G-8 leaders vow to work on reducing terrorism risks

Leaders of the Group of Eight nations on Tuesday condemned terrorism of any form and vowed to cooperate in reducing terrorism risks as they wrapped up their two-day summit in Northern Ireland.

In a communique released after the summit, the leaders expressed deep concerns about North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and called on the country to abandon the programs, which Pyongyang has pursued despite international sanctions against it.

The statement also addressed the need for international rules designed to prevent multinational corporations from avoiding taxes.

In the communique, the leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States signaled the need to rebuff armed militants in western Africa, particularly in areas south of the Sahara Desert, and check the flow of weapons across porous borders there.

They shared the view that it is important to improve border control in the areas and attack poverty, as it is considered an underlying cause of instability in the region.

On ways to address tax avoidance by multinational corporations and make them pay taxes in the countries in which they do business, the leaders called for a system under which information on such companies is exchanged automatically.

The leaders welcomed the latest developments toward greater trade liberalization, such as the ongoing trans-Pacific free trade talks which Japan is set to join next month, and the recently launched negotiations for a Japan-EU free trade pact.

On Iran, which is suspected of developing a nuclear weapons capability, they called for international coordination in taking advantage of the recent election of Hasan Rowhani, who is viewed as a moderate, as Iran's new president.

But it was Syria, where forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces have waged war for more than two years, that dominated discussions at this year's G-8 summit, which was held at the Lough Erne golf resort near Enniskillen.

The leaders, who discussed Syria during a working dinner on Monday night, condemned in the communique any use of chemical weapons and all human rights violations in the country where more than 90,000 people were killed in the violence.

They strongly supported an international conference on Syrian peace, an event that has yet to take place despite efforts by the United States and Russia to realize it.

On kidnapping by terrorists, the leaders said in the communique their countries unequivocally refuse to pay any ransom to solve such cases.

Regarding Abe's economic policies, which are aimed at ending decades of deflation and reviving the Japanese economy, the leaders issued a communique late Monday calling on Japan to define a "credible medium-term fiscal plan" that would lay out a path toward fiscal rehabilitation.

They also gave measured approval to Abe's economic policies, dubbed "Abenomics," which consist of aggressive monetary easing, large fiscal spending and a growth strategy centered on deregulation and tax breaks to spur business investment.

And when some leaders during Tuesday's meeting noted the importance of intelligence in combating terrorism, U.S. President Barack Obama told the other leaders that the United States has acted lawfully in connection with its recently exposed clandestine surveillance program known as "Prism," according to a Japanese official.

This year's summit is the second G-8 leaders' meeting for Abe, who became prime minister last December for the second time. He attended the 2007 summit in Heiligendamm in 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.