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G8 talks to focus on Arab uprising and economic recovery

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G8 talks to focus on Arab uprising and economic recovery

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The G8 leaders meeting in Deauville, France, are expected, during their two days of talks, to endorse aid to new Arab democracies, and perhaps to indicate their support for a new head of the IMF.

The president of the European Council of EU heads of state or government referred to aid for pro-democracy uprisings.

“The clear objective is to support the democratic and economic aspirations of the 400 million people in this area. These developments in the Arab world are of crucial importance for all G8 partners. For Europe, moreover, it is our southern neighbourhood. We have to listen to those peoples and to offer our support,” said Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President.

The president of the European Commission addressed another common concern for the G8 members and others: nuclear plant safety tests conceived in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

“Now it’s time to move ahead and implement these tests from June onwards. And when we talk nuclear, we talk global. We want nuclear stress-tests to go beyond Europe,” said Jose Manuel Barosso.

As for the top IMF post, it has always been held by a European. Emerging big players, supported by 10 African nations invited to the G8 meeting in Normandy, are keen to push an alternative.