World leaders, from left to right, U.S. President Barack Obama, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron arrive at the International Centre at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, on Thursday. (Damien Meyer/Reuters)
Canada will not pledge any new money in a $20-billion fund for "Arab spring" countries transitioning to democracy, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says.
France is pushing strongly for G8 countries to mobilize financial support for Egypt and Tunisia in order to protect early democratic reforms. While Canada agrees, it argues the money should flow through international monetary institutions such as the European Investment Bank and World Bank.
Canada already pays more than $12 billion a year into those agencies.
Multilateral lending institutions constitute "the best way to get a co-ordinated international response," Harper told reporters covering the G8 conference, in Deauville, France, late Thursday night.
U.S. President Barack Obama has offered a $2-billion US package of loan guarantees and direct debt forgiveness to Egypt, while France and Britain have pledged hundreds of millions for supporting Egypt and Tunisia.
"So there is a clear difference between Canada's strategy and theirs," said the CBC's Terry Milewski.
Do you agree with Canada's position on "Arab spring" funding? Let us know in the comments below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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