Schroeder to meet Bono andBob Geldof at G8 summit

6th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 July 2005, EDINBURGH - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will be meeting leading anti-poverty activists and rock stars Bob Geldof and Bono ahead of the G8 meeting of leading industrial nations which opens later Wednesday.

6 July 2005

EDINBURGH - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will be meeting leading anti-poverty activists and rock stars Bob Geldof and Bono ahead of the G8 meeting of leading industrial nations which opens later Wednesday.

Schroeder was among the first Group of Eight (G8) leaders to arrive in Gleneagles for the three-day meeting being hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The eight leaders from Britain, the United States, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia are meeting amid tight security at the posh Gleneagles golf resort.

Preparations for the meeting have been marred by violent clashes between riot police and hardline anti-capitalist protesters armed with bricks and iron bars in Stirling, not far from the summit venue.

Several dozen protesters, believed to include anarchists from several European countries, were arrested, and eight police officers required hospital treatment.

Police officials said a protest march to the edge of the Gleneagles Hotel would now go ahead despite an earlier ban.

Meanwhile, celebrities and charity organisations continue to press G8 leaders to back up their pro-development rhetoric with real action.

Schroeder's meeting with U2 lead singer Bono and Geldof is part of the two rock stars' celebrity-driven campaign for an increase in G8 aid, trade and debt relief benefits for African nations.

The two men organised the Live 8 rock concerts held in several world capitals last weekend and Geldof is currently in Edinburgh as part of a 'Long March to Justice' campaign to lobby G8 leaders directly for more help for Africa.

Geldof, who was also the brains behind the original Live Aid concerts in 1985 to raise funds to fight the famine in Ethiopia, told reporters he was hoping for a "historic breakthrough" on African poverty at the G8 summit.

The rock star is organising a Final Push Live 8 concert in Edinburgh on Wednesday - but Schroeder and other G8 leaders will not be in the audience.

Instead, the world's most powerful men - there are no women in the group - will be wining and dining with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the Michelin-starred restaurant at the Gleneagles Hotel.

Blair told reporters the Scottish specialty haggis would be on the dinner menu despite French President Jacques Chirac's disparaging comments about the dish in a recent meeting with Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The British leader, clearly buoyed by the International Olympic Committee's selection of London over Paris to host the 2012 Olympics, said he had not spoken to Chirac since the decision.

But he insisted that he did not expect the IOC move to affect G8 decisions on aid to Africa.

G8 sources said officials were still negotiating the final details of the statements to be issued by leaders on Friday.

"Good progress" was being made on tackling climate change, with the U.S. President George W. Bush expected to agree to a reference in the final text to scientific evidence of climate change.

The final statement would also contain references to U.S. demands that countries must invest in clean energies and research and development in the sector, they said.

However, difficulties still remained on whether the statement should include a specific reference to increasing aid for Africa, the officials said. "The U.S. and Canada are still reticent," a G8 official told DPA.

Earlier, Bush and Schroeder made separate but similar statements insisting that G8 nations must focus their aid efforts on African countries which practise good governance.

Good governance must be rewarded, Bush said in a statement made in Denmark. In an article published in the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, Schroeder said "good governance" should be the criterion for debt relief measures for African countries.

Schroeder said G8 leaders should also "send a signal to calm oil markets." High oil prices were the result of "purely speculative" action on world oil markets because oil supplies were adequate, he added.

DPA

Subject: German news

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