Following a high-profile visit to London, Pres. Obama joined other heads of state for the annual Group of Eight (G8) summit in France. The eight leading industrial nations end their two-day conference today, which centered on global economic issues.
During a closing press conference, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that allied forces agreed to increase the NATO-led military operation in Libya. France and Britain said during the summit that their countries are ready to deploy attack helicopters in the campaign.
This year, the G8 leaders are concentrating on the wave of pro-democracy demonstrations in the Arab world. The group agreed to provide aid packages for Egypt and Tunisia in addition to previously announced U.S. debt relief and World Bank loan guarantees.
They are also discussing matters surrounding Japan’s post-earthquake and tsunami recovery, nuclear safety and the partnership between G8 leaders and African countries.
Pres. Obama held private meetings yesterday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on security issues and later with Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper on border security.
The group also called on Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit. In a joint statement the group said they hope to "avert civil war flaring up in one part of the Arab world" as they prepared to "help new democracies flourish in another."
The Group of Eight (G8) is composed of the eight major economies of the world: France; Germany; Italy; Japan; the United Kingdom; the United States; Canada and Russia.