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Obama backs two-step plan to reach climate deal

SINGAPORE, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has backed a two-step plan by the host of next month’s climate change talks in Copenhagen to aim for an operational agreement and leave legally binding details until later, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

“There was, I’d say, a general consensus of support for what Prime Minister Rasmussen laid out, which was - he called it one agreement, two steps -- where Copenhagen would be the first step in a process towards an international legally binding agreement,” a top U.S. negotiator, Michael Froman, told reporters.

He was referring to Denmark’s Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

The official was speaking after a breakfast meeting of leaders at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Singapore. The APEC meeting is the last major gathering of global decision-makers before the U.N. climate summit which is meant to ramp up efforts to fight climate change. (Reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by John Chalmers)