U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was very concerned about the euro zone crisis and believed the European Union had the resources to solve it if leaders could find the political will.

Europe is wealthy enough that there's no reason why they can't solve this problem, Obama told reporters at the White House.

If they muster the political will, they have the capacity to settle markets down, make sure that they are acting responsibly and that governments like Italy are able to finance their debt.

Obama said he thought German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made progress with other European leaders in moving towards a fiscal compact where everybody's playing by the same rules and that ensured countries were not acting irresponsibly.

I think that's all for the good but there's a short-term crisis that has to be resolved to make sure that markets have confidence that Europe stands behind the euro, he said.

We're going to do everything we can to push them in ... a good direction on this because it has a huge impact on what happens here in the United States. They are our largest trading partner and, you know, we're seeing some positive signs in our economy. But if we see Europe tank that obviously could have a big impact on our ability to generate the jobs that we need here in the United States.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason)