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Sarkozy to Visit Pelosi Prior to Meeting With Obama

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is slated to meet Tuesday at the Capitol with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who a day earlier stressed the need for Europe and the United States to work together to foster more effective economic regulations.

During a speech at Columbia University on Monday, Sarkozy called for U.S.-Europe collaboration to “redesign the rules to stabilize the world economy.”

Given that financial regulatory reform is expected to be Democrats’ next major legislative push after the two-week Easter recess, economic regulation is a likely topic of discussion when Pelosi meets with Sarkozy.

The global economy is among the issues that Pelosi and Sarkozy are expected to discuss, Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said. Security issues including Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East peace process are other likely topics, he said.

The meeting, slated to begin about 12:20 p.m., will occur just hours before the French president travels to the White House for an afternoon summit with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden. Sarkozy said Monday that one of the issues he would raise with Obama was strategies for preventing another global financial crisis.

The Obamas will host Sarkozy and his wife, former supermodel Carla Bruni, for dinner in the private residence Tuesday evening.

The French leader’s two-day trip to the United States has been pegged as an opportunity for Sarkozy — whose popularity has declined after recent party losses in regional elections — to underscore his close working relationship with Obama on Iraq, Afghanistan and other global issues.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has flagged an overhaul of the nation’s banking industry as a top agenda item for the next work period, which runs through Memorial Day. The House passed its version of financial regulatory legislation in December.

This will not be Sarkozy’s first trip to the Capitol as France’s president. Just six months after taking office, Sarkozy addressed a joint session of Congress on Nov. 7, 2007.

Pelosi, who returned to Washington, D.C., after a health care victory lap in San Francisco that included a Sunday speech to a filled-to-capacity church, is expected to return to California after the meeting in time for another event touting Democrats’ recent health care victory.

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