Sarkozy, Obama agree to work for G20 success

September 16, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) speaks with France's President Nicolas Sarkozy before a dinner at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, July 9, 2009. Leaders of the Group of Eight major industrial nations and the main developing economies are meeting in the central Italian city of L'Aquila until Friday to discuss issues ranging from global economic stimulus to climate change and oil prices. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (ITALY POLITICS)   By Sophie Hardach
   PARIS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy joined forces on Tuesday ahead of the Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh, agreeing to work toward new decisions on the economy and the financial system, Sarkozy’s office said.
   In a telephone conversation, Obama and Sarkozy reiterated their will to implement the decisions made at the group’s last summit in London, Sarkozy’s office said in a statement.
   “They agreed to work in close coordination to make the Pittsburgh meeting a success, allowing new decisions to be taken to ensure sustainable growth, reinforce the international financial system, reform international financial institutions and make them more efficient,” the statement said.
   The White House said Obama and Sarkozy discussed a shared strategic agenda.
   “The two leaders discussed preparations for the upcoming G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, including the need to address a broad range of regulatory reform issues, including capital and executive compensation,” a White House statement said.
   Earlier in the day, the Financial Stability Board, made up of G20 central bankers, regulators and finance ministry officials, met in Paris to prepare for the Pittsburgh summit on Sept. 24-25.
   The board said banks would have to set aside more capital and have less money to offer big bonuses, part of wider G20 efforts to make the financial sector less risky.
    Sarkozy, supported by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has long pushed the G20 to back tougher curbs on bonuses.
   British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, initially unenthusiastic about the initiative, this month co-signed a letter with Sarkozy and Merkel calling for the G20 to adopt binding rules on variable pay for major banks.
   In the letter, the three leaders had asked the G20 to discuss how to exit measures implemented to tackle the economic crisis.
   Referring to the half-hour phone conversation between Sarkozy and Obama on Tuesday, the president’s office said the two had also discussed Iran and a possible relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (Editing by Marie Maitre and James Dalgleish)
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Wednesday, 16 September 2009 03:58:32RTRS [nN1592900 ] {C}ENDS

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