Blair Follows Brazil’s Lula Lead and Calls for Rich-Poor Summit

Brazil and Britain have called for a summit of world leaders to give a decisive push to global trade liberalization talks.

The call came after a meeting in London between the Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

At a news conference, the two said they wanted to unblock the stalled trade talks to help the poorest countries.

The United Kingdom supports the proposal of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for a meeting of world leaders in order to disentangle the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round negotiations.

Blair believes the leaders meeting will be fundamental to press negotiations forward. He said that the G8 meeting, in Gleneagles, Scotland, showed that world leaders are not only worried with world poverty, but also that they are capable of acting together to eliminate it.

Questioned by a British journalist if the European Union should be left in charge of unblocking negotiations, Blair answered that it is necessary to convince other countries of the need of poor countries to expand world market opportunities.

Blair evaluates that if the entire international community gets involved, political changes may occur not only in Europe, but also in other countries. And he summarized that the success or failure of the Doha Round will be a strong indicator of the countries commitment with multilateral trading.

The Doha Round is the result of the IV WTO Ministerial Conference that occurred in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001, which established the parameters for the beginning of new world trade negotiations.

It should have been concluded in 2004, however, until 2005, several subjects were still being discussed to establish new rules in sectors such as agriculture, services, market access, intellectual property, antidumping, dispute settlement, electronic commerce, and public competition, among others.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair also offered his "deepest regrets" Thursday to Brazil’s president and to the family of an innocent Brazilian electrician shot and killed by police who suspected him of taking part in terror attacks on the capital’s transport system

"Let me say that we offer our deepest regrets to the family for this very tragic event and I of course assured the President that the proper and investigations and procedures would continue," Blair said.

President Lula da Silva planned to meet several of de Menezes’ cousins before flying home to Brazil later Thursday at the end of a three-day state visit.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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