March 3, 2009
Transcript: Q&A by Obama, Brown
President Obama: Tennis, I hear you got a game.
Prime Minister Brown: Yes, we could maybe have a —
President Obama: We haven’t tried it yet.
Prime Minister Brown: I don’t know if you — I think you’d be better. But there we are.
As far as the common interests that we’re pursuing — look, there is the possibility in the next few months of a global new deal that will involve all the countries of the world in sorting out and cleaning up the banking system. And there is the possibility of all the different countries of the world coming together to agree to expansion in the economy that is necessary to both restore confidence and to give people jobs and growth and prosperity for the future.
And there is the possibility of the international institutions for the first time being reformed in such a way that they can do the job that people want them to do, and deal with some of the problems that exist in the poorest countries of the world. And there’s a chance, also, that the recovery that we’re talking about can be a green recovery, a low-carbon recovery, where each country in different parts of the world can work on this together.
So the opportunities are there. I’ve said to the President that almost every leader I meet wants the best possible relationship and the most — the highest degree of cooperation for the future.
And so the challenges are momentous and global. The response of leaders around the world is to want to work together. And I believe that we can make a contribution not just to each of our own economies, but make a contribution to the world economy, helping each economy if we can actually work together. And that’s why our talk about the G20 is very important. We hope to make progress on April the 2nd.
And as far as regulation, I want the regulatory system to be reformed to meet the needs of our times. When we made changes in 1997, we made changes for the times of 1997. The financial markets have moved global since then, and we need a global means of bringing people together so there’s proper supervision of the system. You don’t want shadow banking systems. You don’t want regulatory tax havens. So we’ve got to act as a world together to deal with that. And that’s one of the things we’ll be talking about in April in London.
Question: Can you just talk about the Pakistan terror attack today on the cricket team? You, in particular, Mr. President, have made it clear that you’ve got to see Afghanistan and Pakistan together. How do you think that the world community can support Pakistan?
President Obama: Well, the details are still coming in, and so I don’t want to be too specific. Obviously, we’re deeply concerned. But let me just make a general statement. Both Great Britain and the United States share a deep interest in ensuring that neither Afghanistan, nor Pakistan are safe havens for terrorist activity.
And we have coordinated effectively in the past. But the truth is, is that the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated. The safe havens for al Qaeda remain in the frontier regions of Pakistan. And we are conducting currently a comprehensive review of our policies with respect to Afghanistan, with respect to Pakistan, our coordination with our NATO allies and other members of the international security forces that are there. I will be making a series of announcements prior to the NATO summit that immediately follows the G20 summit, in terms of the direction that the United States would like to go.
What I’m confident in is that our strongest partner in that effort once again will be the United Kingdom and the Prime Minister sitting next to me.
Okay, thank you, guys.
(Source: White House)