President Barack Obama said the most important task at the G-20 summit is to resolve the European financial crisis and urged European Union leaders to flesh out details of their ambitious plan to rescue Greece and stabilize financial markets.
"We have found a common analysis to make the financial world contribute" to finding a solution to the crisis, Sarkozy told reporters after talks with the U.S. president. He said he welcomed Obama's "understanding on subjects such as a tax on financial transactions."
Obama said he and Sarkozy discussed developments in Greece "and how we can work to help resolve that situation." Obama didn't give any details on what the U.S. might do in concert with its European allies. "The United States will continue to be a partner with the Europeans to resolve these challenges," Obama said.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the G-20 leaders to turn their attention to other pressing world issues, too.
"They should first of all, as leaders of this global economy, and global world, look beyond the immediate concerns — euro crisis — there are so many issues. Billions of people are going hungry to bed, and there are hundreds of millions of people who are sick, who need support," he told The Associated Press in an interview. "I'm concerned about this deteriorating international economic situation and therefore leaders should show unity of purpose, and they should get united," he said.
The G-20 leaders are slated to discuss food security, reform of the international monetary system and the volatility of commodity prices — none of which is expected to get much attention or produce any solid conclusions at a summit so dominated by the European quagmire.