Obama Shoulders World Economic Concern

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President Barack Obama will be at the center of the world stage Wednesday as the G-20 economic summit gets set to kick off in London.

At the top of the president's agenda are his push for a global economic stimulus package and meetings with the leaders of Russia and China.

Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Reporter Erick Stakelbeck followed by Pat Robertson's interview with CBN News White House Correspondent David Brody, who's covering the president's visit to the G-20 summit in London.

President Obama arrived in London with what literally seemed like the weight of the world on his shoulders. Expectations for his first official foray onto the global stage are huge.

While British prime minister Gordon Brown, whom the president met with Wednesday morning, remains a steadfast ally, the two largest countries in the European Union, France and Germany, are leading widespread European opposition to the president's global stimulus plan.

No Desire For More Debt

Most European countries have already passed stimulus packages of their own and have no desire to take on more debt.

"It makes no sense to pump more and more money in our economy whenever we haven't restored the confidence on the financial markets," said German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to walk away from the conference, because he wants tighter regulations on banks.

"President Sarkozy was very clear on that front," said French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. "He said that 'if the deliverables are not there, I won't sign the communique.'"

Brown and the White House have sought to reassure Sarkozy and other world leaders that failing banks won't be rewarded.

"We don't reward them for taking irresponsible risks that would put them or others in danger," Brown said.

Worldwide Unemployment Estimates

New estimates show that worldwide unemployment will rise by 25 million this year, and that the global economy will shrink by over 4 percent with scant growth next year. While some world leaders may have doubts about the Obama plan to address these challenges, a recent poll showed that 43 percent of Americans believe the president has improved the image of the U.S. in the eyes of the world.

The president is scheduled to have tea with the Queen of England Wednesday, but then it is back to serious business, as he sits down for what may be testy meetings with the leaders of China and Russia.

President Obama and Russian president Dmitri Medvedev say they will reopen talks on reducing nuclear warheads.

But the economy remains the main focus of this summit and trying to get everyone on the same page clearly isn't easy -- if it's possible at all.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Reporter

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