Obama, World Leaders End G8 Talks

Posted May 19th, 2012 at 7:45 pm (UTC-5)
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“We agreed upon the importance of a strong and cohesive eurozone, and affirmed our interest in Greece staying in the eurozone while respecting its commitments. Of course, we also recognize the painful sacrifices that the Greek people are making at this difficult time, and I know that my European colleagues will carry forward these discussions as they prepare for a meeting next week.”

In their formal statement, the leaders said they commit to taking “all necessary steps to strengthen and reinvigorate” their economies and combat financial stresses, “recognizing that the right measures are not the same” for each of them.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose nation has pushed stiff austerity measures for deeply indebted countries like Greece, said all the leaders agreed that fiscal discipline must be balanced with efforts to encourage growth.

“We completely agreed that we need both — fiscal discipline, restructuring of our budgets and at the same time all efforts for growth. The two determine each other, that means it is important to work on both tracks. All participants made this clear here today and we think that is significant progress.”

Before the conference opened, President Obama said he would press his fellow G-8 leaders to give more weight to pro-growth measures as they combat the mounting debt that has threatened the stability of the eurozone.

Separately, Mr. Obama said the talks at Camp David covered security issues along with climate change, the energy markets, food security, Afghanistan, and the democratic transitions under way in the Middle East and North Africa.

With the G8 talks over, Mr. Obama now turns his attention to his hometown of Chicago for a summit of NATO leaders. The leaders are expected to discuss and decide on the level of financial support for Afghanistan's military after 2014, when foreign troops are due to formally end their combat role.