President George Bush says the United States is working with other countries to restore strength and stability to international financial markets.  VOA's Paula Wolfson reports he spoke after talks at the White House with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The two met amid the first positive news in days from financial markets around the world.

After a weekend meeting of key finance ministers in Washington, and a series of steps taken by governments on both sides of the Atlantic, the markets began to rebound following a series of heavy losses.

From the White House, there appeared to be a small sigh of relief mixed with the realization that these gains are fragile and the markets remain volatile.

President Bush sounded a bit hopeful.

"These are tough times for our economies," President Bush said.  "Yet we can be confident that we can work our way through these challenges."

The president said the Europeans have taken bold and specific action.  He made clear there is no time to waste.

"People all over the world are understandably concerned about the global financial crisis and about how it will affect their families and their businesses," he said.

He said the United States and its allies are focusing on measures to help banks gain access to capital, to strengthen the financial system, and to make sure businesses and consumers have access to adequate credit.

Earlier, at an arrival ceremony for Italy's prime minister, he stressed the need for coordination among nations in a sustained effort to get the markets back on sound footing.

"All of us will continue taking responsible, decisive action to restore credit and stability and return to vigorous growth," Mr. Bush said.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that the world has never seen a financial crisis like this one.  

But he too struck an optimistic note, saying he is 100 percent confident current economic obstacles can be overcome.

During his visit to the White House, Mr. Berlusconi also said President Bush intends to meet sometime in the next few weeks with leaders of the Group of Eight - the organization of major industrialized nations.   

But White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said while the administration is open to such a meeting at some point in the future, no decision has been made and no date has been set.