Putin faces isolation over Syria as G8 ratchets up pressure

Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:43pm EDT
 
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* Focus turns to tax, trade, transparency

* More touch talks expected on day two of G8 summit

* Obama, Putin disagreed over Syria in tense meeting

By Kate Holton and Jeff Mason

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland, June 18 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin faced further isolation on the second day of a G8 summit on Tuesday as world leaders lined up to pressure him into toning down his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Following an icy encounter between the Kremlin chief and U.S. President Barack Obama late on Monday, the G8 leaders will seek to find resolution to a war that has prompted powers across the Middle East to square off on sectarian lines.

The sticking point again will be Putin, who faced a barrage of criticism from Western leaders for supporting Assad and the Syrian's president's attempt to crush a 2-year-old uprising in which at least 93,000 people have been killed.

"It's a clarifying moment to see what kind of commitments the Russians are willing to make in a leading world forum," a British official said before the leaders met for dinner at a remote, heavily guarded golf course outside of Enniskillen.

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