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Learning English - Words in the News
11 June, 2004 - Published 14:09 GMT
G8 summit ends
G8 leaders at round table meeting

The leaders of the world's leading industrial nations, the G8, have ended their summit in Georgia, USA. The summit was dominated by Iraq and a controversial deal on political reform in the Middle East. There was also some progress on debt relief. This report from Jill McGivering:

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This was a feelgood summit. Both President Bush and Tony Blair struck an upbeat note, basking in long awaited unity on Iraq. Even here the cracks are already beginning to show with France rejecting suggestions of an expanded role for NATO in Iraq. But both President Bush and Mr. Blair were determined to play that down, their focus instead on a much-trumpeted agreement on political reform in the Middle East, the spread of what President Bush called "the universal values of human dignity." All the while African leaders were vying for attention from the sidelines. They didn't come away empty-handed; there were modest gains on debt relief and the promise of tens of thousands more peacekeepers. But for the second year running the main focus was Iraq. The rest of the world took second place.

Jill McGivering, BBC News

Listen to the words

something designed to make you feel happy and positive

struck an upbeat note
appeared positive and optimistic

the cracks are already beginning to show
there are already differences of opinion

play that down
to give less importance to it


vying for attention
trying to be noticed. Here: trying to discuss issues that are important to them

with nothing

there were modest gains
some progress was made

debt relief
helping poorer countries pay back the money they owe

took second place
was less important

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