a working dinner on Monday night, were expected to call for a halt to violence in the country that has killed more than 90,000 people, according to the United Nations, another Japanese official said.

They were also expected to call for an international conference on Syrian peace that has yet to take place despite efforts by the United States and Russia.

The G-8 leaders were also set to agree that their countries will provide as much humanitarian assistance as possible to address the crisis, in which more than 1.6 million Syrians have become refugees and more than 4.25 million others have become displaced within the country.

When some leaders noted the importance of intelligence in combating terrorism during Tuesday’s meeting, U.S. President Barack Obama said his government has acted lawfully in connection with its recently exposed clandestine surveillance program known as PRISM, according to one of the officials.

This year’s G-8 summit is the second for Abe, who became prime minister in December for the second time. He attended the 2007 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, when he served as prime minister for a year until September 2007.

Next year’s summit will be held in the southern Russian city of Sochi, the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.