Nightly News   |  June 17, 2013

Syrian civil war at top of G-8 agenda

On Monday in Northern Ireland, President Obama spoke with Vladimir Putin in a meeting that was more cordial than expected. Regarding Syria, seven of the G-8 countries find themselves on one side while Russia is on the other. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> getting a lot of attention at the g8 summit . syr syria . and chuck todd has more.

>> reporter: when leaders of the world's largest democracies gather, they focus on the global economy . this comes a precarious time in the syrian civil war . seven g8 countries on one side, and the other on the other, russia. president obama had to leave his clubs stateside and immediately get down to business. talks on agenda? finding common ground with russia on syria . both leaders admitted they disagree how to deal with syria . but putin went out of his way to talk about a negotiated settlement.

>> we have different perspectives, but we want to reduce violence, securing chemical weapons .

>> translator: we want to stop the violence in syria , and to solve the situation peacefully, including by bringing to the negotiation table in geneva.

>> reporter: putin's words today, decidedly more measured than yesterday, when he met with prime minister david cameron .

>> translator: we shouldn't back those who kill their enemies and eat their organs.

>> reporter: president obama comes to the senate, first trip to europe since winning re-election, to a more muted reception in the past. he was even given a nobel peace prize , now he's under fire for some of his policies. the nsa widely canned. the failure to shut down guantanamo bay , syria , and a perceived lack of movement on climate change. he used an old stump speech staple.

>> young people fill me with hope.

>> reporter: mr. obama came to initiate a regional trade agreement . those talks are complicated, thanks to european doubts if they can even trust the americans.