G8 Camp David Summit (Working Dinner)

May 25, 2012

 The Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) held a working dinner during the G8 Camp David Summit on May 18, to exchange views on major regional and political issues such as Iran, Syria, North Korea and Myanmar. The following is a summary of the meeting.

1. Iran

  1. (1) The Leaders shared grave concerns about Iran's nuclear program and concurred on the importance of finding a diplomatic solution to all outstanding issues, including possible military dimensions of its nuclear development, through an approach of "dialogue and pressure." In this connection, many Leaders expressed hope for concrete progress to be made in the next round of consultations between the EU3+3 and Iran. Some Leaders suggested that continued effective pressure was essential, noting that the process of "dialogue" was resumed as a result of the effect of "pressure" applied on Iran.
  2. (2) Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan, too, shared the concerns with others over Iran's nuclear program and hoped for progress on the next round of consultations between the EU3+3 and Iran. He said that IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano was scheduled to visit Iran the day after next for talks with the Iranian government, expressing hope that progress will be made through each and every effort. During the course of the discussions, there was an expression of appreciation to Japan for its reduced imports of Iranian crude oil despite the difficult circumstances caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Prime Minister Noda responded by explaining that the operation of all nuclear power reactors, around 50 in Japan, was now suspended, and that Japan has been compelled to increase its dependence on fossil fuel to compensate for its earlier reliance on nuclear power for 30% of its electricity supply. He reiterated that Japan, despite the considerable difficulty it is facing because of this, would continue to work with other countries so that the international community's pressure on Iran would be effective. At the same time, he pointed out the need for a very careful management of the situation regarding pressure on Iran and its impact on the world economy.

2. Syria

The Leaders expressed serious concern about the loss of life and the humanitarian crisis in Syria caused by the violence that continued for more than a year. They concurred on the need to call anew for immediate cessation of violence against citizens, urge the Syrian government to grant humanitarian personnel access to people in need of assistance, and seek progress toward a democratic political system. Highly appreciating the coordination efforts made by UN and Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Anan, in particular his six-point plan, they engaged in active discussion on how various aspects of the plan including on political transition should move forward in the future and on the need to increase members of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria and strengthen the mission.

3. North Korea

  1. (1) Prime Minister Noda stated that the missile launch by North Korea in April was a clear violation of the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and went contrary to efforts for a process of dialogue, which was about to start thanks to the tenacious efforts of the United States, with a view to eventually resolving the outstanding issues. At the same time, he expressed his high regard for the G8's prompt release of an emergency foreign ministers' statement that gave the impetus for a tough-worded statement by the U.N. Security Council President. He also stated that the international community should make clear that any wrongdoing will not be rewarded, and that the international community, including the G8, should convey their united and firm resolve to North Korea to prevent further provocations. While pointing out that North Korea's uranium enrichment program and related activities, in particular, were in violation of the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and the Six-Party Joint Statement, the Prime Minister referred to the importance of the role played by the People's Republic of China in resolving the issue. He expressed his gratitude for the continued support and cooperation of each G8 nation on the abduction issue and asked for their further support.
  2. (2) Other Leaders voiced agreement with the Prime Minister and stated that North Korea's provocative acts threatened the stability of the region. They concurred on the importance of the G8 uniting and cooperating closely. Points were made about the need to call for a response from the U.N. Security Council should there be further provocations, and concerns were also expressed over North Korea's nuclear program, including uranium enrichment.

4. Myanmar

  1. (1) All Leaders welcomed substantive progress toward Myanmar's democratization and national reconciliation. They highly regarded the efforts of Myanmar's government and citizenry and shared the view that it was important for the international community to extend support to secure lasting and irreversible reform. During the discussions, it was pointed out that the reform was not yet complete and that it should not be allowed to backslide. Opinions were also expressed about the need for coordination among aid donors and the importance of making foreign investment in a manner benefiting people.
  2. (2) Prime Minister Noda said he met with President Thein Sein three times, including during President Thein Sein's visit to Japan for the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting in April, and reiterated that through those meetings he became convinced that the President was serious about carrying out reforms. He said that President Thein Sein's efforts toward democratization, national reconciliation, and economic reform had made substantial progress and that the international community should not seek to find fault and make hasty criticisms. Rather, he said, it should give Myanmar due praise where progress has been made, and encourage the country to continue further progress.

5. Others

There were also some discussions regarding the importance of women's role in politics and economy (in development in particular).

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