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G20 summit progress despite differences
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08:40, April 03, 2009

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Leaders from the Group of 20 (G20) have made progress in their close-door discussion for searching for a global solution to the financial crisis despite their differences, British officials said on Thursday.

"There have been differences between countries but what you are seeing is a determination to come together to make sure that we can resolve those differences," British Chancellor Alistair Darling was quoted in a Independent TV Network (ITN).

"There is a very, very positive attitude. There is a very great determination that we make substantial progress. That is what the world expects from us," Darling said.

Leaders are expected to agree on a 250-billion-dollar plan to support global trade, Darling said. "I think we are going to agree to increase the amount of trade guarantees by about 250 billion dollars. That will be a big help because the world trade is stalled at the moment," Darling said in a separate interview with British Broadcasting Company (BBC) on the sidelines of the G20 summit in London.

"For recovery to happen, we need world trade to be going on," he said, adding it was an indication that the G20 leaders are determined to act together.

In a brief opening statement, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown outlined a working plan for the discussion, calling on leaders to finalize the joint communique which covers banking regulations.

Brown said the world leaders attending summit are anxious to reach agreements on major points, including a joint call to resist protectionism, and to strengthen financial regulation.

"I believe that the text that has been circulated already reflects a very high degree of consensus and agreement between all of us," Brown said.

On Wednesday, Brown said he was confident that the summit will produce consensus on a global plan for economic recovery and reform. "We are within a few hours, I think, of agreeing a global plan for economic recovery and reform and I think the significance of this is that we are looking at every aspect."

The leaders are expected to have a busy day of intensive talks, which started with Brown hosting a working breakfast, followed by two plenary sessions. A joint communique will be issued at the end of the summit.

The summit started by a breakfast scheduled at 8:30 am local time after the leaders were greeted by British Prime Brown at the entrance of London's exhibition censer, or ExCel London, in eastern London. The breakfast provided an opportunity for the leaders to exchange views in an informal way before their formal talks later in the day.

Security is tight around the venue. Police can be seen at every crossroads within about five kilometers. Journalists have to pass through two security checkpoints to get to the press censer, where about 2200 registered journalists work and many of them stayed for the night.

Outside the Excel, anti-capitalist protesters started their second day of protests. On Wednesday, at least 87 were arrested and one protester died, London's police said.

Brown, the host, who made a global trip and met the leaders to prepare for the summit, said he was confident that the summit will produce consensus on a global plan for economic recovery and reform.


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