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Blair: Do more, U.S.



Published: Thu, January 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac request rich nations to be more charitable.

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday the United States must do more to address the concerns of the rest of the world if it expects support for its own policies, and he cited global warming as a prime example.

"If America wants the rest of the world to be part of the agenda it has set, it must be part of their agenda, too," he told the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a gathering of 2,500 world political and business leaders.

Blair and French President Jacques Chirac -- who appeared on a video link -- both urged the world's richest nations to provide billions of dollars to help developing countries combat AIDS, poverty and natural disasters.

Blair's unusually sharp comments directed at the United States come at a time of growing public anger in Britain over his support for President Bush in Iraq, and months before British general elections.

Alluding to one of the key issues dividing the United States from Europe and much of the world, Blair said: "I support the Kyoto Protocol. Others will not ... but business and the global economy need to know this isn't an issue that is going away."

The British leader added, however, that Bush's speech at his second term inauguration last week indicated "there is a wish to reunify" in Washington.

The World Economic Forum has taken on increased importance in recent years as globalization and common threats -- from terrorism to increased vulnerability to natural disasters -- have made nations more dependent on each other.

Chirac alluded to such interdependence, saying that natural disasters, political unrest, uncontrolled migration and extremism are "breeding grounds for terrorism."

Blair and Chirac said large-scale assistance for the poor can only make the world a more stable place, but outlined different scenarios on how to get there. Prevented by bad weather from coming to Davos, Chirac suggested in his video message from Paris that rich nations raise billions of aid dollars through new taxes and other measures.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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