What’s a billion dollars between friends? President Obama is expected to slash that amount from the tab owed the United States by Egypt in a highly anticipated speech on Mideast and North African relations Thursday. The speech is meant to provide tangible support to the new democracies in the region, and will be broadcast live around the world in Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew. “We see this as a critical window of time for the United States to take concrete action,” a top administration official said Wednesday. The $1 billion for Egypt will provide “cash flow relief,” the official said, and will be buttressed by another $1 billion loan to help boost infrastructure and jobs.