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Bush, G7 Officials to Discuss Financial Crisis

U.S. President George Bush is meeting with finance officials from the world's top economic powers at the White House Saturday to discuss the financial crisis that has sent stock indexes plunging around the world.

The heads of international finance institutions will be joining the G7 finance ministers at the meeting.

Following talks in Washington Friday, finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 nations, the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Canada and Italy, pledged to take decisive action and use all available tools to support important financial institutions and prevent their failure.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the group agreed on the need to restore the availability of credit, to help banks raise money from public and private sources, and to beef up bank deposit insurance.

Paulson said the agreement among the G7 officials should raise the confidence of people concerned about the condition of financial markets around the world.

Paulson also said the U.S. government will move ahead with a plan to buy stock in financial institutions.

After a day of wild swings, U.S. stocks posted mixed results by the close of trading Friday. European stock market indexes were down seven percent or more, while Japan's Nikkei index lost nearly 10 percent.

On Sunday, European leaders are to gather in Paris to draw up a joint plan to cope with the financial crisis.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters