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PM George Papandreou at the White House

» Meeting with Obama

Prime Minister George Papandreou met with US President Barack Obama in Washington yesterday.
After the meeting Papandreou said that the US is willing to work with the European Union to regulate the international financial system so speculators cannot target countries with troubled economies.
The premier said  that the issue of speculation will be discussed at the G20 summit in Canada, in June. The two leaders also discussed foreign policy issues such as the Cyprus issue, the integration of Western Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as Greece’s relations with Turkey.

» Visa Waiver

Furthermore, the US side announced that Greece will be included in the ‘visa waiver’ programme, thus enabling Greek citizens to travel to the US without a visa.
Papandreou termed the visa waiver “a vote of confidence” to Greece and noted that the Greek government is determined to respond to its obligations and cooperate closely at international level on the tackling of terrorism.

Kathimerini daily: US joins fight against speculators
The White House: Honouring Greek Independence Day (21.35mins)

» Papandreou’s Op-ed

In an op-ed published in the International Herald Tribune (IHT), Papandreou notes that the Greek case is not an outlier, but one more flare-up in a broken system of financial regulation and predatory behaviour.
“If global economic growth is to be sustainable, we need better coordination and greater solidarity between nations… We must now establish and enforce clear rules to contain the inordinate power of markets over our national economies and our common currency – not for Greece’s sake, but for Europe’s,” he stresses.
Prime Minister’s website: Meeting with President Barack Obama: Prime Minister’s statement ; Brookings Institution: Prime Minister’s speech & YouTube: PM’s speech at Brookings Institution  
New York Times & International Herald Tribune: Prime Minister’s article “Greece is not an island“; Hellenic Finance Ministry: Newsletter Updating Greek Fiscal Measures  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to Washington Meets Obama

Obama---Kaskarelis1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic Vassilis Kaskarelis presented on July 20 his credentials to the President of the United States Barack Obama.  In his remarks, Ambassador Kaskarelis stressed that the two countries have often found themselves fighting shoulder-to-shoulder and waging concerted efforts for the common causeand, expressed his conviction that there exists ample room for further cementing our friendship and our strategic partnership.  US President Barack Obama said he was looking forward to working closely with the new ambassador to deepen the already close relations between the countries, and remarked that “Greece and the United States share a long history of friendship based on common values, common goals, and mutual commitment to democracy and freedom.”  The US President laid particular emphasis on Greece’s Chairmanship of the OSCE, remarking that “as a fellow member of the OSCE, we are grateful for Greece’s able leadership as OSCE 2009 Chairman-in Office.”  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Greece-USA

Theological School of Halki

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Turkish Dailies Hürriyet (April 18) and Today’s Zaman (April 27) report on the Theological School of Halki (Istanbul, Turkey), Ecumenical Patriarchate’s theology and primary seminary, closed by the Turkish authorities in 1971.  Since 1971, there have been attempts to reopen the Halki Theological Seminary. The debate over the potential opening up of the Seminary is, while not these days at the top of the public agenda, a topic which will clearly come up often in the near future.   In fact, it most recently came up during the visit to Turkey by US President Barack Obama (April 7).

Karamanlis – Obama hold telephone talks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Barakaramanliskaramanlis1ck Obama yesterday, congratulating him on his election and stressing that he is looking forward to meeting him in the near future. Karamanlis told Obama that he appreciates the clear and steadfast position which he has expressed on a number of issues of Greek interest and added that he hopes for the bilateral cooperation to be reinforced even further, especially through the Greek-American Community which has so far contributed immensely to this end. On his part, Obama thanked the prime minister and underlined his esteem for the work of the Greek-American Community, members of which have been already placed in high ranks of his team. He further acknowledged Greece’s role in crafting solutions to many European issues and expressed his will to visit the country in the future. (The picture is from Karamanlis’ first official visit to the United States as Prime Minister in 2004)  Athens News Agency: Karamanlis, Obama hold telephone conversation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-USA bilateral relations; World Council of Hellenes Abroad: USA Region