In a far from brief communication, the White House announced the program of US President Barack Obama’s official visits during 14-21 November to Greece, Germany and Peru.
The White House announcement said:
“President Obama will travel to Greece, Germany, and Peru November 14-21, 2016. This trip will highlight the President’s commitment to trans-Atlantic solidarity, a strong and integrated Europe, and to cooperation with our Asia Pacific partners. The President’s schedule will underscore the linkages between our security interests and our economic agenda, our efforts to promote balanced, sustainable, and strong global economic growth, and our support for trade liberalization and economic reforms that reduce inequality and deliver opportunities for the middle class around the world as well as regional economic institutions that foster private sector growth.
The President on November 15 will arrive in Greece, where he will see President Pavlopoulos, meet with Prime Minister Tsipras, and reaffirm our support for ongoing efforts to place the Greek economy on a path to sustainability and renewed prosperity. In the birthplace of democracy, the President will also reaffirm the resilience of democratic values, which have done so much to deliver peace and prosperity to Europe and the wider world. Additionally, the President will make clear our appreciation for the remarkable generosity shown by the Greek Government and people to refugees and migrants”.
Apart from meetings the American President will hold with the Greek President and Prime Minister, according to IBNA information, the joint presence of Barack Obama and Alexis Tsipras is being planned at a known Athens hotel, while on 16 November the US President’s visit to a Greek island is being prepared.
For security reasons, as a government official told IBNA, an exact plan has not been announced for Obama’s visit to Athens and the island he will travel to – according to US sources Lesvos is a primary choice but this is not certain because of the “special” conditions prevailing there, so probably he’ll visit Lemnos.
Obama’s “triple” message
The debt and refugee crises will top the agenda of Tsipras’ talks with Obama, but more issues will also be discussed.
The Cyprus issue, security and terrorism as well as energy issues will also be discussed.
The Greek side will seek a clear signal from the outgoing US President to Greece’s creditors on the necessity for Greek debt to be reduced in order for the country’s economy to recover, allowing a return to bond markets.
Also, the US President will invite US investors to invest in Greece, in order to secure stability in the country so that Greece remains a strong pillar of stability and security in the region.
The reiteration by Alexis Tsipras at every opportunity of the need to arrive at a clear position by the end of the year on Greece’s debt troubles is no coincidence. Already Mateo Renzi has reacted to Berlin policy over the Italian budget and the intervention of the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in joint statements with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who stressed: If this schedule (W. Schaeuble’s on debt) is attached to the internal electoral process, this is an argument which is not sufficiently convincing. There should be a rational approach to the issue at various stages. ”
Circumstances currently favor Alexis Tsipras to push on the debt issue. Greece is playing an important role in the wider area and it must take advantage of this. Moreover, Brexit vibrations have created great uncertainty in the EU and another front would be the dissolution of the Union.
The following two parameters make Obama’s visit even more important:
First, even though another President would be have been elected at the time of his visit, Obama’s move will “bind” the next US President – that will possibly be Clinton. If Trump is elected there would be a positive for Greece.
And secondly, Obama’s visit is not followed by a visit to Turkey, sending a message to the Turkish leadership on the attacks against the US up to now, about Gulen and the role of the US in the failed coup./ΙΒΝΑ