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G20 nations must focus on common ground: Obama

world Updated: Apr 01, 2009 15:45 IST

AFP
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US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that G20 nations should focus on "common ground, not our occasional differences" at this week's summit in London.

"We have a responsibility to coordinate our actions and focus on common ground, not our occasional differences," he said, after France warned it could walk out of the talks if it does not secure agreement on regulatory reforms.

Obama also stressed that he was in London "to listen and not to lecture" during a press conference after talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is hosting Thursday's summit.

"The G20 nations are appropriately pursuing their own approaches," he said. "We're not going to agree on every point.

"I came here to put forward ideas but also came here to listen and not to lecture. Having said that, we must not miss an opportunity to lead, to confront a crisis that knows no borders."

Obama also pledged that the US and the Britain would do "whatever it takes to stimulate growth and demand" and spoke of the need for nations "to act with a sense of urgency".

France has said President Nicolas Sarkozy could walk out of the G20 summit if it does not agree the tighter global financial regulation which both Paris and Berlin want.

Sarkozy has also said both he and the Germans are not happy with the contents of a draft statement being drafted ahead of the summit.

The US, supported by Japan, wants to secure a coordinated international stimulus package but Obama has dismissed talk of a split with Europe.

After his meeting with Brown, Obama is due to hold his first meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.