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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Mixed reaction over Blair G8 deal
World leaders gather as the G8 summit in Gleneagles ends

Tony Blair's G8 deal has received a mixed reaction, with the Conservatives calling it a modest step forward.

The UK premier secured a 28bn aid boost in a deal hammered out at the meeting of leading economic nations.

Bob Geldof said 10 million lives would be saved: "Was it a success? On aid, 10 out of 10. On debt eight out of 10."

Conservative Foreign Affairs spokesman Liam Fox said he was disappointed over a lack of progress on trade liberalisation and on climate change.

"If it's two cheers on Africa it can only be one on the climate," he told BBC News.

Key points:

  • Mr Blair said trade discussions in Hong Kong later this year should yield an end date to agricultural subsidies.
  • Britain is to host a 1 November meeting on climate change, to assess progress.
  • Mr Blair said "only people who can change Africa ultimately are the Africans".
  • $3bn agreed for Palestinian Authority for investment in infrastructure.
  • Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo described the deal as a "success".
  • G8 commits to training 20,000 peacekeepers for Africa.
  • African leaders to commit to democracy and good governance as part of the deal.
  • Debts of the 18 poorest countries to be forgiven.

Dr Fox said trade was the key to poorer nations achieving prosperity and he added he would like to see the issue of good governance given greater attention.

On the environment he said he was disappointed by the lack of investment in cleaner technologies.

He added: "It's one thing to reach an agreement in an hotel in Scotland, it's another to get those changes implemented."

Geldof said: "Time will tell, time only will tell if this has been historic or not."

Beginning?

U2 frontman Bono, a leading anti-poverty activist, said he was "uplifted" although he acknowledged "it's not everything we've been looking for".

Africa and tackling climate change were the two issues that Mr Blair made his priorities for Britain's presidency of the EU.

The prime minister said Gleneagles deal would not change the world tomorrow, adding "it is the beginning not an end".

On climate change, he said an agreement had always been unlikely, but crucially the US had accepted that global warming was an issue.

Stephen Tindale, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: "The G8 has committed to nothing new but at least we haven't moved backwards on the environment."

The World Development Movement said the deal was an "insult" to hundreds of thousands of campaigners.

"The agreements on trade, debt, aid and climate change are nowhere near sufficient to tackle the global poverty and environmental crisis we face. "


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Tony Blair gives details of the G8 action plan for Africa



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