June 14, 2005

Blairs gains backing for G8 plan

by brian_turner

tony-blair.jpg

Prime Minister Tony Blair has secured the support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, for the UK’s plans to write-off African debt. Mr Putin said that this must be done in conjunction with the development of democracy in those countries.

Mr Blair is seeking support for the plans, ahead of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July.

After the meeting in Moscow, part of a two-day diplomatic tour, Mr Blair said that he believes there is a “real prospect” of the G8 summit making progress on reducing African debt and climate change.

Mr Blair will hold talks with leaders in France and Luxembourg on Tuesday.

France and Germany have already agreed to double aid to the poorest countries.

On Saturday, they were among the world’s richest countries which agreed to write off the debt owed by 18 mainly African countries.

Mr Blair has secured a pledge from US President George W Bush on debt relief, but was unable to come to an agreement on measures to address climate change.

The US has consistently refused to ratify the Kyoto treaty, which restricts the emissions of the gases thought to be responsible for global warming.

Mr Putin, however said that Mr Blair’s views on climate change were “very close to our approach”. He said that Russia now supported the Kyoto agreement.

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