G8 Backs Syria Peace Talks, Doesn’t Demand Regime Change

Russia Blocks Efforts to Mandate Assad's Ouster

The G-8 summit has capped off with a statement on Syria, but one much watered down from the initial statement pushed by the US and Britain, which demanded immediate regime change in the war-torn nation.

The final statement urges peace talks in the nation, calling on both the Assad government and the rebels to take part. The government has already agreed to it, but the rebels have repeatedly ruled out taking part.

In the end, Russia blocked the demand for a regime change, though British Prime Minister David Cameron, who argued Russia should just “go along” with whatever the rest of the G-8 want, insisted that a regime change is still the unspoken assumption.

The final statement was seen as a big victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who managed to get President Assad not even mentioned in the text by name. He went on to say that he would not rule out arming the government further.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.