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

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies


Rates may not be current.