Obama, Lula discuss energy, Honduras

July 9, 2009 at 3:49 PM
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L'AQUILA, Italy, July 9 (UPI) -- Energy and climate, Honduras, the global economy and Iran were discussion topics between the U.S. and Brazilian presidents Thursday, the White House said.

U.S. President Obama and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva conducted a side meeting while attending the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquilo, Italy, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

"Obviously the president believes that Brazil can be a close strategic partner with the United States, that many of the issues -- that there are a number of issues of mutual national interest that the president believes the United States and Brazil can and should cooperate on."

Obama and Lula agreed to continue to work together leading up to a climate change summit in Copenhagen later this year, Gibbs said in presenting a readout of the meeting.

Obama told Lula he appreciated the coordinated efforts taken among several countries to seek a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Honduras since a military coup ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya.

The two leaders agreed to "work together to do what's necessary to bring the global economy back on track, steps that can be taken obviously to help emerging markets for global demand of exports," Gibbs said. "And there was a discussion of financial regulation and how that will be a big topic when the nations get together in Pittsburgh" at the Group of 20 economic ministers meeting in October.

Brazil's relationship with Iran presents a "unique opportunity" to repeat the G8 message Wednesday about Iran's responsibility within the international community.

"That relationship gives them (Brazilian officials) the ability to underscore that (message) with the Iranian government," Gibbs said.

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