The G8 and G20 summits are the main agenda items on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s trip to Toronto this week, and they could spark spirited debates about how to handle global economic problems.
But a key sidelight, with potential for fireworks in advance of the July 4 holiday that marks U.S. independence from Britain, will be a private meeting between him and President Obama. The BP oil spill could make it a tense meeting.
Cameron rebounded from criticism in his homeland for failing to back BP forcefully enough with tougher talk in recent days, according to the London Telegraph.
During a phone conversation, Cameron said he told Obama that “we do want to make sure that this remains a strong and stable company, for our benefit but also for the benefit of the United States," the Telegraph reported.
Meanwhile, U.S. critics said Obama initially was too soft on the British company, whose Gulf of Mexico oil well explosion killed 11 and has wreaked environmental havoc as millions of gallons of oil have fouled the gulf and begun sullying U.S. beaches.
His stance hardened as the damage spread, and he insisted on BP accountability.
And last week, the president met with BP officials for four hours and persuaded them to put up $20 billion to relieve victims of the spill, as well as a separate $100 million fund to compensate oil rig workers laid off as a result of his six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.
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