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  • » 05/27/2011, 00.00

    MIDDLE EAST

    G8 pledges economic aid to ‘Arab Spring’



    Summit participants promise about US$ 20 billion, mostly for Tunisia and Egypt. Aid should help the process of transition towards democracy. In the past, G8 members financed the now toppled dictatorships or made promises they did not fulfil. Participants condemn the violence in Syria and Bahrain and issue an ultimatum against Gaddafi.
    Deauville (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The wealthy nations of the G8 plan to provide US$ 20 billion in aid to Arab countries that dismantle dictatorial structures and build democracies in the wake of the jasmine revolution.

    The bulk of the assistance is expected to go to Tunisia and Egypt, observers say, but G8 leaders will also push rich Arab countries to help their fellow Arab countries impoverished by the current unrest and past exploitation.

    The final proposal should be ready tonight, but G8 members appear bent on establishing at all cost a new relationship with the emerging but fragile democracies after they backed the deposed dictators for decades.

    “The most powerful nations on earth have come together and are saying to all those in the Middle East and North Africa who want greater democracy, freedom and civil rights: we are on your side,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said before the summit.

    At a joint press conference, US President Barack Obama and French President Nicholas Sarkozy said that aid would help the democratic transition. European Union President Manuel Barroso said the same.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, participants to the Arab Spring noted that G8 Members provided aid in the past, but only to the deposed dictators. “The problem,” a young Egyptian said, “is who gets the aid.”

    In a report, al Jazeera also pointed out that many promises were made in the recent past, but few have been realised.

    A statement is expected tonight to condemn the use of force by the Syrian regime and Bahrain as well as call on Gaddafi to give up power.

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    See also

    25/10/2011 MIDDLE EAST
    The women of the Arab Spring on the need to establish democracy
    Bernard Sabella, a Catholic professor of sociology at Bethlehem University, analyzes the role of women in Middle Eastern countries: background figure, political activist or terrorist. Member States must ensure economic, social, cultural and educational security, not only military. On the Palestinian situation, the teacher says: "Men need women to create an independent state."

    30/09/2011 MIDDLE EAST-ISLAM
    Anatomy of fear. A Sunni democracy in defence of Christians
    The Lebanese commentator Elie Fayad questions the political prospects of Arab spring and Christians fears of radical Islamic tendencies: "Is it not time the East give a chance to Sunni democracy?".

    06/12/2012 MIDDLE EAST
    Unfinished: the Arab Spring’s Islamic winter
    Almost two years after the Arab uprising, the Middle East finds itself increasingly Islamist and increasingly violent. Yet the young people had fought for greater dignity and freedom. It is a job half done: freed of dictators, but still without full democracy. The great scholar of Islam Samir Khalil Samir offers his vision (Part One)

    21/02/2011 CHINA
    Police hits the streets to stop non-existent protests
    Numerous calls for Mideast-styled protests in China appear online. Although they give no time to gather, police moves in to patrol streets. About 100 dissidents are also arrested. Mainland authorities fear the internet because millions of Chinese internet users can now get around censorship through private networks.

    27/08/2016 14:22:00 MIDDLE EAST
    Middle East wars and unrest lead to lower life expectancy

    Syria is particularly affected. War shaved off six years from men’s life expectancy (from 75 in 2010 to 69 in 2013), five from women’s (from 80 to 75). Millions of people have to face the consequences of water shortages and poor hygienic conditions. Non-communicable illnesses like diabetes or cardiovascular disease are up as well.





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    VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'



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