Source Pravda.Ru

Blair and Bush: joint initiative for Africa

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has arrived in the US for talks with &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/15580_usa.html ' target=_blank>George W Bush on aid to Africa and climate change ahead of next month's G8 summit.

The leaders are due to announce a joint initiative for Africa after the talks.

Before the PM left the UK, his official spokesman played down expectations for the meeting with the US president. The talks come as scientists in the world's leading nations have agreed an unprecedented statement urging action on climate change.

The statement, which will be issued on Wednesday by the science academies of the G8 nations, as well as China and Brazil, has already been seen by world leaders who will be at the G8 meeting in Scotland in July, tells BBC News.

According to the Scotsman, Bush and Blair are to hold a news conference this afternoon, where they are expected to announce their joint initiative. They will call on other countries to increase their commitment to address humanitarian emergencies in Africa, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not been formally made.

Blair’s US visit is part of a blitz of trips to lobby foreign leaders ahead of the Scotland summit. In coming weeks, Blair is to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/politics/2003/03/10/44206.html ' target=_blank>Gerhard Schroeder.