September 3, 2014 / 11:55 AM / 5 years ago

Britain urges G8 countries not to pay hostage ransoms

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street, following a COBR meeting, in central London September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will increase diplomatic efforts to make sure other countries in the Group of Eight (G8) major economies stick to an agreement not to pay hostage ransoms, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday.

Leaders agreed at last year’s G8 summit to a communique rejecting the payment of ransoms and calling on other countries and companies around the world to follow their lead.

“Britain continues with this policy, America continues with this policy but we need to redouble the efforts to make sure that other countries are good to their word,” Cameron said.

U.S. and European officials have said that France, Spain and Italy have tolerated or facilitated ransom payments for citizens held in Syria.

Cameron told parliament he had no doubt that tens of millions of pounds of ransom payments were going to Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq, and were being used to promote and fund attacks that affected Britain.

His comments came after an IS video on Tuesday purported to show the beheading of a second American hostage by a man with a British accent, and issued a threat against a British hostage.

Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Stephen Addison

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