Biden to visit Athens, Istanbul in December
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
U.S. Vice President Biden will attend in a Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul. AP photo.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit debt-riddled Greece and Turkey, a vital American ally in the Middle East, on a major overseas trip in early December, the White House said on Oct. 10.
Few details were available of his exact itinerary, but a White House statement said Biden would continue the U.S. “close dialogue and cooperation” with the Athens government. Washington has been issuing increasingly stark warnings on the extent to which the eurozone crisis, which risks being further deepened by Greece’s economic woes, could impact the fragile U.S. economic recovery. In Istanbul, Biden will take part in a Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a follow-on event from one hosted by President Barack Obama in April 2010 to connect U.S. business interests and foundations with the Muslim world. Obama has spent considerable political capital in fostering better relations between Washington and Turkey, which the United States sees as a crucial player in the Middle East and the wider region, including Afghanistan and the Gulf. The United States has watched with alarm at the estrangement of Turkey and its other key Middle Eastern ally Israel, over an Israeli raid last year on a flotilla heading for Gaza in which nine Turks were killed. The president raised the issue in talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last month.