Live video: G8 summit at Lough Erne, County Fermanagh
The G8 summit has begun in Lough Erne, Fermanagh, as Prime Minister David Cameron hosts world leaders including US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Mr Cameron and Mr Obama met with European leaders to approve the launch of negotiations for the EU/US free trade deal.
Also around the round table in a book-lined room in the main summit hotel were German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande, Italian prime minister Enrico Letta and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Mr Barroso and Mr van Rompuy represented the EU as a whole.
Mr Cameron told them that a successful conclusion to negotiations would deliver "more jobs, lower prices in our shops and help for hard-working families".
Mr Obama said: "I am very excited about the prospects for these negotiations." He noted that, between them, the EU and US are "a massive component of the global economy".
But, in an acknowledgement of the tough bargaining expected in trans-Atlantic talks over the coming 18-24 months, the US president added: "I think they will be challenging, I think they will be tough."
Belfast Telegraph Digital