Leaders from the Group of Eight (G8) leading industrialized powers
concluded their annual summit on Friday with a pledge to deliver
aid promises to
concerns over regional security.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that aid promises
made by the G8 nations to Africa will be delivered.
"We are aware of our responsibilities and our obligations will
be fulfilled," Merkel said during a meeting with African leaders at
an outreach session of the G8 summit in the northern German Baltic
The G8 leaders agreed on an aid package of US$60 billion to
fight AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other killer diseases in
About US$30 billion from the aid package have been pledged by
the United States, and Germany has also announced an offer of 4
billion euros (US$5.5 billion) to fight diseases in Africa.
International activists, however, said they were disappointed by
the inaction of the developed countries.
Meanwhile, the G8 leaders urged Iran to suspend all
enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and to fully
cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In a statement issued at the conclusion of the three-day summit,
the G8 said it is still committed to resolving the Iranian nuclear
issue by diplomatic means.
The G8 leaders also voiced their support for the six-party talks through which the
international community is making efforts to solve the nuclear
issue on the Korea Peninsula.
The leaders urged the Sudanese government to accept an
international peace mission designed to solve the humanitarian
crisis in the Darfur region. They underlined that "there is
no military solution" to the conflict in Darfur.
The leaders also called for a prompt conclusion of the
deadlocked Doha Round trade talks.
We "call on all WTO members to demonstrate constructive
flexibility to bring these negotiations to a prompt successful
conclusion," the G8 leaders said in a statement.
On Thursday, the G8 leaders sealed a compromise on climate
change which Merkel described as a "real turning point."
Merkel told reporters that the leaders have agreed to
"substantially" cut greenhouse gases in the fight against climate
change, which is a "great success."
Still, environmental organization Green Peace said it was
disappointed by the G8 agreement.
"This is too little," said Green Peace, noting that the G8
leaders have finally failed to agree on binding targets.
Germany, which holds the rotating G8 presidency, has called for
actions to limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees
Celsius this century, which experts say requires a global reduction
in emissions of 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
However, the United States, the world's biggest greenhouse gas
producer, had voiced "fundamental opposition" to mandatory targets,
making climate change one of the most controversial issues during
the upcoming G8 summit.
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday highlighted the principle
of "common but differentiated responsibilities" in tackling climate
"We should adhere to the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities established in the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change," he told the outreach session between the G8
nations and five major developing countries.
This principle, which recognizes differences among countries in
the level of economic development, historical responsibility and
current per capita emissions, forms the basis for maintaining and
promoting future international cooperation, said Hu.
"Climate change is an environmental issue, but it is, in
essence, a development issue," he said, adding that it occurred in
the course of development and should be resolved in the context of
On another contentious issue concerning the US plan of a missile
defense system in Central Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin
made a surprise offer to his US counterpart George W. Bush.
Putin told Bush that Moscow would not oppose a US plan of a
radar-based missile defense system in Europe if it was deployed in
Azerbaijan instead of Central Europe.
According to US National Security Adviser Steve Hadley, defense
experts from the two sides will discuss the possibility of Putin's
Putin said he was satisfied with talks with Bush and explained
that an Azerbaijan-based US missile defense shield would alleviate
Russia's concerns about it, which would cover all of Europe rather
part of it.
Reports said that the two leaders also agreed to a strategic
dialogue involving military and diplomacy.
The meeting between the two on the sidelines of the G8 summit
was aimed to reduce high tension between the two sides over the US
plan of deploying the missile defense shield in the Czech Republic
Meanwhile, G8 leaders called for more efforts to adjust global
imbalances in the world economy, although they appeared upbeat
about the world economy.
They also pledged to intensify anti-corruption efforts, both at
the national and international levels, terming the fight against
corruption as "one of the most important tasks of the G8."
(Xinhua News Agency June 9, 2007)