Byline: From OONAGH BLACKMAN Political Editor in Gleneagles
TONY Blair yesterday hailed G8 deals on aid and climate change as the triumph of hope in the "shadow of terrorism".
Defiant Mr Blair announced a pounds 1.7billion package to rebuild Palestine, an agreement to double aid to poorer nations to pounds 28billion a year by 2010, and the cancellation of debt to the most poverty-stricken countries.
The G8 also agreed to a November conference to try to break the deadlock on tackling global warming.
The Prime Minister admitted the Gleneagles summit would not end poverty in Africa overnight or stop the relentless rise in world temperatures.
But, flanked by leaders of the world's richest nations, he said: "It's a beginning, not an end, and none of it today will match the same ghastly impact as the cruelty of terror.
"But it has a pride and a hope and a humanity at its heart that can lift the shadow of terrorism and light the way to a better future."
The PM said the atrocities in London would not "obscure" the drive to end poverty and cut greenhouse gases.
In a personal statement before heading back to No10 for a terror summit, Mr Blair said: "The purpose of terrorism in not only to kill and maim the innocent, it is to put despair and anger and hatred in people's hearts.
"It is by this savagery designed to cover all conventional politics in darkness, to overwhelm the dignity of democracy and proper process with the impact of bloodshed and of terror.
"There is no hope in terrorism, nor any future in it worth living."
In a highly unusual move designed to send a strong signal to the terrorists, all G8 leaders publicly signed the final summit statement yesterday.
Mr Blair said the decision not to cancel the meeting showed the stark contrast with the "politics of terror".
In the wake of the London attacks, some of the last hurdles to Britain's bid to double aid fell away.
Japan agreed to boost its contributions and Germany dropped its opposition to the pounds 28billion target - half of which will go to Africa.
But the deal was attacked by Make Poverty History campaigners who said the extra cash was needed now not in five years' time.
It fell short of their demands for an immediate doubling of aid and failed to set a timetable to end tariffs on African exports and handouts to farmers in the West. …