WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama used conversations with European leaders in recent days to push for "forceful and decisive" action on tackling the eurozone crisis, his spokesman said Thursday.
Obama met French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by telephone on Monday.
"He reiterated that he believes that (Europe has the ) wherewithal to deal with the issues that confront them and he encouraged them to take forceful and decisive action to do just that," spokesman Jay Carney said on Air Force One.
There is increasing concern in the United States that Europe's debt woes could spark a wider economic crisis that could reach US shores, infect the global financial system and tip the American economy back into recession.
Carney's descriptions of Obama's stance appeared to hint at a slightly more robust US line on the crisis, following repeated calls from the administration for "concerted" action to take care of the debt crisis in Europe.
On Wednesday, a US official speaking on condition of anonymity, said European financial officials needed to work more closely together.
The official said the United States believes Europe has the resources it needs to deal with the snowballing crisis that is spilling over from Greece, Ireland, and Portugal.
But, the official said, "the challenge they have before them is pretty clear: it's to be able to unequivocally ensure that sovereigns with sound fiscal plans have access to affordable financing."
"It is to unequivocally assure that European banks have the requisite liquidity and are sufficiently capitalized."
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