Madrid: Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis
Rodriguez Zapatero urged world powers on Wednesday to create a
"Marshall Plan" to help Arab states moving towards democracy.
Uprisings against authoritarian Arab regimes are
spreading across the Middle East and North Africa, toppling
iron-fisted rulers in Tunisia and Egypt and now threatening
Libya`s Moamer Gaddafi.
"We need to wait and see what capacity for recovery
countries like Tunisia have," Zapatero said in an interview in
Qatar with Al Jazeera television during a tour of the region.
"We need to monitor political stability there and we need
to wait for their economies to begin functioning again," he
said in the interview that was partially replayed on Al
"Change in North Africa and across the Arab world should
force the international community to begin an operation of
financial support, to develop a Marshall Plan for these
nations," he said.
The United States launched the Marshall Plan in 1947 to
rebuild western Europe following World War II.
Named after its architect, US secretary of state George
Marshall, it was officially called the European Recovery
Program and it operated until December 1951.
Zapatero goes to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday
before heading to Tunisia where he will be the first Western
leader to visit since the ouster of president Zine El Abidine