Leaders at Paris Summit Issue Strong Statement on World Environment

SEVEN leading industrial powers ended summit talks yesterday with a strong statement on protecting the environment. The meeting, one of the most harmonious the Group of Seven (G-7) has held, ended several hours ahead of schedule.

The leaders of the United States, Japan, West Germany, France, Britain, Italy, and Canada also vowed to continue the fight against inflation.

Nearly half of the final 22-page statement, a long document by summit standards, was devoted to environmental issues.

The leaders expressed concern about the ``growing pollution of air, lakes, rivers, oceans and seas.'' ``Protecting the environment calls for a determined and concerted international response and for the early adoption, worldwide, of policies based on sustainable development.''

On Saturday, the leaders had called for urgent food aid for Poland and economic assistance for both Poland and Hungary.

They also received an unprecedented letter from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev seeking closer cooperation between Eastern Europe and the West.

Mr. Gorbachev proposed in broad outline a number of steps that might lead to closer cooperation, including some form of integration of East European and Western economic institutions.

Speaking to West German TV, Bonn's economic minister, Helmut Haussmann, said yesterday the West was open to the Soviet leader's ideas. ``Giving the Soviet Union observer status at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade is certainly possible,'' Mr. Haussmann said.

The summit nations also endorsed the debt-reduction strategy of the United States unveiled by Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady on March 10.

US officials had hoped that Mexico, the debt plan's test case, would come to agreement with its creditors before the conclusion of the summit. But negotiations were reportedly still going on over the weekend. While the so-called Brady plan was not mentioned by name, the communiqu'e clearly endorsed it, urging commercial bankers to ``increasingly focus'' on reducing debt service costs to compliment new loans to those countries.

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