On the eve of President Obama’s visit to France for a meeting of the Group Eight industrialized economies, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are calling on the other G-8 nations to broaden their efforts to build the Egyptian and Tunisian economies.
Referring to the "historic opportunity" since uprisings threw out those countries’ dictators, Geithner and Clinton noted that the World Bank has already expanded support for investment. And they pointed to a recent U.S. decision to forgo $1 billion that Egypt owes the United States.
"We share a compelling interest in seeing the transitions in Egypt and Tunisia succeed and become models for the region. Otherwise, we risk losing this moment of opportunity," Clinton and Geithner wrote.
Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country in January after weeks of riots and demonstrations protesting his 23-year regime.
In February, uprisings over the government of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak led to the leader’s resignation after 30 years of autocratic rule.
Obama heads to Deauville, France, on Thursday to attend the G-8 meeting as part of his tour of four European countries this week.