Sarkozy says G8 backs $40 bln Arab Spring aid

DEAUVILLE, France Fri May 27, 2011 8:33am EDT

DEAUVILLE, France May 27 (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the international community was making available a $40 billion package of aid for Arab Spring nations.

Sarkozy, speaking at a news briefing at the Group of Eight summit in the French town of Deauville, said Group of Eight nations had approved $20 billion from multilateral lenders.

Another $10 billion would come from Gulf Arab countries and and the remainder from bilateral deals, he said.

"It is 20 billion for the multilateral banks, in which I do not include the IMF. We thought it was more honest not to include IMF in this count," he said.

"On top of this, there are about 10 billion worth of bilateral engagements which we did not mention in the declaration. And finally, another 10 billion dollars of contributions from Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait in a special fund set up for this purpose," he said. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Writing by Jon Boyle)

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