Who's in it for the oil now? 

Among other things discussed at the G8 summit was debt relief for Iraq:

Mr. Bush held his news conference after a day largely given over to discussions on how to help the world's poorest nations, especially those in Africa. He and his counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan — the Canadian prime minister, Paul Martin, left early — had lunch with the leaders of six African countries.

The Group of 8 leaders endorsed a plan to encourage international cooperation in research to develop a vaccine for AIDS. They pledged to do more to combat famines, and to support the establishment of larger peacekeeping forces for use in Africa. They also committed themselves to extending the life of the main international program for reducing the debts of the poorest countries. But they failed to agree on a plan promoted by Britain to cancel all the debt of those poor countries.

The leaders also remained deadlocked over how much of Iraq's debt to forgive. French officials said Mr. Chirac had made clear his position that given its oil reserves, Iraq should be able to pay off much of its debt, a stance opposed by the United States, which is pressing for all or most Iraqi debt to be forgiven.


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