Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 17:50 UK

PM Brown and Obama hold meeting

Gordon Brown: "I think you guys should start to understand how international meetings work"

Gordon Brown has met Barack Obama for talks as the G20 summit neared its end, quelling rumours that he had been snubbed by the US president.

He said they had discussed several "big issues" at talks which followed a joint statement in Pittsburgh condemning Iran's nuclear programme.

Mr Brown also said the summit signalled a new era in economic co-operation.

On Thursday, White House and No 10 officials denied claims that Mr Obama had snubbed Mr Brown.

Sources had said Mr Brown's staff were "frantic" after repeated requests for a one-to-one meeting were refused.

But a spokesman for the prime minister said reports of a rift were "completely without foundation". A White House spokesman said: "Any stories that suggest trouble in the bilateral relationship between the United States and UK are totally absurd."

Recession 'not over'

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting at the G20 summit, Mr Brown said he and Mr Obama had discussed issues including Iran, Afghanistan and the global economy.

Referring to rumours of a snub, he told journalists: "I have been meeting with the president all week and I'm not going to get into this game. I have met the president today to talk about a number of big issues."

We have no secrecy, we work within the framework of the IAEA
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President

He added: "I think you guys should start to understand how international meetings work."

Mr Brown used the press conference to outline a range of other issues the G20 were discussing on Friday and said he would urge fellow leaders to press ahead with fiscal stimulus measures in order to safeguard economic recovery.

"The recession is not over. It is not automatic that we are going to recover. The path to recovery is still very fragile," he added.

He also said a communiqué to be issued later on regulating bankers's bonuses would be "tougher than people expect it to be".

'Harden our resolve'

He said the G20 was to become the "premier" body for monitoring international economic problems adding: "The old systems of economic co-operation are over ... New systems of economic co-operation, from today, have begun."

Earlier, Mr Obama, Mr Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy stood shoulder to shoulder to issue a message to Iran after the US president reported that the country had concealed a partially-built, second uranium enrichment plant.

Mr Brown said the international community was prepared to impose "further and more stringent sanctions" if Iran did not heed its demands on the issue.

"The level of deception by the Iranian government and the scale of what we believe is the breach of international commitments will shock and anger the whole of the international community and it will harden our resolve," he said.

The PM explained that those sanctions would apply to finance, energy and "anything approaching technological equipment that could be used for military purposes".

Nick Robinson
Gordon Brown had the ultimate answer to those who said he'd been snubbed by Obama.

He said it was the third time that Iran had been "caught red-handed" breaching its nuclear obligations and the response would consequently be "tougher" than it had been previously.

"I think everybody knows that our road is sanctions, the pressure of the international community working together," he said.

"We rule nothing out and never have - I've always said that - but the preferred route ... is to bring the international community together to show that Iran is isolated in the action that it is taking and sanctions may be the next vehicle we have to use to make sure that pressure is on."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reacted by singling out Mr Obama and calling his response to the matter "a mistake".

"We have no secrecy, we work within the framework of the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency]," he told US magazine Time.

"This does not mean we must inform Mr Obama's administration of every facility that we have."

Mr Brown told Sky News that he accepted that British voters had "suspended judgement" on him and he had to "show people that the action that we have taken is bringing results and will bring greater results in the months to come".



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