White House praises 'diligent' work for euro fix

20th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The White House Thursday praised French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for working "diligently" for a "politically sustainable" solution to the eurozone crisis.

The assessment came after US President Barack Obama held a video conference with the two leaders and British Prime Minister David Cameron, ahead of a crucial weekend for the European single currency, officials said.

The four leaders also discussed the death of longtime Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi. France and Britain played a key leadership role in the NATO operation over Libya, after an initial US airborne blitz.

A White House statement issued after the videoconference said that "Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy fully understand the urgency of the issues in the eurozone."

In the most effusive praise so far for European efforts to beat the debt crisis, the statement said the leaders were "working diligently" towards a "comprehensive solution" which will be "politically sustainable."

Obama has been involved in frequent transatlantic calls, with Merkel especially, in recent weeks, after warning that the European debt crisis poses significant risks to the slowly recovering US economy.

The White House said the leaders agreed to continue consulting closely before they meet up at the G20 summit in Cannes, France early next month.

The conference came ahead of a critical weekend which will see continental leaders meet to try to solve the crisis.

Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier there was complete agreement between Paris and Berlin on an EU bailout fund but that no accord had yet been clinched among 17 euro member states.

Officials are engaged in fevered diplomacy before the make-or-break summit. Eurozone finances meet on Friday and EU finance ministers and foreign ministers on Saturday to prepare the meeting.

On the day that Kadhafi was killed after being captured by rebel fighters near his hometown of Sirte, the four leaders on the video conference also discussed developments in Libya.

"They welcomed the end of the Kadhafi regime and agreed that it is an extraordinary day for the NATO-led coalition and above all the Libyan people," the White House statement said.

© 2011 AFP

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