Bush Advises Blair Not to Expect Special Treatment at G-8 Summit
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
LONDON, July 4 -- President Bush told British Prime Minister Tony Blair to expect no favors at this week's Group of Eight summit of major industrialized countries in return for backing the war in Iraq. Blair, who has made tackling global warming and relieving African poverty the goals of his year-long presidency of the G-8, will host fellow leaders at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland from Wednesday to Friday.
"I really don't view our relationship as one of quid pro quo," Bush told Britain's ITV1 television in an interview. "Tony Blair made decisions on what he thought was best for keeping the peace and winning the war on terror, as I did."
Reports that a last-ditch round of negotiations by G-8 officials over the weekend would result in an accord in some way recognizing the science behind global warming were bolstered by French President Jacques Chirac, who said on Sunday that the G-8 leaders were "heading toward an agreement."
A Canadian official said late Monday that there had been "significant progress" on a climate change text, while Britain's top G-8 negotiator, Michael Jay, said he sensed a desire to reach an agreement.
But Bush was cautious. Environmental experts said that, rather than risk an open rift, the eight nations had decided on an accord offering the barest minimum on global warming.
"If this looks like Kyoto, the answer is no. The Kyoto treaty would have wrecked our economy," Bush said in the interview, recorded last Wednesday and broadcast on Monday.
The other G-8 members are Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia.
Meanwhile, during a protest Monday in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, a small group of anarchists sparked scuffles between riot police and demonstrators.
At least two police officers were injured in clashes, and several people fainted in the crush. Police said there had been 30 arrests related to the protests.
The demonstrations began peacefully as protesters, banging drums and shaking bells, marched and danced into waiting police containment cordons.
The demonstrations were part of a variety of protests that began Saturday with a 200,000-strong march through the city calling for an end to poverty in the developing world, especially Africa.
On Monday, black-clad and masked members of the Black Bloc, an anarchist group based in Germany and Scandinavia that has been prominent in protests at past G-8 summits, mingled with other demonstrators dressed as fairies and clowns.