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G8 Condemns North Korea Over Warship

Heads of state and government pose for the family picture at the G8 summit on June 25, 2010 in Huntsville, Ontario.
G8 leaders have condemned the alleged sinking by North Korea of a South Korean warship and called on Iran to do more to respect human rights.

In a draft statement on June 26, the leaders of the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, and Russia also called on Iran to hold a "transparent dialogue" over its suspect nuclear program.

The G8 leaders also sketched out an exit strategy on Afghanistan, calling on the Afghan government to "expand the capacity of the Afghan National Security Forces to assume increasing responsibility for security within five years."

The statement also said that current tensions in Gaza "unsustainable."

The statement came at the end of a meeting of the eight powers in the resort town of Huntsville, Ontario, before the larger G20 met in Toronto.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said his country sought a closer relationship with the United States.

Hu told reporters on the sidelines of the summit that "real progress has been made in this relationship."

President Obama has invited Chinese President Hu for a state visit. Hu has accepted the invitation.

The G20 summit, whose main session is today, will focus further on the global economy.

compiled from agency reports