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The United States and the European Union are launching a renewed push for an international climate deal. Prospects for such an agreement dominated their latest summit, which was hosted at the White House by President Barack Obama.
President Obama says the U.S. and the EU are intensifying efforts to get a climate deal next month, when negotiators from around the world meet in Denmark.
"We discussed climate change extensively and all of us agreed that it was imperative for us to redouble our efforts in the weeks between now and the Copenhagen meeting to assure that we create a framework for progress in dealing with what is a potential ecologic disaster," said President Obama.
In a brief statement to reporters after the summit, Mr. Obama did not spell out a specific strategy designed to secure agreement, but European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was upbeat that a deal could be struck.
"With the strong leadership of the United States we can indeed make an agreement," said Jose Manuel Barroso. "We are working on a framework agreement in Copenhagen that will be an important agreement for the world."
Other issues discussed at the U.S - EU summit included Afghanistan, Iran, and ways to foster greater cooperation in combating terrorism.
They also talked at some length about economic matters. President Obama indicated all sides want progress on trade.
"We reaffirmed our commitment to strong, sustained economic growth as was articulated by the G-20 in Pittsburgh, and reaffirmed our intent to continue to expand trade and resist protectionist measures between the United States and the European Union," said Mr. Obama.
The U.S. and the EU as a group have the largest trading relationship in the world. The European Union says trans-Atlantic flows of trade and investment amount to about $1 billion a day.