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Bush to Host Summit on Global Financial Crisis


U.S. President George Bush says he will host a summit of nations soon to address the global economic crisis. Mr. Bush made the announcement as he greeted French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Saturday at the U.S. presidential retreat Camp David. VOA's Kent Klein reports from Washington.

President Bush stood with his two European visitors and said he anticipates hosting a meeting at which world leaders will work to solve the financial problems.

"I look forward to hosting this meeting in the near future," he said. "Both developed and developing nations will be represented. And together we will work to strengthen and modernize our nations' financial systems, so we can help ensure that this crisis does not happen again."

The president was meeting with Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Barroso at Camp David Saturday to look for solutions to the global financial crisis.

European leaders had been trying to persuade Mr. Bush to hold global talks by the end of the year. Mr. Sarkozy, speaking through a translator, called for a swift international response to the crisis, starting in New York.

"This must be done forthwith, as President Bush has said, possibly even before the end of the month of November," he said. "And we believe that insofar as the crisis began in New York, then the global solution to this crisis must be found in New York, all of us putting our heads together."

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon offered Saturday to host the meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York in early December. Mr. Bush did not announce a time or place for the summit.

Mr. Barroso agreed with the presidents of the two nations that the U.S. and Europe should take the lead in seeking economic solutions, but that other nations should be involved as well.

"Around 77 percent of world wholesale finance is from the United States and from Europe," he said. "The Europeans and Americans must now join efforts and extend our cooperation to major developing and emerging economies. We must act swiftly to respond to the urgency. But we must also look forward at the medium and long term."

Both European leaders want widespread reforms in the world's financial system, but U.S. officials said they did not expect any breakthroughs on that at Camp David.

Meanwhile, some economists say they see signs that the frozen credit markets, which are at the heart of the crisis, are beginning to improve.

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