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Sarkozy, Brown Call for Greater Transparency in Financial Markets

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have called for banks to declare the full extent of their losses due to the current financial crisis.

The two men stressed the importance of greater transparency in financial markets in efforts to stem the global financial turmoil sparked by bad home loan debts in the United States. That turmoil has raised the risk of a global economic downturn. The French and British leaders made the appeal in a joint statement at the conclusion of talks in London.

The discussions at Downing Street had been expected to include such issues as illegal immigration, climate change and a proposed joint venture to build a new generation of nuclear power stations in Britain.

The two leaders then joined French and British ministers for talks at London's Emirates Stadium, home of the popular Arsenal football (soccer) team, which has a French manager and some top French players.

Wednesday, Mr. Sarkozy told a joint session of the British Parliament his country plans to bolster its military presence in Afghanistan, saying the Taliban must be defeated no matter how much it costs.

The French leader also called for a new era in French-British relations and said the two nations must strengthen their traditional friendship, which is spelled out in a century-old treaty.

Leaders of France's opposition Socialist Party criticized Mr. Sarkozy's comments on Afghanistan. They insisted that the troop issue should have been debated in the French National Assembly before being raised in the British Parliament.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.