Washington ready to play role of ‘honest broker’ in Greece debt talks, Athens says [Update]

Washington wishes to play the role of an “honest broker” in Greek government negotiations with the country’s foreign lenders so that a solution can be reached as soon as possible, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

According to a statement by the ministry, the meeting in Washington on Sunday between Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and IMF chief Christine Lagarde was held in an “excellent climate,” adding that “no demands” were put forward from the IMF.

It said that the aim of the meeting, which lasted 2 hours, was to brief Lagarde on the Greek government’s views on the reforms and fiscal measures needed to pull the country out of the crisis, as well as of the need for a “smart” debt restructuring that will be mutually beneficial for the country and its lenders.

Speaking after the meeting on Sunday, Lagarde said that she and Varoufakis had agreed that continuing uncertainty over Greece’s ability to repay its debt was not in the country’s interest.

“I welcomed confirmation by the minister that payment owing to the Fund would be forthcoming on April 9th,” Lagarde said in a statement.

“I expressed my appreciation for the minister’s commitment to improve the technical teams’ ability to work with the authorities to conduct the necessary due diligence in Athens, and to enhance the policy discussions with the teams in Brussels.”

There had been concerns that Greece would not be in a position to meet its IMF loan repayment of 450 million euros.

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