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Greek Leaders Strike a More Conciliatory Tone

  • VOA News

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades, right, shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Presidential Palace following their meeting in the capital Nicosia, Feb. 2, 2015.

Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades, right, shakes hands with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Presidential Palace following their meeting in the capital Nicosia, Feb. 2, 2015.

Greek Leaders are striking a more conciliatory tone on debt talks with European partners.

Speaking Monday after talks in Cyprus with President Nicos Anastadiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he was committed to negotiations with European partners and ruled out turning to Russia for aid. The Greek people expected him to carry out negotiations with euro zone creditors, he said, but within a European framework.

“I must say that we are in substantial negotiations with our partners in Europe and those that have lent our country. Our country has obligations towards them. At this moment there are no other thoughts on the table. Our first goal is to reach a mutually acceptable and beneficial solution for issues that are still open, issues that are under negotiation with our partners,” he said.

After talks with his French and British counterparts, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is expected to tell major creditors Greece will be able to service its debt without impact on private investors, an informed source said on condition of anonymity.

Greek government also won support from President Barack Obama for renegotiation of its 240-billion euro bailout, despite German opposition.

"You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression," President Obama said in an interview with CNN on Sunday. "At some point, there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts to eliminate some of their deficits."

The Athens Stock Exchange jumped over five percent Monday as the rhetoric on Greece debt toned down.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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