US Officials Urge G8 to Support Economic, Social Development in MENA Region

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Photo by: Pete Souza / The White House

    Officials of the world’s top economies should use the upcoming G-8 leaders’ summit in France to announce concrete steps that support ongoing political and economic transitions in the Middle East and North Africa, according to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

    Leaders and officials from the eight top economies are meeting May 26-27 in France for their 37th summit. The summit is an ideal forum to consider several steps that support efforts of MENA countries toward achieving more inclusive economies and democratic societies, according to Clinton and Geithner.

    “Experience from other democratic transitions has taught us that we should focus on trade, not just aid, and on investment, not just assistance. Moreover, our efforts should be aligned with the needs and aspirations of the people of the region,” the two said in a joint letter to other G-8 ministers, adding that citizens of Tunisia and Egypt have already outlined their key priorities.

    Clinton and Geithner invited their counterparts from other G-8 countries to consider three key steps that they said will advance these priorities: Strongly support the joint action plan for the region of multilateral development banks, consider debt swap for Egypt to allow it to channel more resources into job creation, and lead efforts to expand the geographic scope of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

    These steps complement the assistance plan unveiled by U.S. President Barack Obama on May 19.

    >> Obama Outlines US Economic Support Plan for Egypt, Other MENA Countries

    Read more about U.S. development aid.

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      Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.