G-8 leaders to wrap up summit with declaration on combating terror

Leaders of the Group of Eight nations are set to wrap up their two-day summit in Northern Ireland on Tuesday with the adoption of a leaders' declaration in which they plan to commit themselves to combating terrorism.

The leaders are 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 are also expected to address concerns about human rights violations by North Korea, including the abduction of Japanese nationals by the country, a resolution of which is being sought by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

During Tuesday's meeting, Abe outlined Tokyo's pledge to provide about $1 billion over the next five years at an African development summit in Yokohama this month in a bid to help Africa's Sahel region become resilient to terrorism, according to a Japanese official.

The issues of tax avoidance and evasion by large multinational corporations, which have generated public interest in Europe and the United States, and efforts to counter moneylaundering will also 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 a communique, the leaders, who discussed Syria during a working dinner on Monday night, are 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 are 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 to realize it.

The G-8 leaders are 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 over 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 told his fellow colleagues that the United States has acted lawfully in connection with its recently exposed clandestine surveillance program, known as "Prism," according to one of the officials.

On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, Abe and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Russia also discussed the global economy, with the Japanese leader explaining his economic policies and making them an international commitment.

The leaders issued a statement on late Monday calling on Japan to define a "credible medium-term fiscal plan" that would lay out a path toward fiscal rehabilitation, while giving measured approval to Abe's economic policies, dubbed "Abenomics."

The policies, which are aimed at ending decades of deflation and reviving the Japanese economy, consist of aggressive monetary easing, large fiscal spending and a growth strategy centered on deregulation and tax breaks to spur business investment.

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.