Brown and Obama set for US talks

UK and US leaders to hold talks in Washington on global economic crisis.

    Brown, left, and Obama are set to focus on the
    struggling global economy [AFP]

    Political boost

    Brown will be the first European leader to meet Obama since he took office on January 20. The UK prime minister is also set to address US politicians at a special session of the US congress on Wednesday.

    In depth
    Brown, a former finance minister who has faced plummeting opinion poll ratings in the UK, is also hoping for a political boost from his meeting with Obama, whose approval ratings in the US remain high just six weeks into his administration.

    However, a joint press conference set to be held on Tuesday has been cancelled in what UK media reports described as a possible snub to the British prime minister.

    UK officials reportedly said the press conference was cancelled because of heavy snow on the White House grounds.

    'New Deal'

    Brown has called for a "global New Deal" involving co-operation from major economies to promote growth and improve financial regulations, paying tribute to the policies of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal that lifted the US out of the Great Depression of the 1930's.

    The meeting comes amid continuing turmoil on the global markets.

    On Monday, US stocks fell to their lowest levels in more than 11 years after US insurance giant AIG reported a $61.7bn loss, the worst ever for a US firm.

    "A lot of people looking at this downturn are looking also at the way we can create a better and stronger and more stable economy in the upturn," Brown said on Tuesday.

    "What you really need is a better early warning system. What you need are better rules and standards that can be adopted and can be understood to be the fair ones across the system. What, of course, you need is governments that are prepared to take the supervisory action."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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