President-elect Obama won't be attending this weekend's global economic crisis summit in Washington—saying again that there is only "one president at a time"—but he's sending a bipartisan team to talk with the visiting world leaders and report back to him.
The Obama transition team issued this statement:
"President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden today announced that former Republican Congressman Jim Leach and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will be available to meet with delegations at the G-20 summit on their behalf. Congressman Leach and Secretary Albright will be available for these unofficial meetings to seek input from visiting delegations on behalf of the president-elect and vice president-elect."
"This weekend's summit is an important opportunity to hear from the leaders of many of the world's largest economies. President Bush should be commended for calling the summit. There is one president at a time in the United States, so the president-elect has asked Secretary Albright and Congressman Leach, an experienced and bipartisan team, to be available to meet with and listen to our friends and allies on his behalf," said Obama Senior Foreign Policy Adviser Denis McDonough.
Secretary Albright served as secretary of state and the United States ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration. Congressman Leach represented Iowa's Second Congressional District for 30 years, where he served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Further details about the specific delegations Leach and Albright plan to meet with will be released at a later date. The president-elect and vice president-elect will receive a briefing from Leach and Albright following the meetings.
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