G8 leaders has said it is "their imperative" to promote growth and jobs to reinvigorate the global economy, and gave their backing to Greece remaining in the eurozone.
"We agree on the importance of a strong and cohesive Eurozone for global stability and recovery, and we affirm our interest in Greece remaining in the eurozone while respecting its commitments," the leaders said in a communique after meeting at Camp David on Saturday.
"Against this backdrop, we commit to take all necessary steps to strengthen and reinvigorate our economies and combat financial stresses, recognising that the right measures are not the same for each of us," said the communique.
It was unusual for the often-bland G8 communique to single out a small nation. But fears that a political stalemate in Greece would lead to the Mediterranean country leaving Europe's monetary union at unknown costs to the financial system have spooked global markets.
Earlier, a shirt-sleeved Obama opened the morning session, promising to seek ways to restore healthy growth and jobs and address concerns in Europe.
Obama has said the G8 was committed to growth, stability and fiscal consolidation, as leaders tried to bridge divisions on how to deal with the deepening eurozone crisis.
Flanked by leaders of the G8 industrialized nations on Saturday, Obama indicated a balanced approach was needed as "part of an overall package that all of us have to pursue in order to achieve the kind of prosperity for our citizens that we're looking for".
With the future of Europe's currency union in serious doubt, leaders gathered at Obama's Camp David lodge to weigh competing demands for growth-friendly spending with Germany's long-standing focus on sharp spending cuts.
The drive could upend two years of Berlin-led austerity-first policies, which critics say have fuelled rampant unemployment, brought Greece to the verge of bankruptcy and deepened crises in Italy and Spain.
After an early morning bilateral meeting with Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron said he detected a "growing sense of urgency that action needs to be taken" on the eurozone crisis.
"Contingency plans need to be put in place and the strengthening of banks, governance, firewalls - all of those things need to take place very fast," he told reporters.
He said Merkel was "absolutely right" that every country needs to have in place strong plans for dealing with their deficits.
Hours before welcoming the participants, Obama had met his French counterpart, Francoise Hollande, and threw his weight behind France's demand for pro-growth policies in Europe.
Obama said the two agreed that tackling the eurozone crisis was "an issue of extraordinary importance, not only to the people of Europe, but also to the world economy".
Also on the summit agenda were concerns about oil and food prices as well as Afghanistan, Iran, Syria and North Korea.
G8 leaders vowed on Saturday to ensure oil markets are "fully and timely supplied" to ensure that tough new sanctions coming into force against Iran do not send energy prices soaring.
In what one official called an "unusual" statement, the G8 said they would keep a close watch on supplies and would ask the International Energy Agency to take action if the situation demanded.
The Camp David summit kicked off four days of intensive diplomacy that will test leaders' ability to quell unease over the threat of another financial meltdown as well as plans to wind down the unpopular war in Afghanistan.
After the Camp David talks, Obama will fly to his home town of Chicago where he will host a two-day NATO meeting at which the war in Afghanistan will be the central topic.
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|Timothy V. Gatto|