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Britain, Brazil Seek Global Trade Summit

Britain and Brazil are calling for a summit of world leaders to break deadlocked world trade talks. The issue came up during a meeting in London between Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The leaders of Brazil and Britain say world trade negotiations need what Mr. Lula terms "a decisive push," and time pressures are mounting to strike a deal.

To that end, Mr. Blair and Mr. Lula say a summit of world leaders is needed, and they have pledged to push for one, but the details are still sketchy.

Mr. Lula told reporters he will stress the need to help poor countries get better trade deals to improve their economic circumstances.

"We will work to convince other world leaders about the need for an agreement that will help developing countries, and especially the poorest countries," he said. "We need concrete, urgent measures to be taken, to make our global order more balanced and more equitable."

Mr. Blair says world trade talks, known as the Doha round, are at a crucial juncture.

"This is a huge moment of decision for the world," he said. "The potential benefits are there, not just for the developing countries, those countries that are most developed, but of course also for the poorest countries in the world."

Mr. Blair said it is especially important to strike a deal this year, because President Bush's authority to negotiate without congressional debate will expire in 2007.

The Blair-Lula meeting came on the eve of two days of talks in London between trade officials from Australia, Brazil, the European Union, India, Japan and the United States.

The so-called Group of Six will discuss ways to revive the world trade negotiations, which have been snagged primarily on disputes about agricultural subsidies in developed countries.