US, Britain to push G8 for backing for Arab Spring
The United States and Britain will push at this week's G8 meeting for a "major programme of economic and political support" for countries involved in the Arab Spring, Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday.
"The president and I are agreed we will stand with those who work for freedom," Cameron said at a joint press conference in London with US President Barack Obama, referring to the revolutions in the Middle East.
"This is the message we will take to the G8 tomorrow when we push for a major programme of economic and political support for those countries seeking reform," he added.
Obama, who like Cameron will attend a summit of the Group of Eight industrialised nations in Deauville, France, starting Thursday, said "historic change" was unfolding across the region.
"We are both committed to doing everything that we can to support peoples who reach for democracy and leaders who implement democratic reform," Obama said.
"Tomorrow we'll discuss with our G8 partners how those of us in the wider international community can best support nations who build a framework for democracy."
Egypt and Tunisia, the pioneering nations in the "Arab Spring", will be at the meeting to seek financial aid after the uprisings that toppled presidents Hosni Mubarak and Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in January and February.
France has urged G8 members, many of them facing budget crises of their own, to come up with billions in aid to support the post-revolutionary governments in Tunisia and Libya, but officials have said no precise sums will be pledged.
© 2011 AFP