LONDON – Two weeks before a Group of Eight (search) summit in Scotland, the nations' foreign ministers agreed Thursday on a host of issues, including Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, Iran's nuclear program and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (search) insisted Israel's disengagement from Gaza must be peaceful and urged Middle Eastern countries not to turn a blind eye to terrorism.
Rice, in London after a tour of the region, called on the Palestinian authority to rein in militants and said neighboring countries must fight terrorism.
"There cannot be a blind eye to the activities of states that are supporting terrorist groups, whether it be the Syrians, the Palestinians, Islamic Jihad which is headquartered in Damascus, or the Iranians who have never supported the peace process and continue to support terrorists," she said.
Syria (search) hosts the headquarters of the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and also has close ties with the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is also supported by Iran.
Earlier Thursday, Rice met with top officials from Russia, the European Union and the United Nations to discuss the road map to peace in the Middle East.
The so-called Quartet said in a statement the Gaza withdrawal should revitalize the road map peace process and encouraged the two sides to "move closer to the goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security."
Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah joined the G8 talks, which discussed how to stem the flow of narcotics from Afghanistan.
The country last year supplied more than 90 percent of the world's opium, the raw material for heroin, sparking warnings it was turning into a narco-state just three years after the fall of the Taliban.
"We recommitted ourselves and the international community to a long-term relationship with the people of Afghanistan and its government as there is still a very great deal to do given the legacy of the Taliban," said British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
The G8 ministers urged North Korea to resume six-party disarmament talks with South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. A statement released by Straw, who chaired the summit, said, "North Korea's record of WMD-related activities ... remains of profound concern."
The close-of-summit statement also fully supported diplomatic efforts led by Britain, France and Germany to persuade Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment activities.
Uranium enriched to low levels can be used as fuel in nuclear reactors to generate electricity, but further enrichment makes it suitable for a nuclear bomb. The European Union and the United States don't want Iran to have its own nuclear fuel cycle.
Rice called on Iran "to live up to their international obligations not to seek a nuclear weapons program" and said she backed Europe's diplomatic efforts.
Some of the strongest words were reserved for Zimbabwe, where thousands of people have been forced from their homes in what President Robert Mugabe says is an urban cleanup operation. Mugabe's political opponents say the monthlong campaign is meant to punish its supporters for voting against the ruling party in recent parliamentary elections.
"We believe that there really is a high responsibility placed on African leaders not to continue to turn a blind eye to what is going on in Zimbabwe," said Straw. "If the reports are simply half true — and we believe them to be much more than half true — this is a situation of serious international concern."
The closing statement said those responsible for "massive violations of human rights in Sudan should be prosecuted and brought to justice." Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 2 million displaced since fighting broke out between government forces and rebel factions in Darfur more than two years ago.