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Bush, Chirac move toward reconciliation, G8 agrees on terrorism, weapons

US President George W. Bush and French counterpart Jacques Chirac took the first step toward mending a rift in US-French ties at a G8 summit that also yielded agreements on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and aid to Africa. While the Bush-Chirac encounter was the diplomatic photo-op of the day, the summit of the world’s most powerful leaders also got down to the global fight against terror, arms proliferation and regional crises such as the Middle East and North Korea. Bush, who left the gathering a day early for his first personal foray into the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, said he was confident of “some progress” there, but acknowledged it was a difficult mission. Among a series of declarations, G8 leaders announced the creation of a new group to counter terrorism designed to provide resources and intelligence to countries needing it most. Describing terrorism and arms proliferation as the twin evils of the modern era, they pointed to last month’s deadly bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco as proof of the threat. Full Story

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