On Sunday, just ahead of the 2-day conference, Harper lashed-out at Russian President Vladimir Putin over his unwavering support of Syria's Assad regime.
"I donﾒt think we should fool ourselves. This is G7 + 1. Letﾒs be blunt," Harper told reporters when asked about dialogue the other G8 leaders will have with Putin.
"We in the West have a very different different perspective on this situation. Mr. Putin and his government are supporting the thugs of the Assad regime for their own reasons that I do not think are justifiable and Mr. Putin knows my view on that."
Putin has been an ally of Assad throughout the Syrian government's 2-year brutal crackdown against its citizens who have been calling for greater political rights and freedoms.
For his part, the Russian President insists that supplying weapons to a ragtag group of rebels ﾗ as is being proposed by some of the G8 countries ﾗ is unwise.
"One does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras," he said, according to the Canadian Press, referring to a rebel who was recently videotaped cutting into a dead soldier.
"Are these the people you want to support? Are they the ones you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to the humanitarian values preached in Europe for hundreds of years."
The exchange had political analysts in this county wondering aloud why Harper would chastise Putin so publicly.
Norman Spector, political pundit and former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney, tweeted that "the charitable view of Harper's undiplomatic broadside against Putin is that he's doing Obama's dirty work in advance of Keystone decision."