G8 FMs voice support for conflict prevention, resolution

The G8 foreign ministers issued a joint statement on Thursday following their meeting in London, expressing commitments on preventing and ending global and regional conflicts. The foreign ministers addressed a number of international issues, challenges and opportunities that impact on global peace, security and prosperity.

"Today the G8 foreign ministers held very purposeful and constructive talks on the theme of preventing and resolving conflict and dealing with its consequences," British Foreign Secretary William Hague told reporters after the meeting.

"Syria is of course the most urgent foreign policy issue we discussed. We all remain deeply concerned about human tragedy continuing to unfold," Hague said, adding "we agree that our immediate priorities are increasing humanitarian access."

The foreign ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to supporting a Syrian-led political transition, and the work of Joint UN and Arab League Special Representative Brahimi, based on the principles set out in the Geneva Communique.

This transition should meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enable them to democratically and independently determine their own future, the statement said. On the issue of Middle East peace process, G8 foreign ministers underscored the need for a major international effort, involving all relevant parties, including the Quartet which groups the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, to drive the peace process forward.

They urged both sides to show the bold political leadership needed to achieve peace and to work towards the resumption of negotiations without preconditions. The foreign ministers also stressed that a long term solution to the conflict can be achieved only through direct negotiations and called on parties to refrain from unilateral actions and to create an atmosphere conducive to peace.

On the Korean Peninsula situation, G8 foreign ministers "condemned in the strongest possible terms" the continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the statement said. The foreign ministers supported the commitment to strengthen the current sanctions regime and take further significant measures in the event of a further launch or nuclear test by the DPRK.

They condemned DPRK's current aggressive rhetoric, and urged the country to engage in credible and authentic multilateral talks on denuclearization and refrain from further provocative acts. On Iran, G8 foreign ministers expressed "deep concern" regarding Iran's continuing nuclear and ballistic missile activities "in violation of numerous UN Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors resolutions."

They noted that the positions of the E3+3 countries (the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France, Germany) and Iran remain far apart and called on Iran to engage "urgently, actively and constructively" in the diplomatic process.

The foreign ministers also issued a separate Declaration on the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and addressed other issues such as cyber security, climate change, maritime security and counter terrorism. The G8 foreign ministers met in London on Wednesday and Thursday.

Philippines News agency