Wednesday, June 4, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

G-8 pledges to rebuild Iraq

French President Jacques Chirac (L) stands with US President George W. Bush (C) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (R) during the family photo at the G8 Summit in Evian on Monday. 

L-R, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wave as they arrive at Hotel Royal in Evian
on Tuesday for the final day of G8 talks. 

George W. Bush (L) and Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak meet before a summit with several Arab leaders in the Egyptian Red Sea resort Sharm el-Sheikh
on Tuesday. Bush told Arab leaders at the US-Arab summit in Egypt on Tuesday that Israel had to deal with Jewish settlements as part of the US-backed Middle East peace "road map".
— Reuters photos

Evian, June 3
World leaders today closed out an annual summit by pledging to rebuild Iraq and combat the threat of nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea.

In a four-page closing statement, the Group of Eight summit countries — the world’s seven wealthiest nations and Russia — sought to move past their bitter divisions over the US-led war in Iraq by declaring that they were united in the reconstruction effort.

The statement said the G8 leaders “share the conviction that the time has now come to build peace and reconstruct Iraq.”

“Our shared objective is a fully sovereign, stable and democratic Iraq,” the G8 leaders declared in the final statement, summarised by French President Jacques Chirac, the summit host, at a closing news conference.

The G8 leaders put Iran and North Korea on notice that they will not stand by and allow them to acquire nuclear weapons, although there were differences between the USA and the other G8 countries over how far the major powers were willing to go in pressuring Iran.

A senior US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USA reads the leaders’ declaration as implicitly authorising the use of force against countries that violate international non-proliferation norms.

But Mr Chirac called this “a very bold interpretation”.

“There never was any talk of using force whatsoever. We have to have a dialogue with Iran,” Mr Chirac said at the closing news conference.

G8 leaders lent their backing to the Middle East peace roadmap as US President George W. Bush launched his first peace mission in the troubled region, and voiced support for a global settlement covering Syria and Lebanon.

The internationally-backed roadmap lists steps for an end to more than 32 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence, calls for a halt to Jewish settlements in occupied territory and the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005.

Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac has said that Europe, Russia and the United Nations still play crucial roles in the West Asia peace process even if the USA is now leading the way. Agencies

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