President Barack Obama held a series of bilateral meeting with world leaders in advance of the Group of 20 Summit in London, as he attempts to set the stage for a productive meeting.
Obama met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, releasing a joint statement in which they promised a fresh start in relations between our two countries.
Relations between the two nations have been strained in recent months, especially after the U.S. strongly opposed Russia's recent military actions in Georgia.
We, the leaders of Russia and the United States, are ready to move beyond Cold War mentalities, the statement said.
In just a few months we have worked hard to establish a new tone in our relations, the leaders said. Now it is time to get down to business and translate our warm words into actual achievements of benefit to Russia, the United States, and all those around the world interested in peace and prosperity.
In a brief statement after the meeting, Obama said he is encouraged by the leadership of Medvedev.
I am especially excited about the fact that the President extended an invitation for me to visit Moscow to build on some of the areas that we discussed on today, Obama said.
White House officials said on Wednesday that Obama would visit Moscow in July.
Obama also met with Chinese President Hu Jintao to have an extensive exchange of views on U.S.-China relations and global issues of common interest.
According to a statement released Wednesday, Obama and Hu agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive U.S.-China relationship and to maintain and strengthen exchanges at all levels.
Hu invited Obama to visit China in the second half of this year, and Obama accepted the offer.
Further, the two decided to establish the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will chair the Strategic Track of this dialogue, while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan will chair the Economic Track of the dialogue.
The first round of the dialogue will be held in Washington, D.C. over the summer.
Obama and Hu both welcomed the fiscal stimulus measures taken by the other and agreed that these measures were already playing a stabilizing role for the global economy.
They also agreed that strong financial systems were essential for restoring growth, and they welcomed the commitment of both countries to address issues in this area.
Both leaders agreed that international financial institutions should have more resources to help emerging market and developing nations withstand the shortfall in capital, and the two countries will take actions toward this goal.
In his meeting with U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Obama urged a concerted effort to stimulate the global economy. Obama called for world leaders at the G-20 to act with a sense of urgency as they look to move forward from the current economic downturn.
Obama and Brown delivered remarks following a bilateral meeting Wednesday, setting the tone for the president's first major overseas trip while in office.
The president and the prime minister focused on the renewal of the special relationship between the U.S. and the U.K., albeit in more challenging times.
Today we are renewing our special relationship for new times, Brown said at the conference. Ours is not an alliance of convenience; it is a partnership of purpose. It's a partnership that at times of challenge is resilient and at times of change is constant.
Brown added that he and Obama agreed on the significance of the G-20 meeting, noting that leaders are ready to do whatever necessary to attack the problems facing the global economy. However, Brown cautioned that there will be some tough negotiations ahead adding that the summit will not be easy.
Obama responded by stating that all leaders in London have the responsibility to act with a sense of urgency.
Obama recognized this conflict in his remarks, stating that the G-20 nations are not going to agree on every point.
However, he urged cooperation and a sense of common purpose.
History shows us that when nations fail to cooperate, when they turn away from one another, when they turn inward, the price for our people only grows, Obama said. That's how the Great Depression deepened. That's a mistake that we cannot afford to repeat.
Obama was questioned about America's role in the creation of the global crisis, specifically for the fallout of the subprime mortgage crisis. Obama responded by stating that he is less interested in identifying blame than fixing the problem.
However, looking forward, he stressed that regulatory reform should be at the top of the list of tasks at the G-20 summit.
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