Leaders from the G8 nations have agreed to end ransom payments to terrorists holding hostages, but struggled to reach a consensus on how to deal with the two-year Syrian conflict.
As the G8 heads of state neared the end of their two-day summit in Northern Ireland, British Prime Minister David Cameron won agreement to stop making payments for the release of hostages. Hostage-taking has increased in West Africa, especially in Nigeria, where Western oil companies have prominent operations.
The G8 leaders also agreed to fight the "scourge" of tax evasion to ensure that multinational companies cannot hide their profits in overseas tax shelters.
But the leaders were struggling to reach common ground on how to deal with the deadly warfare in Syria between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels opposed to his government. There were sharp divisions between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the other leaders.
Mr. Putin, who is shipping more weapons to the Syrian government, and U.S. President Barack Obama, who has agreed to arm the rebels, met for two hours Monday, but only agreed that the conflict must end.
Later, the Russian leader acknowledged, "Of course our opinions do not converge," while Mr. Obama said the two men had "different perspectives."