PM seeking support on three-day visit to US

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Wednesday begins a three-day visit to the US aimed at bolstering ties and drumming up interest for crucial investments while he is due to meet with President Barack Obama on Thursday.

Athens sees the trip as an opportunity to gain Washington’s support for Greece’s efforts to emerge from its economic crisis and to boost the country’s geopolitical significance following the selection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is to cross through Greece, for the delivery of Azeri gas to Western Europe. Greek and US officials are said to be keen to discuss prospects in the energy sector as well as the potential for Greece to act as an anchor of stability in a volatile region.

Samaras is to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry before talks with Obama on Thursday, sources said. The talks are to focus on Greece’s economic reforms, the potential for investment – with Athens hoping for a statement from Washington urging investment – as well as regional concerns with energy and developments in Syria and Egypt on the agenda. On Thursday, Samaras is due in New York, where he is to meet Greek-American entrepreneurs. After his meetings with Obama and Kerry in Washington, Samaras is to return to New York on Friday where he is to meet Mayor Michael Bloomberg and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.