Biden to Hold First High-Level US Talks with New Greek Government

Posted November 28th, 2011 at 9:25 pm (UTC-5)
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The White House says Vice President Joe Biden will go to Athens next week for the first high-level U.S. visit with the new Greek government.

Mr. Biden will meet with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos next Monday. The White House says the vice president will show U.S. support for Greek efforts to implement the deal with the European Union and International Monetary Fund for another economic bailout.

Mr. Biden will also meet with the leaders of the parties that make up the new coalition government — former Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou and conservative party leader Antonis Samaras.

Prime Minister Papademos must convince parliament to agree to the conditions laid out by the EU and IMF so Greece can get a badly-needed installment of last year’s bailout. Those conditions include unpopular spending cuts and tax hikes and eliminating thousands of government jobs.

Mr. Biden will arrive in Greece after a three-day visit to Turkey starting Friday. He plans to hold talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and will attend an entrepreneur summit in Istanbul.

Mr. Biden will discuss expanding trade and investment with Turkey and U.S. cooperation in fighting Kurdish terrorism.