Seeking a Syria consensus despite US-Russia divide

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By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) — The leaders of major economic powers are declaring themselves dedicated to a political solution to Syria's bloody civil war, even as President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin stake out diametrically opposite stands on which side deserves military support.

Ahead of a Group of Eight joint statement on Syria to be issued Tuesday, the U.S. remained committed to Obama's recent decision to arm the rebels and Russia did not budge from its weapons sales to President Bashar Assad's regime.

Yet even as Obama found common ground among European allies against Putin at a G-8 summit in Northern Ireland, Obama also struggled to convince some of those same allies to join him in sending armaments to the Syrian opposition.

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