11 Nov 2008

Obama holds White House talks

9:53 pm on 11 November 2008

United States President-elect Barack Obama has held his first meeting with President George Bush on Monday.

It is the first visit to the Oval Office for the incoming leader, who takes office on 20 January.

Mr Bush said they would discuss the transition process, as well as issues such as the war in Iraq and the global financial crisis.

Earlier, Mr Obama indicated he could reverse various Bush administration policies.

His transition chief, John Podesta, said executive orders on issues such as stem cell research and oil drilling were at odds with the president-elect's views. Another priority area would be

the highly contentious Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

Before the talks, Mr Obama and his wife Michelle were given a tour of their new home, the White House.

Mr Obama said he was looking forward to the meeting "to begin the process of a smooth, effective transition".

The BBC says Mr Bush has offered his "complete co-operation" to the president-elect during the transition period.

Mr Obama has said that dealing with the economy is his top priority, and that he will move with "deliberate haste" to choose his cabinet.

Repeal list

The Washington Post newspaper reports that transition officials have compiled a list of 200 executive orders to be considered for repeal.

Mr Podesta said executive orders on stem cell research or drilling in Utah could easily be repealed as no congressional action was needed.

The Post said other orders affecting environmental legislation and abortion issues are also under consideration.

Meanwhile, Mr Obama will not attend a global financial summit in Washington on 14-15 November.

The Bush administration has called the summit of the world's leading economies to discuss a strategy for dealing with the global financial crisis.