CANNES, France – With all eyes on the Eurozone crisis, President Obama said this morning that the most important task for world leaders gathered at the G-20 summit in France is to “resolve the financial crisis here in Europe.”
Speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy after their bilateral meeting, Obama urged European leaders to act on the debt deal to which they agreed last week. “Here at the G-20, we’re going to have to flesh out more of the details about how the plan will be fully and decisively implemented,” he said.
At a separate meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama explained further “we are now, having seen some progress, looking forward to working together to figure out how we can implement this in an effective way to make sure that not only is the Eurozone stable, but the world financial system is stable as well.”
Amid mounting uncertainty on the pending Greek bailout vote, Obama said he and Sarkozy “discussed the situation in Greece and how we can work to resolve that situation.” The president did not, however, directly address the Greek referendum or how the United States plans to respond.
“The United States will continue to be a partner with the Europeans to resolve these challenges,” the president said.
On a personal note, Obama congratulated Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, on the birth of their daughter. “I informed Nicolas on the way in that I am confident that Giulia inherited her mother’s looks rather than her fathers … which I think is an excellent thing,” Obama joked. “Now we share one of the greatest challenges and blessings of life and that is being fathers to our daughters.”