President Obama met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the start of the Group of 20 summit of the world’s most powerful economies on Thursday.
The two European leaders are working to persuade Greece to accept the bailout package that the European Union proposed last week. And though America may still be “the most important economy in the world,” according to the White House, Obama’s tone on Thursday signaled that, as expected, he will not be taking charge in the negotiations.
After meeting with Sarkozy on Thursday, Obama said the U.S. will be "a partner with the Europeans" to resolve the continent’s debt crisis. He emphasized the impact of the euro-zone crisis on issues at home, saying the American interest in strengthening the global economy was for the purpose of “creating jobs for our people.”
Obama restated the link between G-20 success and American jobs after his meeting with Merkel.
“Central to our discussions at the G-20 is how do we achieve greater global growth and put people back to work,” Obama said.
And though food security, reform of the international monetary system, and the volatility of commodity prices are all on the agenda, the prospect of Greece refusing the bailout is likely to overshadow such items. Still, Obama is holding out hope.
“Hopefully during our bilateral meeting we’ll also have the ability to discuss a wide range of other issues, including security issues that are so important to both our countries,” he said after meeting with Merkel.