JUNE 16 2010 12:07h

BP sits tight after Obama attack, before White House meet

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BP sat tight on Wednesday after President Barack Obama accused it of "recklessness" over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and as company executives prepared to meet the US leader for key White House talks.

"BP notes the comments made by President Obama last night," the British energy group said in a short statement.

"It confirms that the company will be meeting with the president ... to discuss his proposal for arrangements to ensure that all legitimate claims in respect in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are paid out in a fair and timely manner."

Obama had on Tuesday vowed to make BP pay for its "recklessness" in the oil spill, saying he would order the company's chairman to set up a compensation fund for victims.

"I will meet with the chairman of BP (on Wednesday) and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company's recklessness," Obama said in his first address from the Oval Office.

"And this fund will not be controlled by BP," he vowed in his hard-hitting 20-minute address to the nation, flanked by the American flag and the presidential seal.

"In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent, third party," he stressed.

Obama has summoned BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to the White House on Wednesday for talks on the crisis at 10:15 am (1415 GMT), also expected to be attended by BP chief executive Tony Hayward.