LONDON — Foreign ministers from the G-8 group of rich countries condemned "in the strongest possible terms" North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology on Thursday and called for more humanitarian aid to help civilians in Syria.
North Korea's threats of war and Iran's nuclear program topped the agenda of the foreign ministers' talks in London but little substance came out of their private meetings with members of Syria's opposition on the sidelines of the gathering.
In a communiqué issued after the meeting, foreign ministers from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Canada, and Russia urged North Korea to "refrain from further provocative acts."
"They condemned DPRK's [North Korea's] current aggressive rhetoric and confirmed that this will only serve to further isolate the DPRK," it said.
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Actress Angelina Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also addressed the ministers, urging more action to prevent sexual violence against women in conflict zones.
Leaders of the Syrian National Coalition were present on the sidelines. During a lunch meeting on Wednesday, they asked global powers for more humanitarian aid, according to a U.S. official.
The United States, which on Feb. 28 said it will for the first time give non-lethal aid to Syrian rebel fighters and more than double its aid to Syria's civilian opposition, has so far chosen not to provide arms to the rebels.
In the final statement, the ministers themselves "called for greater humanitarian assistance and for improved and safe access to the Syrian people by humanitarian agencies in co-ordination with all parties to the conflict."
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