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G8 Leaders: World Economic Prospects Still Weak

G8 leaders say global economic prospects remain weak as Europe, Asia and the United States still try to recover from the worldwide recession.

After the first day of their annual summit in Northern Ireland Monday, the G8 said significant policy actions taken by the eurozone, U.S. and Japan have reduced the risk of an economic downturn.

The leaders said promoting growth and jobs remains their priority. They called the fight against long-term and youth unemployment critical.

Earlier Monday, the United States and European Union said they are starting talks on a new transatlantic free trade agreement. The first session is set for Washington next month.



The U.S. and 27-nation EU already account for nearly half of the global economy, with $1 trillion in annual trade. U.S. President Barack Obama said a new deal to cut tariffs and permit the free flow of business deals could be "potentially groundbreaking."

OPTIONAL SOUNDBITES

US PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
"It would increase exports, decrease barriers to trade and investment. As part of broader growth strategies in both our economies, it would support hundreds of thousands of jobs on both sides of the ocean."

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON:
"Making sure we have more trade deals so we keep prices down, making sure we have greater transparency so we can help developing countries get the tax and the revenue that they need, and this issue of taxation, making sure we crack down on tax evasion, and aggressive tax avoidance so right across the world countries get the tax revenue they need to keep taxes down for hard-working people and to make sure we can have good health and education systems for all our people."

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