US President Barack Obama said that all the participating countries at G20 summit should work together to tackle the global financial crisis and should recognize they had to forget their occasional differences on how to promote economic growth and trade.

Speaking at a joint press conferences with Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London on Wednesday , Obama said the reports of splits between nations “were vastly overstated,” stressing that countries must work together or “face a repeat of the Great Depression which followed the Wall Street crash of 1929”.

“We are not going to agree on every point that the G20 countries are pursuing… [but] we must not miss an opportunity to solve the crisis that knows no boundaries”.

He said all of the G20 countries -- which account for 85 percent of the world economy -- have a responsibility to co-ordinate our actions and find out our common interests, not our occasional differences.

“The US does not intend to work alone, all the major countries need to tackle the crisis with a sense of emergency,” the President said.

Obama insisted that each country needed to make sure it was taking serious steps to deal with the problems in the banking sector and the financial markets. But in Berlin, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was more focused on “a new constitution for financial markets”.

Like French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany is pushing for stricter financial regulation, setting them up in opposition to the US, Britain and Japan .

Sarkozy and Angela Merkel will hold a joint press conference in London, late on Wednesday to spell out their demands for tougher regulation of financial companies. They are both determined to shift the emphasis away from further fiscal stimulus efforts.

The G20 leaders are under huge pressure to come up with concrete actions, with the world economy set to shrink for the first time since the Second World War.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) expects a 2.75 pc contraction this year.