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Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 19:45 GMT
'Cynics' blasted by Blair
Tony Blair inspects a guard of honour at Abuja, Nigeria
Nick Assinder

Tony Blair has arrived in Ghana from Nigeria where he had earlier launched his fiercest attack yet on the "cynics" who criticise his global ambitions.

Addressing Nigeria's national assembly in the capital, Abuja, he said there is nowhere to hide from international terrorism, crime and drug traffickers.

And, without naming the Conservative Party or other critics, he said: "The cynics say 'why should we succeed now when we have failed before', but that is what they have said throughout human history.

"If we listened to them we would still be in the dark ages."

Dictatorships to democracies

The prime minister told the assembly that progress has been made in many African states.

A number of them that only a few years ago lived under military dictatorships were now democratic.

And in a clear warning about his view of global terrorism he said: "Politics is global. The threat of terrorism and religious fanaticism cannot be escaped."

"There is no leafy suburb far from the reach of bad things and bad people."

Military plans

The prime minister also announced that Britain along with the UN would be ready to offer training to military forces in Africa to combat internal conflict.

He drew the line at sending more troops into the continent.

But he underlined the fact that by having advisers in areas like Sierra Leone and Ghana, local forces can help combat local violence.

The prime minister also underlined the need to forge ahead with the partnership of African nations, aimed at bringing the continent into a new role on the world stage.

This will be a "down payment on a decent future", he said.

The BBC's Nick Robinson reports from Ghana
"He genuinely believes this is the right thing to do"
See also:

07 Feb 02 | UK Politics
In Africa with Blair
07 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Blair hails new era for Africa
07 Feb 02 | Africa
Blair begins African tour
07 Feb 02 | Africa
Blair's African contrasts
07 Feb 02 | Africa
Low-key reception for Blair
06 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Blair back to world stage
08 Jan 02 | UK Politics
Perils of a globetrotting PM
08 Jan 02 | UK Politics
Blair flies home to frosty welcome
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