As they pledged $40 billion to help countries that make reforms during this "Arab Spring" in North Africa and the Middle East, President Obama and the other leaders of the world's most powerful nations also issued a warning to "autocratic regimes in the Arab world" and to Iran.
"They will be shut out of rich-country aid and investment," AP writes, "while new democracies are encouraged to open their economies."
The language the leaders used about those countries in their official statement at the end of the G8 summit in Deauville, France, is interesting to parse for the specificity (about certain leaders, for example) in some lines and the lack of specifics in others. We'll put the complete statement at the end of this post. But first, some highlights:
-- Libya: "We demand the immediate cessation of the use of force against civilians by the Libyan regime forces as well as the cessation of all incitement to hostility and violence against the civilian population. ... [Col. Moammar Gadhafi] and the Libyan government have failed to fulfil their responsibility to protect the Libyan population and have lost all legitimacy. He has no future in a free, democratic Libya. He must go."
-- Syria: "We are appalled by the deaths of many peaceful protesters as a result of the sweeping use of violence in Syria as well as by repeated and serious violations of human rights. We call on the Syrian leadership to immediately stop using force and intimidation against the Syrian people and to respond to their legitimate demands for freedom of expression and universal rights and aspirations. We also call for the release of all political prisoners in Syria. ... Should the Syrian authorities not heed this call, we will consider further measures."
-- Yemen: "We are increasingly concerned about the situation in Yemen and the crisis which has shaken the country for too long. We condemn the use of violence in response to peaceful protest throughout Yemen. ... We urge President Saleh to immediately follow through on his commitments and ensure that the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people are addressed."
-- Iran: "We remain seriously concerned about the ongoing suppression of democratic rights in Iran, especially given that Iran has repeatedly professed support for freedom and democratic behaviour elsewhere in the region. At the same time, we deplore violence which has led to the loss of lives of Iranian civilians, and we deplore interference with media, unjustified detentions and arrests. We call on the Iranian authorities to stop repression against their people and respect their international commitments, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We also call on the Iranian authorities to lift restrictions on freedom of movement and communication of Iranian opposition leaders. Iran should play a constructive and responsible role in the region."
Click on "G8 Declaration" to enlarge: