Bush, Blair Push For African Debt Relief - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/8/05-Washington, D.C.

Bush, Blair Push For African Debt Relief

President Bush and Britain's Tony Blair have announced plans to write off a big chunk of Africa's debt. They say an agreement could be ready in time for next month's G-Eight summit, which Blair is hosting in Scotland.

The goal would be complete elimination of foreign debt -- for African democracies that have committed themselves to key reforms. The President said the plan would call for G8 nations to provide additional funding for the World Bank and the African Development Bank to protect these institutions.

The two outlined the plan for reporters during a day of talks at the White House. However, the package falls short of the "Marshall Plan for Africa" that Blair has been promoting. The British leader also wants to double rich-country development aid. Bush has opposed key elements of the 10-year, $25 billion British plan, which would commit donor nations to double their aid to the poorest African nations.

In a compromise, Bush pledged an additional $674 million for "humanitarian emergencies" in Africa. Meantime, Blair again failed to get Bush to agree to new specific measures to combat global warming.

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