G8 leaders sidestep fate of Syria's Assad in final communiqué

LONDON Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:45pm BST

LONDON (Reuters) - G8 leaders failed to mention the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a final communiqué on Tuesday that called for an end to the bloodshed and peace talks as soon as possible.

"We remain committed to achieving a political solution to the crisis based on a vision for a united inclusive and democratic Syria," according to a copy of the final communiqué seen by Reuters.

"We strongly endorse the decision to hold as soon as possible the Geneva conference on Syria," said the communiqué, which made no mention of Assad.

G8 leaders also called on the Syrian authorities and the opposition to commit to destroying all organisations affiliated with al Qaeda.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn, writing by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Maria Golovnina)