Group of 8 Pledges Billions to Arab States, Calls For Gaddafi’s Ouster

The recent uprisings in the Middle East were at the top of the agenda at the meeting of the Group of 8 meeting of the wealthiest industrialized nations on Friday. The G-8 includes the United States, Japan, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. Comparing the “potential in the Middle East” to the historic economic and social changes in Central and Eastern Europe that happened after the end of communism, the G-8 pledged $40 billion in new aid to Egypt and Tunisia, in the hope that shoring up their faltering economies could support their transition to democracy. 

Individual G-8 members — some of whom are struggling with their own public debt — did not offer specific financial commitments, the Wall Street Journal notes. $10 billion is to come from the Persian Gulf countries of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Over the next three years, more than $20 billion in aid is to come from international development banks such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in which the G-8 nations are top shareholders. However, as ABC News points out, a closer look at the package from the banks reveals that “some aid is not all that different from previous money for the region” that was given to authoritarian rulers, rather than emerging new democracies.

Underscoring their concerns about the drawn-out and violent crises in Libya, Syria and Yemen, the G-8 leaders emphasized that there will be “strings attached” to the financial support; this is to be “contingent on social and economic reforms, such as strengthening transparency in government and encouraging private-sector development.” As ABC News notes,

The overall message from President Barack Obama and the other G-8 leaders meeting in this Normandy resort appeared to be warning autocratic regimes in the Arab world that they will be shut out of rich-country aid and investment, while new democracies are encouraged to open their economies.

The Wall Street Journal also comments:

The Arab Spring carries high stakes for the G-8 nations—the U.S., U.K., Japan, Canada, Russia, France, Germany and Italy. For Europeans, democracy and prosperity in the region could provide new growth opportunities and prevent a further flood of unwanted migrants. The U.S., after wars in the Middle East, sees an opportunity for homegrown revolutions to promise stability in the region.

…In the short term, world leaders said they want to stabilize Egypt and Tunisia economically and politically as both nations move toward elections this year, to ensure they don’t revert to authoritarian practices. They are also laying the groundwork for new policies to support democracy to encourage protesters fighting for new rights in Libya, Syria, Yemen and other nations across the region.

The agreement was dubbed the “Deauville Partnership” after the French seaside town in which the G-8 leaders are meeting.

The G-8 also made a unanimous statement calling for the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Gaddafi of Libya, Russia having finally abandoned its support of him:

“Gadhafi and the Libyan government have failed to fulfill their responsibility to protect the Libyan population and have lost all legitimacy,” the G-8′s final communique said. “He has no future in a free, democratic Libya. He must go.” Officials said Russia had been invited to assume a role as mediator in the conflict between Col. Gadhafi and those looking for his removal. “This doesn’t mean that Monsieur Gadhafi can go back to barracks,” said Mr. Sarkozy. “He has to go.”

Mr. Sarkozy added that he had received an invitation from Libya’s National Transitional Council, the main opposition group to Col. Gadhafi, to visit Benghazi, a port city where the Council is based. Mr. Sarkozy said he intended to go, but would prefer to visit Benghazi with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who commented that “President Sarkozy is always full of interesting ideas.”

G-8 leaders also agreed to increase pressure on Syria, saying that “further measures” would be sought should the Syrian government continue its violent crackdown of its citizens.

The leaders also supported President Obama’s call for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. However, they “conspicuously left out a mention of his call for negotiations to be based on the 1967 borders,” as the New York Times observes. Stephen Harper, the newly elected conservative prime minister of Canada, had stated that he was opposed to references to any borders in the G-8 statement.


Photo by pfala.


jane richmond
jane richmond6 years ago

Hope the get it right this time.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

The list of G-8 countries seems a lot like the list of major players on both sides of World War II--Germany, Italy, and Japan Axis Powers against the Allies--United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Canada. Is this true? Is it just a coincidence.

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

When will the US Government start giving aid to the citizens of the USA? inestead they are forcing millions to choose between seeing a DR drugs and eating. And giving forign leades money to live nice and fat.

Parvez Z.
Parvez Zuberi6 years ago

American Govt is bent down to make it self bankrupt do not care for the welfare of its own people but very worried about welfare of Libyan people It looks if US have lot of money and they do not know where to spend so they thought to start wars and kill people in middle East and experiment and test their arms of destruction making Muslims as ginpigs

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

Actually the U.S. is being very careful about this and is standing back. Both the US State Dept. and the Pentagon are very leery of another Iraq-style intervention.

If it was only about the oil, Gaddafi would have been gone in a day and a pro-western regime installed. His military is very weak, much weaker than Saddam's was or even Egypt. The U.S. and NATO have the overwhelming firepower to take him out in a few hours, if they choose to come in on the ground.

Lybian light sweet crude being offline hurts the U.S. and Western countries, because it's one of the highest grades on the world market and shutting it off drives up prices. But this is about more than oil, it's about removing a very bad dictator without too many civilian casualties or Western ground troops.

Vog V.
Vog V.6 years ago

Must be nice to have boat loads of surplus cash to throw around like that.

Jimmy Spyder
Jimmy Spyder6 years ago

Time for a US uprising!!!!

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

This is such a joke - but we, (the little guys) won't leave laughing.

Francisco M.
Francisco M.6 years ago

The problem is not Col. Gadaffi, it is the west who are the biggest problem Because they think before they act and they always act on emotions. Why' Because they support what later on becomes biter for them in the end. They like supporting CRIMINALS. A criminal is always a criminal ful stop Now they have started supporting ILLEGALITY. They are in marriage with the REBELS of Libya instead of promoting democracy so that they go for elections but they are quick to recognise the rebels because they can easily manipulte them afterwards. The oil they are buying from them is BLOOD OIL. Yes, we want democracy, and no two ways about it, but not the way you are doing it for the Libyans, the divide and rule, no!The west one day reap the seed that you are plantint today. You are dinning with the waste dictators in the world but nothing happens just because they haqve said YES , to your likings. Am challenging you to bring George W.Bush to court for destroying IRAQ alone when the whole world said no to attacking IRAQ then am going to respect you.

Myke B.
Margaret B6 years ago

Lynda , so it is not foreign aid but bribes to keep them from attacking us? So what happens when we have no money or when, with our money they become so powerful they attack us anyway. We are weakening our military and arming theirs. These uprisings in these countries are planned by the Muslim brotherhood. Mubarak who was an ally of the U.S and Israel. Now they have opened up their borders, leaving Israel in even more danger. Israel is our ally and now B.O is turning against them. Even now some of the protestors are complaining about being worse off with the people who are taking over than what they had before. They are now being ruled by Muslim Brotherhood. Who have often stated that they want all Jews and Americans dead. An RPG in our backside? We pay them not to attack us? Does this sound like freedom to you? If someone robs me I am not going to send him money for the rest of my life to stop him from coming back and robbing me again.
The U.N is corrupt. The IMF is corrupt. The Federal Reserve is corrupt. The IRS is corrupt. And anyone who votes for anyone who is involved with any govt agency is corrupt. We need to get rid of all the establishment pols Rep and Dem and elect some true loyal Americans.