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    G8 backs Russia's proposal on center to control bird flu

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    Leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations gave their support to Russia's initiative to build within its territory a World Health Organization center for the fight against bird flu in Eurasia and Central Asia in a joint statement Sunday.

    ST. PETERSBURG, July 16 (RIA Novosti) - Leaders of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations gave their support to Russia's initiative to build within its territory a World Health Organization center for the fight against bird flu in Eurasia and Central Asia in a joint statement Sunday.

    "We welcome the Russian proposal to establish the WHO Collaborating Centre on Influenza for Eurasia and Central Asia, subject to meeting all applicable WHO and other international standards, to enhance international capacity to counter the spread of the viruses in the region," the document on the fight against infectious diseases adopted at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg says.

    In the statement, the leaders pledge "to help the global community prepare for a possible human influenza pandemic, including timely implementation of the commitments made at the January 2006 Beijing International Pledging Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza."

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