Rumours continue to circulate regarding the content of US President Obama’s speech on his administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East, later today. Maan news agency has reported that Obama was planning to unveil an extensive framework of aid to democratising Middle Eastern countries in the awaited speech. The plan would specifically extend billions of US dollars worth of finance through the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation as well as working with international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank to help extend further credit as an incentive to democratisation. In the short run the plan would see Egypt forgiven a billion dollars of US debt and a further billion in aid extended.

An anonymous official speaking to Maan said that “it is the beginning of a long term effort. These transitions will play out over a period of years — Egypt and Tunisia are at the forefront because they have already taken these steps”.

The proposed plan would be similar to the Marshall Aid plan after WW2. Under the plan US President Truman extended billions of US Dollars worth of aid to Western Europe as a means of building up war torn economies and undermining the potential for communist movements.