News / USA

European Economy, African Food Security to Top G8 Summit

Activists wearing masks depicting G8 world leaders participate in a demonstration outside the White House in Washington, May 17, 2012. (AP)Activists wearing masks depicting G8 world leaders participate in a demonstration outside the White House in Washington, May 17, 2012. (AP)
x
Activists wearing masks depicting G8 world leaders participate in a demonstration outside the White House in Washington, May 17, 2012. (AP)
Activists wearing masks depicting G8 world leaders participate in a demonstration outside the White House in Washington, May 17, 2012. (AP)
Kent Klein
WHITE HOUSE - Europe’s economic crisis is expected to dominate the discussions when the Group of Eight nations hold their economic summit near Washington on Friday and Saturday.  Food security in Africa will also be high on the agenda.
 
The meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat will be the first G8 summit to include France’s new president, Francois Hollande.

The French leader was elected on a promise to help move Europe toward a pro-growth economic plan, and away from the austerity policy of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy.  Mr. Hollande will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, before leaving for Camp David.

U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said Thursday that the Obama administration favors an approach in which Europe balances economic stimulus with austerity.

“The United States welcomes the evolving discussion and debate in Europe about the imperative for jobs and growth," said Donilon.

The European Union is America’s largest trading partner, and Donilon said the United States has an “extraordinarily significant stake in the outcome” of Europe’s economic discussions.  President Obama says he is confident that Europe can resolve its economic crisis without significant help from Washington.

At Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, Europe analyst Heather Conley says that Mr. Obama is more closely aligned with Mr. Hollande’s views than with those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who strongly supports austerity measures.

“Clearly, I think President Obama will want to send a reaffirming message that better [national budget] balancing is required for Europe, so it can quickly return to economic health," said Conley.

CSIS political economist Matthew Goodman says Mr. Obama hopes the summit will help Europe move toward solutions.

“I think the White House does not want to have a sterile debate about growth versus austerity," said Goodman. "But inevitably, that is going to be a theme in the conversation.”

The other main topic of the summit will be efforts to boost Africa’s food security and agricultural productivity.  President Obama has invited the leaders of Benin, Ghana, Tanzania and Ethiopia to attend the summit.

Analyst Matthew Goodman says those four countries have made progress in improving their food situation.

“They were chosen based on the sort of underlying policy efforts that they had made to promote innovative approaches to increasing agricultural productivity and increasing investment and so forth," he said.

Goodman says he does not expect any major new commitments of money from the G8 to the African food effort.

Other issues expected to be discussed at the summit are post-war economic support for Afghanistan, tightened sanctions on Iran, and the ongoing violence in Syria.

White House officials say the G8 Summit will be the largest gathering of world leaders in Camp David’s seven-decade history.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid