WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Leaders from 20 world richest and emerging economies and international economic organizations met in Washington D.C. Friday night ahead of a two-day global financial summit aimed at searching for ways to solve the current financial crisis.
"To all of you, to the principles we share and to the people we serve," said host U.S. President George W. Bush at a White House reception dinner for leaders attending the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy.
"This problem did not develop overnight and it will not be solved overnight, but with continued cooperation and determination it will be solved," he said.
It is the first time for the G20, which usually brought together finance ministers and central bank governors at annual meetings, to hold a summit since it was established in 1999 in Washington D.C..
The body includes the Group of Eight richest countries -- the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Britain, Canada and Russia.
Other members are the European Union, Argentine, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.
Spain and the Netherlands are also invited to the summit.
Top officials from the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will also be present at the meeting.
The current financial crisis was triggered last summer, when the market saw runaway defaults on U.S. subprime residential mortgages. Then the share prices in stock markets across the world started to plunge and some major financial institutions were forced to close down, stirring market panic and pushing up unemployment.
A formal G20 summit meeting was scheduled for Saturday at the National Building Museum in Washington, where the participants are expected to explore the root causes of the crisis and seek solutions including reforms on the global financial system.