News / Europe

Obama Calls N. Ireland Peace a Blueprint for World Conflicts

President Barack Obama gestures during a speech at the Belfast Waterfront Hall on June 17, 2013, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
President Barack Obama gestures during a speech at the Belfast Waterfront Hall on June 17, 2013, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama has called peace in Northern Ireland a "blueprint" for those living in conflict zones around the world.

During remarks Monday to a young audience in Belfast, Obama said "The terms of peace may be negotiated by leaders, but the fate of peace is up to you."

The American president arrived in Belfast Monday after an overnight flight from Washington.  He is attending a G8 summit Monday and Tuesday, likely to be dominated by the U.S. decision to arm Syrian rebels.

The summit, at Northern Irish resort Lough Erne, will bring together leaders of the world's top economies.

Obama meets Monday morning with British Prime Minister David Cameron ahead of the summit.  

The U.S. leader also plans to meet Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on the Syrian conflict.  The Russian leader has supported the government of embattled Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

The G8 summit will also address efforts to boost the world's sluggish economies.

The G8 countries (Britain, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany, Russia and the United States) account for 50 percent of the world's economic output.  But to varying degrees, they have struggled to emerge from the depths of the global recession of 2008 and 2009.

White House officials said last week that President Obama intends to brief the other seven leaders at the summit about the U.S. plan to arm Syrian rebels.  The U.S. decided last week to send weapons to the rebels, declaring it had evidence that Assad's forces have used chemical weapons.

The White House also said Obama will speak about his continuing support for the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance of telephone records of U.S. citizens and the monitoring of foreign nationals' use of the Internet.

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