News / Economy

G8 Summit Under Way in France

Men work near a G8 backdrop as preparations continue ahead of the G8 summit in Deauville, northern France, May 25, 2011
Men work near a G8 backdrop as preparations continue ahead of the G8 summit in Deauville, northern France, May 25, 2011

The Group of Eight summit is under way in France, with heads of the world's leading economies discussing global issues, including the uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa.

U.S. President Barack Obama is using the gathering to reinforce his call for international assistance to help countries in that region adopt political and economic reforms.

One of the president's economic advisers, David Lipton, told reporters Thursday the U.S. considers discussions on the Middle East and North Africa to be "among the most important things" to be done at the summit.

He said G8 leaders will begin the talks at dinner Thursday and meet with the prime ministers of Egypt and Tunisia and the head of the Arab League on Friday morning.  He said the G8 leaders will have a chance to discuss with the three regional representatives their plans and aspirations for change, and ways in which the international community can help.

Obama outlined ways the U.S. will provide economic support to Egypt, Tunisia and other nations transitioning to democracy in a key policy speech last week.  On Wednesday, the European Union said it will increase its aid to 16 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and the former Soviet Union, and that the aid will be linked to their progress toward democracy.

Other topics of discussion at this week's G8 gathering in the French resort town of Deauville include Japan's nuclear crisis and the world economy.

President Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Thursday on the sidelines of the summit.  Obama said the two countries agreed to work on the contentious issue of U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Central and Eastern Europe.  He said they committed to working together to find an approach that is "consistent with the security needs of both countries."

Speaking to reporters alongside Obama, Medvedev said the missile defense issue would be solved by future politicians, but that he and Obama could lay the foundation now.

The two leaders also discussed Russia's bid to enter the World Trade Organization.  President Obama said Russia's entry would be good for the economy and expressed confidence it could be done.

The Russian president announced with his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, an agreement for France to sell four warships to Russia.  The leaders told reporters at the G8 summit that the deal would be signed within two weeks.  Under the agreement, two of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers will be built in France and the other two in Russia.

Sarkozy is chairing the G8 gathering.  It is the first major world meeting since former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned after being charged with trying to rape a hotel maid in New York City.  It is unclear who will replace him.

President Obama came to France after a state visit to Britain, where he met with Prime Minister David Cameron.  The two leaders reaffirmed their stance on Libya, saying allied military operations there will continue until leader Moammar Gadhafi stops attacking civilians and gives up power.

At a joint news conference Wednesday in London, President Obama said there will be no letup in the pressure on Gadhafi.  He later told the British parliament that the U.S., Britain and their allies "stopped a massacre in Libya" and will not relent until what he called "the shadow of tyranny" is lifted.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8954
JPY
USD
119.75
GBP
USD
0.6515
CAD
USD
1.2518
INR
USD
61.921

Rates may not be current.