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Blair vows to secure G8 agreements

Friday, July 8th 2005 - 21:00 UTC
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Tony Blair will seek to tie up agreements on Africa and climate change after returning to the G8 summit.

The Prime Minister is determined that his key twin aims for the Gleneagles gathering should not be thwarted by the London bombings. Mr Blair insisted talks should continue while he visited the capital on Thursday and returned hopeful of sealing deals on both issues.

He and US President George Bush paved the way for an agreement on the most difficult issue of climate change in talks early on Thursday.

Mr Bush has made it clear he will not agree to the carbon emission limits that environmentalists demand, but Mr Blair has said he will not see the President isolated by a joint statement from other members of the G8.

Instead, an official statement, due at the close of the summit, is expected to stress the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.

Mr Blair's official spokesman said that "consensus building was well under way by the time we left" and there would be a successful outcome if discussions continued in the same way.

A deal on African debt has all but been signed off, although anti-poverty campaigners want to see more aid pledged.

The Make Poverty History and Live 8 campaigners are also concerned that the summit will not send out a strong enough message on trade justice.

No moves can be made on opening western markets to developing countries until the World Trade Organisation talks in December. The end to first world subsidies, particularly in agriculture, which badly damage developing nations is much farther off.

Mr Bush has made encouraging noises on the subject but after the row over the EU budget, France and Germany might be hard to budge. African leaders will attend discussions as expected and aides stress that Mr Blair will play a full role in delivering an end of summit summary.

Categories: Mercosur.

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