US President Barack Obama on Monday telephoned French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss the global economic crisis, the Middle East and improving bilateral relations.
These were the latest in a long list of telephone calls to foreign leaders that Obama has made since his inauguration on January 20.
Obama and Medvedev agreed to meet soon to discuss the full "potential" of Russian-US relations, the Kremlin said according to Russian media. Ties between the two powers have deteriorated sharply in the past few years amid disagreements over US plans for a missile defence system and Russia's war with Georgia this summer.
Medvedev congratulated Obama on his inauguration and wished him success. The two leaders discussed the threats of international terrorism, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the spread of nuclear weapons, the Kremlin said.
Obama and Merkel's telephone call focussed on the economic and financial crisis that has led both countries into a deep recession, according to German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm. The two leaders agreed that international cooperation was the key to remaking the financial system and avoiding a similar crisis in future.
Sarkozy and Obama held what was described as a "warm" telephone discussion that included the global economic crisis, the crisis in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the upcoming NATO summit in Strasbourg, scheduled for early April, the Elysee Palace said in a statement.
Sarkozy "saluted the courageous measures taken by Obama" after he took office, especially his announced intention to close the Guantanamo prison camp.
"These measures corresponded with the high expectations in Europe, and France is ready to help the US to implement them," the statement read.