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Britain backs further meeting of G20 leaders

world Updated: Mar 30, 2009 20:20 IST

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Britain said it would support a further meeting of G20 nations this year, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said on Monday, adding that London's summit was "part of a process" rather than an end in itself.

The spokesman said world leaders would have to decide on another summit when they meet in London on Thursday to discuss the next steps to tackle the financial crisis.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said earlier this month he would host leaders of the G20 at the end of a G8 summit in Sardinia in July and that their talks would focus on new rules for the financial system.

Brown's spokesman said the government saw "merit" in further meetings of the G20.

"We think it is a good format, but it is really for leaders to discuss and take a view on when they meet in London later this week," Brown's spokesman said.

"I think he (Brown) certainly sees the case for looking at the way we deal with a lot of these international issues. We clearly have moved away from the old format of it being only the G8 that meets to discuss global issues."

Brown faces criticism that his attempt to bring more than 20 world leaders together for one day and try to reach a consensus in how to tackle the financial crisis is too ambitious.

However, his spokesman said the London meeting should not be viewed in isolation.

"I think we see it very much as a process rather than an individual meeting. It is a process that is nearer to its beginning than to its end," he said.

The G8, grouping the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia, tackles global challenges from the economy to the environment.

The G20, made up of the top 19 economies plus the European Union, has the task of reviving growth and reforming the financial sector and oversight bodies.