The Insider

Article excerpt

African leaders will meet with G-8 members today. Representatives will be from Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria and Uganda. Among likely topics are debt relief, poverty, AIDS and international peacekeeping operations. Also on today's agenda:

-- President George Bush will give his final summit news conference at 4 p.m. in Savannah. This will give the president a chance to talk about some of the main issues of the summit and some of his one-on-one meetings. It will also pose the biggest potential for protests because Bush will be in Savannah instead of the secluded Sea Island summit spot.

-- Following the president's news conference, other world leaders will have their own meetings with their countries' media, starting with Germany at 4:50 p.m. and continuing until Japan at 6:30 p.m.

The word

For being the G-8 Summit, there was certainly plenty of discussion Wednesday of NATO. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have raised the idea NATO should have a role in rebuilding Iraq -- a comment that has raised the ire of France's leadership.

NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its membership includes Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

NATO was formed in 1949 as a military alliance to deter and defend against communism. Its role since then has been mostly of collective security.

Other developments Wednesday:

Japan commitment: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reaffirmed Japan's commitment to help Arab reforms and self-rule in Iraq. He also thanked Jordan for the country's support following the April abduction of three Japanese in Iraq. They were later released.

Help for Iraq: Jordan agreed to continue extending aid to Iraq.

No nukes?: Washington was told North Korea could be more open to giving up nuclear weapons in return for economic aid and supplies. …