Obama Applauds Eurozone for Handling of Debt Crisis

U.S. President Barack Obama told European counterparts on Friday that he backed their efforts to tackle a sovereign debt crisis in the region, a senior U.S. official said.

"The president made clear that we have a strong interest in the euro zone successfully managing their way through the situation, that we have been supportive of them doing so, that it is their issue to figure out how to resolve," said the official.

"It's not our place to tell them how to resolve it. But through the IMF and otherwise we are supportive of what they are doing and we are confident that they will be able to do it."

Obama was attending a Group of Eight summit in the French seaside resort of Deauville, where leaders of the three largest euro currency countries -- Germany, France and Italy -- were present.Governments in the European Union and the narrower group of 17 countries that share the euro currency have been forced over the past 18 months to rescue the economies of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, which represent about 6 percent of euro zone economic output.

Greece's prime minister held talks with opposition leaders on Friday in a last-ditch attempt to win their support for more austerity and free up EU/IMF aid needed to avert a debt default.