I know that the G20 nations are appropriately pursuing their own approaches, and as Gordon indicated, we’re not going to agree on every point. I came here to put forward our ideas, but I also came here to listen, and not to lecture. Having said that, we must not miss an opportunity to lead. To confront a crisis that knows no borders, we have a responsibility to coordinate our actions and to focus on common ground, not on our occasional differences. If we do, I believe we can make enormous progress.
And that’s why, in preparation for these meetings, I’ve reached out and consulted with many of the leaders who are here or will be arriving shortly.
History shows us that when nations fail to cooperate, when they turn away from one another, when they turn inward, the price for our people only grows. That’s how the Great Depression deepened. That’s a mistake that we cannot afford to repeat.
So in the days ahead I believe we will move forward with a sense of common purpose. We have to do what’s necessary to restore growth and to pursue the reforms that can stabilize our financial system well into the future. We have to reject protectionism and accelerate our efforts to support emerging markets. And we have to put in place a structure that can sustain our cooperation in the months and years ahead.
The Prime Minister and I also covered several other areas of challenge that are fundamental to our common security and prosperity. As he mentioned, we discussed my administration’s review of strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a review that benefitted greatly from the consultations with our allies.
The city of London, like the United States, was attacked by the al Qaeda terrorists who are still plotting in Pakistan, and we are committed to a focused effort to defeat them. And I want to repeat something that I said during our last visit together — I want to honor the British troops and their families who are serving alongside our own on behalf of our common security.
We also discussed the progress that was made yesterday at The Hague, where more than 70 nations gathered to discuss our mutual responsibilities to partner with the Afghan people so that we can deny al Qaeda a safe haven. And in the days ahead we’ll consult further with our NATO allies about training Afghan security forces, increasing our civilian support, and a regional approach that recognizes the connection between the future of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And just a few other points. The Prime Minister and I share a common commitment to sustain diplomacy on behalf of a secure and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and Israel and the Arab world. And we’re working together to responsibly end the war in Iraq by transitioning to Iraqi responsibility. We’re both committed to diplomacy with Iran that offers the Islamic republic the opportunity of a better future if it abandons its nuclear weapons ambitions.