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19 Oct, 2008 11:25

World leaders to unite for finance crisis summit

The presidents of the United States and France, as well as the head of the European Commission, have agreed to start consultations with world leaders on holding a series of summits devoted to fighting the global financial crisis – starting next

George W Bush, Nicolas Sarkozy and Jose Manuel Barroso made the announcement after a meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on Saturday.

A joint statement said “consultations with world leaders will be held concerning the first summit with the heads of governments participating, to take place in the U.S. after the presidential election.”

The aims of the forum will be to agree the “principles of the reforms” needed to prevent a “repetition of the crisis and secure global prosperity in the future,” the statement said.

The following summits will focus on concrete steps to realise those principles.

During the meeting Nicolas Sarkozy said it was “no longer acceptable to abide 20th century rules.”

“Together we must be able to say to the world that we are determined to find a solution,” he said.

Barroso added that “co-ordination and consistency of countries’ decisions is the way to secure an efficient response to these unprecedented challenges.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon supports the plan for a summit and has offered to host it at the UN headquarters in New York.

“We both agree that there is no time to lose and, therefore, I fully subscribe to your idea of convening such a forum in early December at the latest,” he said in a public letter to the French President.

In his weekly radio address earlier on Saturday, President Bush said “the American people can have confidence that our economy will bounce back”.

He didn’t put a timescale on the recovery, but said the U.S. government “has responded to this crisis with systematic and aggressive measures to protect the financial security of the American people”.

“These actions will take more time to have their full impact. But they are big enough and bold enough to work,” Bush said.