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Bush says US to host summit on financial crisis


Latest update : 2008-12-10

US President George W. Bush announced that the US would host a summit aimed at tackling the growing global financial crisis "in the near future", in a speech welcoming French President Nicolas Sarkozy to his Camp David retreat.

View our special report: 'Capitalism on the brink?'


U.S. President George W. Bush said on Saturday he would soon host a summit of world leaders to look at strategies to combat the global financial crisis.

"It is essential that we work together because we are in this crisis together," Bush said before a meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Union President Jose Manuel Barroso.

"I look forward to hosting this meeting in the near future," he said, adding that he had discussed plans for the summit with Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan, the current chair of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

Bush stressed that the summit, called in the wake of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, should not seek to undercut the basic economic principles of international capitalism.

"We must resist the dangerous temptation of economic isolationism (and) continue the policies of open markets that have lifted standards of living and helped millions of people escape poverty around the world," Bush said.

Sarkozy has called for an overhaul of the current international financial architecture established just after World War II at the 1944 Bretton Woods conference, and said on Saturday the summit could possibly be held before the end of November in New York.

The French leader, whose country now holds of the rotating presidency of the European Union, said the meeting would be a "great opportunity" to reassess how the world runs its financial affairs.

"Those who have led us to where we are today should not be allowed to do so once again," he said.

"This sort of capitalism is a betrayal of the sort of capitalism we believe in. And that is the reason why ... we have come to make Europe's voice heard."

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accompanied Bush to Camp David. The White House said no new policy announcements were expected.

Bush had earlier sought to reassure Americans the U.S. government, which plans to inject $250 billion in capital into U.S. banks, had no intention of becoming a permanent shareholder in these institutions.

A credit crisis that swept around the globe has pummeled markets, leaving the United States and its European allies searching for ways to cushion the shock to financial systems.

Date created : 2008-10-18