Biden in Athens on December 5
Greek-American relations, issues of Greek interest such as the Cyprus problem, the Fyrom name issue, religious freedoms and the Ecumenical Patriarchate are expected to be on US vice-president’s agenda on his December 5 visit to Athens.
Joe Biden’s visit to the region also encompasses a call in Ankara on December 2 and Istanbul for an international conference on entrepreneurship.
The visit was announced on October 10.
Biden will be received by President Karolos Papoulias, while he will also meet separately with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, Pasok leader George Papandreou and New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras.
Addressing the press via a teleconference on Monday night, Biden’s national security advisor Tony Blinken noted that US president Barack Obama, when he called Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on November 21 to congratulate him, reiterated that the US supports Greece’s efforts to materialise the commitments it undertook with the EU-IMF programme.
He added that Obama reaffirmed that the US will stand strongly at the side of Greece, a friend and ally, in these difficult times.
Biden will display this support and encourage the further implementation of the necessary steps, Blinken added.
Asked if Biden would carry to Athens a specific proposal for US economic assistance, deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs Michael Froman said that the US acknowledges the sacrifices that have been made by the Greek people, as the process of reforms continues, and considers the fiscal changes agreed with Greece’s European partners and the IMF to be crucial.
He also stressed that the US stands by Greece, of which it is a firm friend and ally, adding that the US will continue to support Greece in this period that is full of challenges, together and through the IMF, of which the US is the biggest contributor.
Froman also said that Biden will be supportive of the entire reform effort and package of measures set out by Greece’s European partners and the IMF, including substantial funding and other mechanisms in order to aid the support of Greece in this transitional period.
That support will be towards the existing package of reform measures and the financial support provided to Greece, he added. (ΑΜΝΑ)Source: athensnews.gr