At Camp David G-8 meeting, leaders "unified" on Iran
(CBS News) In opening remarks at the G-8 conference at Camp David in Maryland, President Obama said he and the other seven world leaders are "unified on our approach to Iran."
The leaders are committed to the "approach to sanctions...in combination with diplomatic discussions," the president said. "And our hope is that we can resolve this issue in a peaceful fashion that respects Iran's sovereignty and its rights in the international community, but also recognizes its responsibilities."
The president said the G-8 leaders agree that Iran has a right to a peaceful use of nuclear power, but that the country has not been able to "convince" the international community that it is not using its nuclear program for nuclear weapons.
The opening discussions of the G-8 (which includes leaders from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, Japan and Canada) took place late into the evening Friday and focused on international affairs and security.
On Syria, Mr. Obama said the leaders "believe that a peaceful resolution and political transition in Syria is preferable," and that they support former United Nation head Kofi Annan's peace plan for Syria, but that it "has to be fully implemented and that a political process has to move forward." The plan includes a cease-fire that Syrian leadership has failed to adhere.
President Obama said the leaders also agree that North Korea "is violating its international obligations," and that their path to rejoining the international community will not happen if the isolated country continues "provocative actions they have shown over the last several months." Newly-instituted leader Kim Jong Un, son of the late Kim Jong Il, launched a failed rocket in April, leading to condemnation from the international community.
The second day of the G8 meeting, which is the largest gathering of international leaders at the presidential retreat, is to focus on the economy.
We will be "spending a lot of time on economic issues," the president said, which is likely to focus on Europe's economic woes and the Eurozone - the unified European currency which could be on the verge of breaking apart.
Uncertainty in the energy markets and economic development in North Africa and the Middle East are also on the agenda, the president said.
After the G-8 meetings end this evening, the president travels to Chicago for the NATO Summit.