Obama, Merkel Vow Cooperation on Libya, Economy

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President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel put aside previous differences on the situation in Libya Tuesday, vowing to "work together more effectively" to address the changes in the Middle East.

The two leaders haven't seen eye to eye on NATO air strikes in Libya or the global economic recovery, but both insist their relationship is strong.

In a joint press conference, Obama said that he and Merkel both "believe that (Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi needs to step down for the sake of his own people."

"There is going to be a lot of work to do when Gadhafi does step down, in terms of getting the Libyan people back on their feet," Obama said. "Economic, political work that's going to have to be done."

"And my expectation is going to be that there will be full and robust German support as there has been in the past from Germany on a wide range of issues," he said.

Merkel assured, "Germany will be showing that it is responsible and committed to the Libyan cause."

"It is our joint will that this NATO mission is successful," she added.

Initially, Germany refused to participate in the NATO mission to stop Gadhafi's crackdown on anti-government protestors.

The two also addressed global economic concerns, agreeing that the financial situation in Europe "cannot be allowed to put the global economic recovery at risk."

"We in the Eurozone are aware of our responsibility for the global economy," Merkel said.

Obama did point to German investments as one source of jobs being created in America.

"Germany is one of our largest trading partners, and we discussed how to keep our economies growing and create the jobs that our people need," he said.

Despite gas prices and recent proof of economic instability, the president also said he's "not concerned" about a double-dip recession.

Merkel was in Washington to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom award. She will be treated to a special dinner in the Rose Garden Tuesday night.

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