Sat, November 15, 2008
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U.S. president: G20 summit first joint step to tackle global financial crisis

2008-11-15 03:11:43 GMT2008-11-15 11:11:43 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) is greeted by U.S. President George W. Bush upon his arrival at the North Portico of the White House before a reception dinner hosted by Bush for the leaders attending the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington, the U.S., Nov. 14, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) shakes hands with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev upon his arrival at the North Portico of the White House before a dinner for the participants in the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington, Nov. 14, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said Friday night that the G20 summit is the first of a series of talks among G20 to solve the global financial crisis and prevent it from being repeated.

Bush made the remarks as addressing the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) at a White House dinner reception on the eve of the two-day summit that is aimed at searching for ways to solve the current economic crisis and prevent it from being repeated.

"We are here because we share a concern about the impact of the global financial crisis on the people of our nations; We share a determination to fix the problems that led to this turmoil; We share a conviction that by working together, we can restore the global economy to the path of long-term prosperity," Bush said.

A formal G20 summit is about to start on Saturday at the National Building Museum and all participants are expected to explore the root causes for the current economic crisis and seek solutions including a global financial reform.

The current economic crisis broke out about one year ago when the U.S. real estate market collapsed due to the subprime crisis. As a result, the stock markets crashed and some major financial institutions were forced to close down, stirring market panic and unemployment rate growth.

The summit, as Bush said, will focus on five key objectives: understanding the causes of the global crisis, reviewing the effectiveness of our responses thus far, identifying principles for reforming our financial and regulatory systems, launching a specific action plan to implement those principles, and reaffirming our conviction that free market principles offer the surest path to lasting prosperity.

It is the first time for the G20, which usually brought together finance ministers and central bankers at annual meetings, to hold a summit since it was established in 1999 in Washington D.C..

The body groups the United States, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, Russia, the European Union, Argentine, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

Spain and the Netherlands have also been invited to the summit although they are not counted as members.

Top officials from the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will be also present at the meeting.

However, the summit will witness one vacant seat as Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has rushed back home Friday at the news that his father has just passed away.

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