G8 pledges financial help for Arab states
Deauville - 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.
"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 $20bn, including €3.5bn from the EIB, for Egypt and Tunisia for 2011-2013 in support of suitable reform efforts.
"G8 members are already in a position to mobilise substantial bilateral support to scale-up this effort. We welcome support from other bilateral partners, including from the region."