Obama says he is confident in European leadership

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama praised Europe’s leaders for recognizing the seriousness of their continent’s financial crisis and said a new plan to tackle their debt will have an impact on the U.S. economy.

“If Europe is weak, if Europe is not growing, as our largest trading partner that’s going to have an impact on our businesses and our ability to create jobs here in the United States,” Obama said during remarks in the Oval Office.

European leaders agreed to a deal to have banks take bigger losses on Greece’s debts and to boost the region’s weapons against market turmoil.

World stock markets surged Thursday on the news that the leaders had clinched a deal that everyone hopes will prevent the crisis from pushing Europe and much of the developed world back into recession and keep the currency union from unraveling. But analysts were more cautious, noting that the deal remains vague and its success hangs on the details.

While Obama did not address specifics of the plan agreed to by European leaders Thursday, nor would he say whether he thought the deal would prevent another recession. But he said the agreement was a sign of progress.

“The key now is to make sure that it is implemented fully and decisively and I have great confidence in the European leadership to make that happen,” he said.

Obama spoke at the beginning of an Oval Office meeting with Prime Minister Petr Necas of the Czech Republic. Necas had arrived in Washington from Brussels, where he had been part of the Eurozone negotiations, Obama said.