News / Europe

Packed Agenda Faces G8 Leaders in France

French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during an Interior and Justice Ministers of the G8 meeting on the fight against transatlantic cocaine trafficking, at the Elysee Palace in Paris,  May 9, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during an Interior and Justice Ministers of the G8 meeting on the fight against transatlantic cocaine trafficking, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, May 9, 2011.

Multimedia

Henry Ridgwell

With uprisings heating up the Arab world and the world's economy uncertain, there will be plenty for world leaders to discuss at this week’s G8 meeting in France.  Differences over how to respond to these global challenges have the potential to cause disagreements among G8 leaders.

A packed agenda awaits world leaders as they make their way to the French seaside town of Deauville for the G8 summit. At the head of the list: the question of how the rest of the world should respond to the uprisings across the Arab world.

NATO is engaged in a bombing campaign against Colonel Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya, and there is concern in some countries that mission creep is taking hold.


Stephanie Rickard is an expert on international relations at the London School of Economics. "There will potentially be some conflict, particularly with Russia. Russia has already made clear that they don’t support what is going on in Libya, they don’t think that intervention is the way to go and so there’s potentially room for disagreement between Russia and some of the other G8 countries. But again that disagreement will probably take place behind closed doors," she said.

The violent suppression of uprisings in Syria and Bahrain will also feature high on the G8 agenda. Analysts say disagreement is likely over how the outside world should deal with the issue.

Visiting Britain ahead of the G8, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a clear warning to the Syrian leadership. "President Assad faces a choice: he can lead the transition to democracy that the Syrian people have demanded or he can as President Obama said on Thursday get out of the way, but there is no doubt that if he does not begin to lead that process, his regime will face continuing and increasing pressure and isolation," she said.

Pakistan will also face scrutiny at the meeting after the U.S. killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden earlier this month on Pakistani soil.

In addition, Western leaders have warned that the conflict in Afghanistan is in danger of being overshadowed by the so-called Arab spring.

Another regular topic at recent G8 meetings is Iran’s nuclear program. The European Union has renewed its sanctions against Tehran, accusing it of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said pressure on Iran must be maintained. "It is important not to forget, while so many things are happening and changing in the Middle East, that Iran continues with its nuclear program. We have called in the United Kingdom for many months for an intensification of peaceful pressure on Iran," he said.

The fallout from the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power plant in Japan will also be discussed. G8 host France has called for new international safety standards for nuclear plants.

With Japan slipping back into recession and the debt crisis still haunting Europe, the world economy remains in a fragile state.

On top of that comes the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the International Monetary Fund, after he was charged with sexual assault in the U.S.

However, says Stephanie Rickard of the London School of Economics, those issues may be further down on the agenda. "It’s important to remember that the G8 in 2009 specifically said that the G20 is now going to be the forum for international economic issues. So the G8 has sort of delegated that to the G20 and now the G8 is focusing squarely on security and geopolitical issues," she said.

As this Normandy resort prepares for the G8 invasion, there will be little time for world leaders to enjoy the seaside surroundings.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
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 Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
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
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid