U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown are calling
for global unity as world leaders gather in London for an emergency economic
summit. The two leaders downplayed differences on steps to reverse the current
The president says no one country can fix the economic
just hours before the start of the G20 meeting of major economies, Mr. Obama
stressed the need for all participants to seek common ground.
absolutely confident that this meeting will reflect enormous consensus about the
need to work together to deal with these problems," said Mr. Obama.
there are signs of tension, as the G20 summit prepares to begin its work in
London. Some countries are blaming the United States for sparking the economic
crisis through the deregulation of its financial scene - a move that led to a
credit crunch and sparked an economic recession.
The president says the
United States has made mistakes, but so too did other countries whose regulatory
systems could not keep pace with a changing financial sector. He says it is
time to look for solutions.
"At this point, I am less interested in
identifying blame, than in fixing the problem," he said.
At home, Mr.
Obama has focused on government spending to jump start the economy and he was
expected to urge other nations to take similar steps at the economic
France and Germany have balked at such action, saying the
emphasis should be on regulatory reform. French President Nicholas Sarkozy even
told an interviewer that he might walk out of the summit, if nations fail to
agree on stricter regulation of global financial markets.
says reports of differences are overstated. And, Prime Minister Brown predicts
no one will walk away from the summit and its important work.
confident President Sarkozy will not be here for the first course of our dinner,
but will still be sitting as we complete our dinner this evening," said Mr.
Mr. Brown says everyone knows the stakes are high.
before has the world come together in this way to talk about an economic
crisis," he said. " Any of the crises we have seen since the second World War,
you have not had this level of international cooperation."
On his first
European tour as president, Barack Obama is seeking cooperation on both the
economic and security front as he holds bilateral talks on the sidelines of the
His discussions with Gordon Brown also covered the new
American strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iran and the search for Middle
At their joint news conference, Mr. Obama also talked about
efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons - an issue that is topping the
agenda for his discussions here with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.