Bush welcomes G20 leaders for critical financial summit

November 15th, 2008 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 15 (DPA) US President George W. Bush greeted leaders from the world’s 20 top economies Saturday for an historic summit aimed at stabilizing the financial system and halting a global economic slide.Bush, in a brief statement, said he was pleased with the early results after leaders held a working dinner Friday night, but again warned against nations restricting free markets and trade as a result of the financial crisis.

“I am pleased that we’re discussing a way forward to make sure that such a crisis is unlikely to occur again. And I am pleased that the leaders reaffirmed the principled behind open markets and free trade,” said Bush, as he welcomed leaders at Washington’s National Building Museum.

According to a draft of the final declaration, world leaders were expected to sign an agreement that will close all gaps in the regulation of world finance markets.

Finance ministers have been given a deadline of March 31 to hammer out the specifics, followed by another summit of the G20 leaders at a later date. The next summit is most likely to be held in London, but a formal announcement was expected later Saturday.

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