G8 pledges financial help for 'Arab Spring' nations

Leaders to provide over $20 billion for Egypt and Tunisia, "strongly support the aspirations" of protesters in ME and North Africa; Obama: US, France will see through Libya mission.

g8 obama sarkozy 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
g8 obama sarkozy 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
DEAUVILLE, France- Group of Eight leaders promised on Friday to support new Arab democracies, according to a statement they are to release following a meeting in the northern French resort town of Deauville.
"The changes under way in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are historic and have the potential to open the door to the kind of transformation that occurred in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall," says the statement, a copy of which was obtained in advance by Reuters.
RELATED:Israel hopes EU will back other parts of Obama visionG8 to threaten Syria with UNSC action
"We, members of the G8, strongly support the aspirations of the Arab Spring as well as those of the Iranian people.
"We welcome the Egyptian authorities' decision to request IMF and multilateral development banks' assistance and Tunisia's request for a joint and coordinated development policy loan.
"In this context, multilateral development banks could provide over $20 billion, including 3.5 billion euros from the EIB, for Egypt and Tunisia for 2011-2013 in support of suitable reform efforts.
"G8 members are already in a position to mobilize substantial bilateral support to scale-up this effort. We welcome support from other bilateral partners, including from the region."
Obama: US, France will see through Libya mission
US President Barack Obama said on Friday that the United States and France were in full agreement on sticking with the NATO-led intervention in Libya until the crisis there is resolved.
"We agreed we have made progress on our Libya campaign but that meeting the U.N. mandate of civilian protection cannot be accomplished when (Muammar) Gaddafi remains in Libya, directing his forces in acts of aggression against the Libyan people," Obama told a news briefing at the G8 summit.
"We are joined in resolve to finish the job," he said, after talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during the Group of Eight annual gathering in the northern French seaside town of Deauville.