Mr Obama told the press conference in the Foreign Office’s Locarno Room that America was willing to lead the world out of crisis, but could not do it on its own.
With France and Germany making it publicly clear they are not yet ready to sign up to the final communique, Mr Obama was at his smoothest — and it was a hugely smooth performance — when playing down the divisions.
“I am absolutely confident that this meeting will reflect enormous consensus about the need to work in concert to deal with these problems,” he said.
“The separation between the various parties has been vastly over-stated.”
This is a very Obama theme: