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G-8 Nations Agree to  Help to Russia, Africa

The summit of eight major powers in the Canadian Rockies ended Thursday with agreement on more aid to Africa and help for Russia in dismantling its unneeded stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

A key agreement is the pledge of $20 billion over ten years for dismantling old Soviet stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. That money will come equally from the United States and the other summit countries. There were also agreements to boost cooperation in fighting terrorism and enhancing cross border security.

Summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, is particularly pleased with the summit's action plan for African development. "We adopted the G-8 Africa Action Plan and agreed to enter into an enhanced partnership with African countries committed to good governance and rule of law," he said.

Four African leaders participated in the final day of the summit.

Japan, the United States and western Europe plan to boost their assistance to Africa, with most of the new money going to countries participating in the partnership.

Summit participants leave the secluded Kananaskis Lodge in the foothills of the Rockies pleased with a new format that promoted informality and sharply curtailed the size of official delegations. Russia, the newest member of the summit group, is being added to the rotating chairmanship and will host the meeting in 2006. Next year's summit will be in France. The Canadians are relieved that this year's meeting was free of the extensive anti-globalization protests that marred last year's summit in Italy.