White House plays down Obama visit


A White House spokesman on Thursday played down an upcoming visit to Greece by President Barack Obama on November 15, saying that the US leader’s trip is not aimed at brokering a new deal for Athens following indications by Greek government sources that an intervention could be in the cards.

“The president is not traveling to Greece to go and negotiate some sort of new financial arrangement between Greece and the EU,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters late Wednesday in Washington.

Obama is expected to “spend some time on this trip complimenting the Greek government for the success that they have had in implementing the reforms that they committed to make,” Earnest said.

“He will also encourage them to continue the path of reform that is good for the long-term economic and fiscal situation in Greece.”

The spokesman also emphasized the “deep cultural ties between our two countries.”

“And there’s an important economic relationship as well,” he said, adding that Obama “is interested in underscoring all of that as he makes his own historic trip to Greece for the first time as president.”