World leaders to meet on economy in Washington

WASHINGTON - October 22, 2008 - The first meeting will be held to discuss underlying causes of the financial crisis, review progress being made to address it and start developing reforms needed to ensure it does not happen again, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

"The president had spent the past couple of days on the phone with a lot of different leaders talking to them about their thoughts about this meeting," Perino said.

This will be the first in a series of summits that bring together leaders from countries that participate in the G-20 finance process to discuss current economic challenges. The so-called G-20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

At the first meeting, working groups will be set up to develop recommendations to be considered by leaders in subsequent summits. The White House will host a dinner on the eve of the summit. The location of the meeting, however, has not yet been announced.

Bush, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, who met at the Camp David, Md., presidential retreat last week, announced the series of summit, saying the international community needs to work together to address the credit crisis that has shaken markets around the globe.

Noting that the summit will be held after the election, it's too early to know whether the president-elect, be it John McCain or Barack Obama, who were notified about the meeting Wedneday morning, will be in attendance. It's also unclear whether subsequent summits would be held while Bush is still in office.

"The leaders will review progress being made to address the current financial crisis, advance a common understanding of its causes, and, in order to avoid a repetition, agree on a common set of principles for reform of the regulatory and institutional regimes for the world's financial sectors," Perino said.

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, the president of the World Bank, the United Nations Secretary-General and the chairman of the Financial Stability Forum also have been invited to participate.

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