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G8 leaders carry on summit { July 7 2005 }

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July 7, 2005, 6:46AM

Blair leaves G8 talks, but world leaders to carry on
Associated Press

GLENEAGLES, Scotland World leaders resolved to carry on with summit business in the face of deadly explosions in London today that British Prime Minister Tony Blair called terrorist attacks "designed and aimed to coincide" with the meeting.

Blair said he was leaving the summit for the day to return to London. The other leaders already protected by extraordinary security measures that local authorities said were sufficient for now would proceed with discussions on the issues of global warming and African poverty that Blair has made the centerpiece of the gathering, he said.

"Each of the countries around that table has some experience of the effects of terrorism and all the leaders, as they will indicate a little bit later, share our resolution to defeat this terrorism," a shaken Blair said in a brief statement to reporters.

"It's particularly barbaric that this has happened on a day when people are meeting to try to help the problems of poverty in Africa, the long-term problems of climate change and the environment."

This year's summit of the Group of Eight countries the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia was being held at an exclusive 850-acre golf resort under the kind of heavy security that has been the norm at these gatherings since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

At least six blasts rocked the London subway and tore open at least one packed double-decker bus in nearly simultaneous explosions during Thursday's morning rush hour. Deaths and injuries mounted and officials shut down the entire underground transport network.

"Just as it is reasonably clear that this is a terrorist attack or a series of terrorist attacks, it's also reasonably clear that it is designed and aimed to coincide with the opening of the G-8," Blair said.

There was no immediate word on who was responsible.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush had been briefed, but offered no other details. Secret Service spokesman Tom Mazur said that Bush's presence had agents monitoring the situation in London, but that the investigation was being left to British authorities.

Liz Kirkham, spokeswoman for Tayside Police Force, which covers the Gleneagles area, said no additional security precautions were being taken at the summit as a result of the blasts, as substantial measures had already been put in place.

Blair had a message for "those engaged in terrorism."

"Our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire to impose extremism on the world," he said.

Earlier, Bush and Blair met but could not bridge differences over how to tackle global warming.

"There is no point in going back over the Kyoto debate," Blair said alongside Bush after the two leaders met over breakfast.

Blair had sought to do just that at this year's summit. As host, Blair wanted the United States, along with the other countries, to set specific targets for reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The United States is the only G-8 country that has refused to ratify the Kyoto agreement which mandates greenhouse gases reductions. The international treaty took effect in February.

"Now is the time to get beyond the Kyoto protocol and develop a strategy forward," Bush said.

Seeking to emphasize areas of mutual agreement, Bush praised Blair for inviting China, India and other emerging economies to the summit and its discussions of climate change. The president says the Kyoto treaty, aside from being bad for the U.S. economy, is seriously flawed because it does not include developing nations.

Well aware of the impasse with the United States over global warming, Blair has tried to shift the debate toward increasing support for emissions controls in China, the world's second-leading emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States.

"You made a wise move, Mr. Prime Minister," Bush said.

Faryar Shirzad, a top Bush foreign policy aide, told reporters on Air Force One that final touches were being made on a G-8 declaration that that would unanimously emphasize "common ground" on climate control without detailing remaining differences. The document will state that human activity is a cause of greenhouse gases and subsequent climate change, Italian negotiator Cesare Ragaglini told reporters.

Blair said he hoped to get back on a path to consensus by the time Kyoto expires in 2012.

Bush brushed off a question on China's proposal to acquire U.S. oil giant Unocal, saying there was already a process in the government to review the takeover of American companies by foreign interests on the grounds of national security.

The meeting began Wednesday with a formal dinner hosted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of protest violence that broke out on the opening day, police many in riot gear placed a "safety cordon" Thursday around a camp several miles from Gleneagles that houses some 5,000 activists. Police blocked the main entrance to the camp and urged protesters to stay inside.

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