Obama Praises G-20 Agreement in Radio Address
By Philip Rucker
President Obama used his weekly radio and video address this morning to salute the agreement he reached with world leaders at Thursday's G-20 summit in London and highlight his meetings with allies during his first foreign trip.
Obama called the move by leaders of the world's largest economies to make available more than $1 trillion in new lending "a turning point in our pursuit of a global economic recovery."
"All of us are now moving aggressively to get our banks lending again," Obama said. "All of us are working to spur growth and create jobs. And all of us have agreed on the most sweeping reform of our financial regulatory framework in a generation -- reform that will help end the risky speculation and market abuses that have cost so many people so much."
Obama said he recognized the struggles of families at home, citing Friday's reports that the U.S. economy shed 633,000 jobs in March and the nation's unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent. But he noted that "we live in a world that has grown smaller and more interconnected than at any time in history" and that it was necessary for him to take his maiden voyage overseas.
"In the end, we recognize that no corner of the globe can wall itself off from the threats of the twenty-first century, or from the needs and concerns of fellow nations," Obama said. "The only way forward is through shared and persistent efforts to combat fear and want wherever they exist. That is the challenge of our time. And if we move forward with courage and resolve, I am confident that we will meet this challenge."
Obama highlighted his discussions with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev regarding the economy and nuclear weapons, as well as his meeting with NATO allies, in which he asked for additional support for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Obama said al Qaeda, the terrorist group believed to be training in Afghanistan, could attack any nation, and that each country has a stake in ensuring the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is successful.
Obama said he will lay out plans tomorrow in a speech in Prague for securing the world's loose nuclear materials and "stop the spread of these deadly weapons."
Despite negotiating to find common ground with allies, Obama said, the United States has "not solved all of our problems. And we have not agreed on every point or every issue in every meeting. But we have made real and unprecedented progress -- and will continue to do so in the weeks and months ahead."
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