G8 Reaffirms Economic and Political Support for Arab Spring

Posted September 20th, 2011 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The world's major industrialized nations are pledging economic and political support to five North African and Middle Eastern countries that are transitioning to democracy after revolting against their authoritarian leaders.

Foreign ministers from the G8 met in New York Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. They were joined by ministers from several countries in the region.

Speaking for the group, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said $80 billion has been committed to help Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Libya over the next two years. Juppe also said there will be programs to help train judges and journalists, programs to help with elections, and to encourage the dialogue already begun with civil society. He said economic programs will focus on expanding trade and investment.

Arab ministers at the meeting agreed that their countries face major challenges, including providing good jobs for their millions of young citizens. Many of these young men and women were leading participants in the reforms and revolutions in their countries, and are now looking to the new leadership to make meaningful changes.

The so-called Deauville Partnership of G8 countries and their partners was inaugurated in the French city of Deauville last May to address the evolving political situation in the North African and Mideast region.