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Obama Urges Nations to Unite Against Global Challenges

Fresh from his first overseas trip as U.S. president, Barack Obama is calling on nations to work together to solve the challenges facing the world. The president's weekly address marks the Jewish holiday of Passover and Christians' celebration of Easter with a call to set aside differences and find strength on common ground.

President Obama says the Passover and Easter holidays are moments for people to reflect on the obligations they have to one another, no matter what their differences are.

Mr. Obama said coming together is the only way to solve the economic crisis and defeat global threats like al-Qaida and the spread of nuclear weapons.

"These are challenges that no single nation, no matter how powerful, can confront alone. The United States must lead the way. But our best chance to solve these unprecedented problems comes from acting in concert with other nations," he said.

President Obama said that idea guided his trip overseas last week.

At the NATO summit he attended on the French-German border, Mr. Obama said allies contributed important resources to support the new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the Czech Republic, the president said he laid out a strategy to work with Russia and other nations to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

And at the G20 summit in London, he said nations came together successfully to confront the world's economic woes.

"I met with leaders of the G20 nations to ensure that the world's largest economies take strong and unified action in the face of the global economic crisis. Together, we have taken steps to stimulate growth, restore the flow of credit, open markets, and dramatically reform our financial regulatory system to prevent such crises from occurring again - steps that will lead to job creation at home," he said.

But U.S. Republicans are not so sure about the president's plans for the economy at home.

In this week's Republican address, the governor of the state of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, said the federal budget President Obama proposed for the 2010 year does not provide the tax relief he promised.

"This budget creates mountains of new debt that will ultimately will require higher taxes on all of us and our children," he said. "I think that is wrong. Families are hurting now and small businesses cannot create new jobs soon enough. Isn't it time we stopped working for the government and the government started working for us?"

Democrats in Congress pushed a modified version of the president's spending plan through the House and Senate last week, despite strong Republican opposition.