U.S. willingness to help Greece in any way was stressed by the Vice President of the global power Joe Biden. During the general statements before his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, the American politician said that his country was standing in solidarity with Greece, which is now fulfilling certain strict conditions set forth by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Joe Biden expressed his belief, “And with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, a year from now we will have not only weathered this crisis, but even be in a stronger position.”
In turn, Lucas Papademos referred to the longstanding friendship between the two countries and emphasized that U.S. support for Greece in this difficult economic time was important, consistent and stable. The Greek Prime Minister said that Greece could rely on strong support from the U.S.
The two men announced that the subjects under discussion were the economic relations between Greece and the USA, as well as regional and international issues, the Cyprus issue and the events in the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans.
Earlier today, Greek President Carlos Papoulias received Joe Biden. During the meeting, he joked that the U.S. has sent money to Greece. Presenting one of his assistants, Joe Biden said, "This man represents the Treasury Department. He's brought hundreds of millions of dollars,"
prompting laughter among the audience.
The meeting between Joe Biden and Carlos Papoulias continued for more than an hour. According to Greek media, the two men discussed not only bilateral relations but also issues related to the Mediterranean, the Caucasus, energy issues, the Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue, especially the economic crisis.
To Vima newspaper reports that the meeting did not take place in the office of Carlos Papoulias, where he usually greets his guests, but in the reception hall. The reason for this was the numerous American delegation. The adviser on security Antony Blinken, the deputy assistant secretary at the Treasury Department Christopher Smart, the special advisor to the American Deputy Prime Minister for Europe and Asia Affairs, Raina Harris, which deals with issues relating to the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean, the Caucasus in the U.S. National Security Council, and the U.S. Ambassador to Athens Daniel Bennett Smith arrived along with Joe Biden in Athens.
Close associates of Carlos Papoulias attended on the Greek side and the country's ambassador in the U.S. Vassilios Kaskarelis, but not a member of the Council of Ministers.
During the meeting, Joe Biden called on European leaders to take immediate measures to support the actions of the Greek cabinet to emerge from the crisis. Then followed talks about issues related to the Aegean Sea. According to sources, the Greek President talked about provocative actions of Turkey through the violation of the Greek airspace by military aircraft, flying low over populated islands, the Cyprus issue and threats by Turkey to the right of Cyprus to exploit its reserves of natural gas, and about the situation in Iran and Syria.
After Carlos Papoulias and Lucas Papademos, U.S. Vice President met the leaders of PASOK and New Democracy, George Papandreou and Antonis Samaras.