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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Jane Monheit Christmas Speciali
X
December 22, 2014 8:15 PM
Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Trade Talks Could Heat Up in 2015

With boosting trade a top priority for the Obama administration, 2015 may be the year that an agreement is finally reached on the Trans Pacific Partnership. But the trade deal, which is intended to boost trade between 12 Pacific countries, faces opposition as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8157
JPY
USD
119.96
GBP
USD
0.6402
CAD
USD
1.1629
INR
USD
63.200

Rates may not be current.