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Statement on the Final Day of the Summit

Gleneagles, July 8, 2005 (midday)

Prime Minister Tony Blair:

Let me just explain to you very briefly what we intend to do. Yesterday, unusually and in a demonstration of solidarity which we hugely appreciated, the leaders of the G8, and also those five countries that had come to discuss the issue of climate change, we all came together in support of a statement condemning terrorism. Today we stand again together, this time the G8 and the leaders of the African countries that have come to discuss the other major issue of the summit, on Africa. And I will say a few words now, I will then ask President Obasanjo, President of the Africa Union and the President of Nigeria, to say a few words. And we will then in a demonstration of our commitment to what we have agreed at the G8, the leaders of the G8 will sign the communiqué. We will then continue to make our deliberations over Africa.

This is the short statement I want to make. We speak today in the shadow of terrorism, but it will not obscure what we came here to achieve. The purpose of terrorism is not only to kill and maim the innocent, it is to put despair, and anger, and hatred in people's hearts. It is by its savagery designed to cover all conventional politics in darkness, to overwhelm the dignity of democracy and proper process with the impact of bloodshed and of terror. There is no hope in terrorism, nor any future in it worth living, and it is hope that is the alternative to this hatred. So we offer today this contrast with the politics of terror. Yesterday evening the G8 agreed a substantial package of help for the Palestinian Authority, amounting to up to $3 billion in the years to come, so that two states - Israel and Palestine - two peoples, and two religions, can live side by side in peace. We came here also to acknowledge our duty to be responsible stewards of the global environment. We do not hide the disagreements of the past, but we have agreed a process with a plan of action that will initiate a new dialogue between the G8 countries and the emerging economies of the world, to slow down and then in time to reverse the rise in harmful greenhouse gas emissions. And this dialogue will begin on 1 November with a meeting here in Britain.

And above all today we say, in the presence of African leaders, we come here in solidarity with the continent of Africa. We have come here to announce a plan of action, in partnership with Africa. It isn't the end of poverty in Africa, but it is the hope that it can be ended. It isn't all everyone wanted, but it is progress, real and achievable progress, it is the definitive expression of our collective will to act in the face of death, and disease, and conflict that is preventable. The $50 billion uplift in aid, the signal for a new deal on trade, the cancellation of the debts of the poorest nations, universal access to Aids treatment, the commitment to a new peace-keeping force for Africa, the commitment in return by Africa's leaders to democracy, and good governance, and the rule of law.

All of this does not change the world tomorrow, it is a beginning, not an end, and none of it today will match the same ghastly impact as the cruelty of terror. But it has a pride, and a hope, and a humanity at its heart that can lift the shadow of terrorism and light the way to a better future. And that is why in the end the politics that we represent, not just us as leaders here at this G8, but the millions of people outside of this summit who believe in progress through democracy and decent collaboration between civilised human beings, that is why in the end we are convinced the politics that we represent will win and will triumph over terrorism.

President Obasanjo:

Mr Prime Minister, we, the African leaders attending the meeting between the G8 and Africa, taking place in Gleneagles on 8 July 2005, are deeply distressed by the terrorist attacks that occurred in London yesterday, 7 July 2005. We are particularly saddened by the loss of life and seize this opportunity to condemn in no uncertain terms such mindless acts of terrorism. Africa has looked forward to this particular meeting with great expectation, arriving from the encouraging signs that the continent's problems are going to be addressed realistically and effectively by the G8, and Prime Minister Tony Blair. We therefore fail to understand what terrorists act, on the eve of such a momentous meeting, are meant to accomplish. Africa needs the undiverted attention and commitment of the G8. We are pleased that our interlocutors have affirmed their resolve not to be diverted by these terrorist acts. We join them in that resolve. We convey our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families and the government of the United Kingdom, and we reaffirm our solidarity in the fight against terrorism. The meeting of the G8 leaders and African leaders at Gleneagles is a great success and we thank and congratulate Prime Minister Tony Blair for the success achieved.

Source: 10 Downing Street


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