Washington: US President George W. Bush said Saturday after crisis talks with finance ministers from the G7 rich countries that all agreed the world financial meltdown required “a serious global response.”
“All of us recognize that this is a serious global crisis and therefore requires a serious global response for the good of our people,” Bush said in the White House Rose Garden after the roughly 40-minute meeting.
“The United States has a special role to play in leading the response to this crisis. That’s why I convened this morning’s meeting here at the White House and it is why our government will continue using all the tools at our disposal to resolve this crisis,” he declared.
Bush was joined by finance ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, as well as International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and World Bank President Robert Zoellick and other officials.
With some warning that the crisis may be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Bush vowed no repeat of steps that deepened that crisis, such as enacting protectionist steps that choke off trade.
“There have been moments of crisis in the past when powerful nations turned their energies against each other, or sought to wall themselves off from the world,” said the US president.
“This time is different: the leaders gathered in Washington this weekend are all working towards the same goals,” he said. “We’re in this together, we’ll come through it together.”
Bush hailed international cooperation thus far, and said the Group of Seven would work with an enlarged forum known as the Group of 20 that includes other major economies like China, India and Russia.
“As our nations confront challenges unique to our individual financial systems, we must continue to work collaboratively, and ensure that our actions are coordinated,” he said.
“We must ensure the actions of one country do not contradict or undermine the actions of another. In an interconnected world, no nation will gain by driving down the fortunes of another,” he warned.