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Obama calls Hollande, discusses Greece debt crisis

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Washington: US President Barack Obama and his French counterpart Francois Hollande have agreed to combine their efforts to work on a package that will return the financial crisis-hit Greece to the path of recovery.

In a telephone call to Hollande, Obama yesterday discussed the ongoing Greece crisis and also offered his condolences to him in the wake of a terror attack last week near Lyon.

“The two leaders agreed on the importance of restarting work to reach agreement on a package of reforms and financing that will allow Greece to return to growth and debt sustainability within the Eurozone,” the White House said.

The two leaders said their economic teams were in close contact and are monitoring developments in Greece and the broader financial markets, it said in a statement.

President Obama also offered his condolences for the terrorist attack and loss of life that took place last week near Lyon and underscored commitment to continue ongoing counterterrorism partnership with France, the statement said.

Obama also called British Prime Minister David Cameron to express condolences and to offer support in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack in Sousse in Tunisia last Friday in which around 30 British tourists were killed.

“The two leaders reaffirmed their steadfast commitment to work together with our partners in Europe, the Middle East, and around the world to confront terrorism and counter violent extremist ideologies,” it said.

They also discussed Greece and the importance of providing support for reforms that will set the country on a path toward debt sustainability and growth.

In another call to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, Obama offered condolences and support following the terrorist attack on Friday.

“Obama extended deep sympathy to the victims of the heinous violence and their families. The President commended the Tunisian people for their commitment to standing strong and united to reject terrorism,” the White House said.

“The President re-affirmed our readiness to assist with the investigation and pledged to continue strengthening our cooperation on counterterrorism and broader security issues with the Tunisian government,” it said.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that it is in everyone’s interest to reach a solution that allows Greece to return to growth and debt sustainability within the Eurozone, and they can do that if it’s coupled with a package of reforms and financing.

“We have seen strong statements from the leaders of Greece, also from the leaders of the Eurozone countries, reiterating their view that Greece should remain part of the European currency union. And we hope that all sides will continue to act in that spirit,” he said.

Earnest said the crisis in Greece did not pose a major direct risk to American banking system.

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