Obama Meets with World Leaders before G20 Summit

April 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
President and Mrs. Obama have just left a meeting with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. The president is in London for the G-20 economic summit. President Obama got his first taste of multi-lateral diplomacy today as he met foreign leaders gathered for the G-20 economic summit.

Already, he's accepted two invitations abroad and agreed with Moscow to new arms control talks.

The Obama's also received the royal treatment as guests of Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.

On their very first meeting, President Obama and Russia's Dimitri Medvedev shook hands on an immediate resumption of arms-control negotiations to reduce nuclear stockpiles on both sides, after a period of what the American leader called "drift." "My hope is that given the constructive conversations we've had today, the joint statements that we will be issuing, both on reduction of nuclear arsenals, as well as a range of other areas of interest, that what we're seeing today is the beginning of good progress in US-Russian relations."

President Obama agreed to go to Moscow in July to review progress. An hour later he accepted an invitation to visit China.

Those were important sideline meetings to the main event, Thursday's G20 summit on strategy to revive the global economy. President Obama dismisses all the talk of a big rift among allies.

There is no overstating the wrath of 4,000 anti-capitalism demonstrators who converged on London's financial district, smashing windows at the Royal Bank of Scotland, the biggest loser in the financial collapse in England.

Some carried posters reading Abolish money. The G20 leaders are not likely to see the protests, but they already know the kind of anger that the banking crisis has ignited.

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