French President Nicolas Sarkozy is keen to show leadership prowess at the two-day Deauville summit ahead of 2012 elections in France.
Libya's besieged leader, facing a rebel advance on Tripoli and possible international sanctions, also pledged a 150 percent increase in some government workers' wages.
France's prime minister and foreign minister are taking heat for gratis luxury holidays in Egypt and Tunisia. President Sarkozy says vacationing in France is a better idea.
Before former President Ben Ali fled Tunisia amid the popular uprising, France offered its support to the troubled dictator. Now France is struggling to find new footing with its former colony.
The tenuous connection? France.
The arrest of the Basque separatist military leader is expected to further weaken the group. But some Spanish officials fear retaliatory attacks.