Obama Begins Final Foreign Trip in Greece

Obama Begins Final Foreign Trip in Greece

Police check an area at the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos before the arrival of President Barack Obama, Nov. 15, 2016.


President Barack Obama will stress economic issues as he meets with Greek leaders Tuesday on the first leg of the final planned foreign trip of his presidency.

White House officials expect Obama and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to talk about the need for continued economic reforms, including transparency and cleaning up the country's financial sector, while also acknowledging sacrifices the Greek people have made in order to comply with international bailout agreements.

Obama and Tsipras are scheduled to hold a joint news conference after their meeting. Obama will also hold talks with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and attend a state dinner.

U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said he expected President-elect Donald Trump to be a big topic of conversation throughout Obama's trip, which also includes stops in Germany and Peru.

The only major planned speech on the president's itinerary is Wednesday in Greece, where he is expected to address work that remains to tackle economic challenges there and elsewhere in the world while promoting inclusive growth and combating inequality.

On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host Obama for a meeting. Rhodes highlighted the importance of their relationship, calling Merkel "the president's closest partner over the course of his entire presidency."

The leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Spain will also be in Berlin for meetings Friday that are expected to include the ongoing fight against Islamic State, issues related to migration, the situation in Ukraine, and last week's U.S. election.

The final leg in Peru is focused on the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. But Obama also plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and hold separate talks with leaders of nations involved with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.



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