World leaders at the G8 summit in France are to promise up to 14 billion euros to support new Middle East and North African democracies that have gone through the Arab Spring.
An early copy of the final communique said the reforms underway are historic and could bring about the kind of changes seen in Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The prime ministers from Egypt and Tunisia are in the French resort of Deauville to meet leaders from the group of eight richest industrialised nations on the second day of their annual summit.
US president Barack Obama said: ‘We will be discussing in depth how we can fully support countries like Egypt and Tunisia, not only in the transition to democracy, but also ensuring that democratic transition is accompanied by economic growth.’
The US and France also declared themselves determined to ‘finish the job’ in Libya, and secure the removal of Muammar Gaddafi.
Our correspondent at the summit in Deauville Jose Miguel Sardo said: “By showing support for the Arab Spring, and in particular the democratic reforms in Tunisia and Egypt, the G8 countries want to show that they still have influence in the middle east and north Africa. But a common position on Libya and Syria will be harder to find. Russia for example is already opposed to new sanctions against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.”