BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — President Barack Obama is appealing to Northern Ireland's youth to sustain their peace in his first opportunity to highlight the role the United States has played helping bring about reconciliation in the country.
Obama, his wife and daughters arrived at Belfast on a drizzly Monday morning. After his Belfast speech he will attend a two-day summit of the Group of Eight industrial economies.
The G-8, despite an agenda devoted to trade, economic growth and international tax issues, will be eclipsed by discussions over how to address the two-year-old conflict in Syria and the decision by the United States to begin supplying rebels with military aid.
Syria will be the focus later Monday when Obama meets on the sidelines of the G-8 with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian government has criticized the decision to arm rebels and has disputed the Obama administration's claims that Bashar Assad's regime in Syria has used chemical weapons against the opposition.
Obama also was having one-on-one meetings Monday with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Other countries that belong to the G-8 include Canada, Japan, France, and Germany.