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January 25, 2022

Syria persists as G8 weighs counterterror, tax evasion

Leaders from the G8 nations are using a second day of talks to discuss countering terrorism and corporate tax evasion, while also seeking a consensus on how to address the situation in Syria, the Voice of America reports.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday he wants the group to sign a “very clear statement” that nations should never pay ransom for terrorist kidnappings.
The agenda for the final day of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland also includes an effort to close loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying taxes in their home country.
The first day of talks were characterized by divisions on Syria, with Russia facing criticism for its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in sideline talks Monday that the violence in Syria must end, but acknowledged they have different opinions on the crisis.
Neither mentioned whether they discussed U.S. plans to send arms to the Syrian rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia has been sending weapons to the Syrian government, saying it is only fulfilling contracts. President Obama announced Monday that the United States will provide another $300 million to feed, shelter and provide medical care for the nearly 5 million war refugees inside and outside Syria. Much of the money will go to helping Syrians living in camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt.
The White House says it recognizes the strain that the refugee crisis is imposing on these nations, but urges them to keep their borders open to those fleeing the war.
The United States is the world’s largest contributor of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees. It has given almost $815 million over the last two years.
The G-8 summit at the Lough Erne resort in Northern Ireland is being hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron. The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan also are in attendance. The G8 countries account for 50 percent of the world’s economic output. But they still are struggling to emerge from the depths of the global recession of 2008 and 2009.

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