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Obama Calls G20 Agreement a Turning Point


U.S. President Barack Obama says the G20 summit in London marks a turning point in efforts to heal the global economy. But, Mr. Obama cautions there are no guarantees and more action could be needed.

President Obama says he is pleased with the results of his first international summit.

He says it was productive, and predicts it will be seen as a turning point in the pursuit of a global economic recovery.

"By any measure, the London summit was historic," said President Obama. "It was historic because of the size and scope of the challenges that we face, and because of the timeliness and magnitude of our response."

Speaking to reporters just hours after the summit was adjourned, the president spoke of the consensus achieved by countries who came in with different priorities and perspectives.

"It's hard for 20 heads of state to bridge their differences," said Mr. Obama. "We've all got our own national policies, we all have our own assumptions, and our own political cultures. But our citizens are all hurting. They all need us to come together."

The president did not get a concrete promise from others for substantial increases in government domestic spending - a tool he has used at home to boost the U.S. economy. But there was agreement to provide funding for $1 trillion in additional loans and credits for struggling countries through the International Monetary Fund and other institutions. And the summit started the process of clamping down on tax havens for the wealthy and loosely regulated investment funds for the rich.

Mr. Obama said the G20 meeting approved critical, bold steps. He said there is no guarantee they will all work, but he stressed the healing process has begun.

"I think we applied the right medicine," he said. "I think the patient is stabilized. There are still wounds that have to heal. There are still emergencies that could arise. But I think you have some pretty good care being applied."

The president also used the opportunity to reflect on the numerous one-on-one meetings he held with world leaders from Russia, China, India, South Korea and summit host Great Britain.

"Of course we spoke about additional steps to promote economic recovery and growth," said Barack Obama. "But we also discussed coordinated actions on a range of issues: how we could reduce the nuclear threat, how we could forge a coordinated response to North Korea's planned missile launch, how we can turn back terrorism and stabilize Afghanistan, how we can protect our planet from the scourge of climate change."

From London, Mr. Obama travels to the French-German border where he will join other NATO leaders at a summit marking the 60th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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