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Economy: G-7 Renews Debt Relief Pledge

Okinawa, 21 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Leaders of the group of seven most industrialized countries have renewed their pledge to implement a massive package of debt relief for the world's poorest countries. In a statement today from Okinawa, Japan, leaders from the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada said they would make fresh efforts to fulfill a year-old promise to provide up to $100 billion in debt relief for some 40 poor countries.

Debt relief is just one initiative being explored to help counter criticism that globalization is helping rich countries and multi-national corporations, while leaving millions of the world's poor behind.

The G-7 countries plus Russia also are expected, before their discussions close on Sunday, to offer increased help to fight the deadly disease AIDS in poor nations.