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Bush Travels to Europe

Aired July 18, 2001 - 08:11   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: In Washington, live as we speak, there he is, in the middle of your screen there, the president of the United States as he is about to depart for his second trip to Europe, to meet with the G8 leaders, as well as a private meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is a big week for him.

This is the traditional shaking of hands for special guests at the White House before he boards Marine One for his trip.

It is really merely a travel day for him today as he goes to London for a night of rest before a series of important meetings.

Major Garrett is standing by live at the White House right now.

Major, can you give a quick preview of the president's trip?

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I can.

And just to let you know who the president is shaking hands with, it's a little unusual: It's a group of children called the Seeds of Peace. They are from countries around the world that are beset by conflicts -- India, Pakistan, the Middle East, the Balkans -- and these children come to the United States to learn about conflict resolution and ways to create peace when they go back home. The president invited the Seeds of Peace youngsters to the White House as a goodwill gesture. All those children you see in green T-shirts are whom the president and the vice president are meeting with, shaking hands, exchanging pleasantries.

As you said, the president is leaving for the first stop in his second European journey. He will land in London, have lunch with Queen Elizabeth, and then have some private meetings with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the prime minister's country retreat in Chequers. Then off to Genoa, Italy, for the G8 summit, and then for a private meeting with Pope John Paul II, in Rome, and then on to Kosovo to visit U.S. troops participating in peacekeeping missions there.

The big part of this trip is the G8 summit in Genoa, Italy. And a huge part of that agenda will be alleviating world poverty. And yesterday, the president made what aides describe as a very important speech at the World Bank, talking about ways the World Bank needs to reform itself.

Now first, what does the World Bank do? Well, it tries to deal with world poverty, putting out about $6 billion a year in loans to poor countries. The president said instead of loans, the World Bank should offer grants and direct more of them to help boost development and education in poor countries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I call on all multilateral development banks to increase the share of their funding devoted to education and to tie support more directly to clear and measurable results. I also propose the World Bank and other development banks dramatically increase the share of their funding provided as grants, rather than loans, to the poorest countries.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: What's the difference between a loan and a grant? A loan is something you have to repay, and many poor countries are saddled with billions of dollars of debt. Many activists who oppose world globalization say that debt prevents those poor countries from developing and becoming key players in the economics of the world.

What the president said is if you give them grants, then they don't have to repay the loans, are not saddled with debt, and can develop even faster.

There is only one problem with that: The World Bank is a consensus-driven organization. The United States is one member, and it would have to boost its allocation to the World Bank to provide those grants -- no specifics yet from the Bush White House on how much more the United States is willing to provide -- Carol.

LIN: Thank you very much, Major Garrett, reporting live from the White House.

As we see on our monitors here, the president of the United States is hearing towards Marine One, for a very busy trip to Europe.

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