News / Europe

    G8 Summit Ends With Harsh Words, Promises

    U.S. President Barack Obama (L) talks to France's President Nicolas Sarkozy as they leave the Villa Le Cercle after a working lunch during the G8 summit in Deauville May 27, 2011
    U.S. President Barack Obama (L) talks to France's President Nicolas Sarkozy as they leave the Villa Le Cercle after a working lunch during the G8 summit in Deauville May 27, 2011

    Multimedia

    Lisa Bryant

    President Barack Obama and other G8 leaders wrapped up a two-day summit in the French coastal town of Deauville with harsh words for the governments in Libya, Syria and Iran but promises of billions in aid for democratic transitions in Egypt and Tunisia.

    Following talks Friday with French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy, President Barack Obama said the two were united in their call for Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi to go.

    "We agreed that we have made progress on our Libya campaign but that meeting the UN mandate of civilian protection cannot be accomplished when Gadhafi remains in Libya directing his forces in acts of aggression against the Libyan people," the president said. "And we are joined in resolve to finish the job."

    The push for Gadhafi's departure got a boost from Russia, which has offered to mediate the Libyan leader's departure. G8 leaders in Deauville also condemned Iran's nuclear program during their two-day meeting. Summit host, President Sarkozy, said he agreed with President Obama that Syria's leader Bashar al-Assad should either allow a democratic transition in his country - or step aside.

    US President Barack Obama (R) speaks with Egyptian PM Essam Sharaf (L) at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, May 27, 2011
    US President Barack Obama (R) speaks with Egyptian PM Essam Sharaf (L) at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, May 27, 2011

    But the G8 leaders also offered major incentives to two Arab nations on the road to democracy - promising $20 billion in aid to Egypt and Tunisia via multilateral institutions. President Sarkozy said another $20 billion was available to the two countries in bilateral assistance and other aid.

    Tunisian Finance Minister Jalloul Ayed told reporters the country's top priority was to boost the economy and create jobs for hundreds of thousands of unemployed youths.

    "The consolidation of democracy goes hand in hand with prosperity," Ayed said. "Because if Tunisians don't feel very quickly that democracy is creating the conditions for them to feel better, to feel more prosperous, then we run the risk to see that democratic process fail in the end."

    Democracy was the hallmark of G8 talks with several leaders from sub-Saharan Africa.They included those from three countries - Ivory Coast, Guinea and Niger - who have recently held democratic elections.

    Sarkozy said African countries understand the new G8 partnership with Africa will give priority to those countries who fight against corruption and for democracy.

    Nongovernmental activists say the G8 summit should have given more priority to the environment and helping the poorest and most vulnerable. But some, like Save the Children's Global Campaign Director Adrian Lovett said this year's G8 also delivered good news.

    "Well we think there are some good signs coming out of this French G8. We didn't have the highest hopes for the outcome for Africa but some signs of progress," said Lovett. "The critical thing for us is that the package that's been agreed for Arab countries musn't divert attention away from the existing promises that leaders have made to Africa, to the very poorest countries."

    Besides supporting the so-called "Arab spring" declaration, G8 leaders also pledged to help Africa achieve peace, stability, economic development and growth.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora