Iran and Syria Front and Center at the G-8 Summit

In their first working dinner of the two day talks, the G-8 leaders spent more than two hours discussing a broad range of security issues. But the majority of their first meeting as a group focused on Iran and Syria.

The summit at Camp David is just days ahead of the international P5+1 talks in Baghdad over concerns with the Iranian nuclear program.

"The G-8 affirmed the importance of having a unified effort in approaching this Baghdad talks next week and continued to underscore a commitment to a dual track process in which we seek a diplomatic resolution to the situation in Iran," a Senior White House official told reporters at Camp David.

The leaders also discussed additional pressure on Iran through sanctions. "The leaders noted the urgency for Iran to take concrete steps to assure the international community of its peaceful purpose of its program and those types of steps will be discussed at the upcoming talks in Baghdad," said the White House official.

Syria too was a main topic of the group's dinner meeting, as the humanitarian crisis continues. According to the White House, the leaders all agreed that the latest plan put forward by Kofi Annan should be implemented to stop violence and get monitors into the country.

But as for the Syrian government's role in the crisis, there has been some contention among leaders, mainly Russia. The White House for months has said Assad needs to step aside, but the Russians have yet to call for him to leave office. The White House says the focus of discussions was more for the overall need for transition rather than the specific regime.

Other security topics of the first G-8 working dinner included North Korea, Burma and women in the political process around the world. Saturday, the summit continues with focus around the economic crisis in the Euro Zone before most of the G-8 members proceed to Chicago Saturday evening for the NATO summit.