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Obama, Tsipras discuss refugee crisis, economy in phone call

Friday, September 25, 2015 - 06:51
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Mr Tsipras won a convincing election victory on Sunday, giving him a fresh mandate to push trough a controversial bailout deal with international creditors that demands tough reforms in return for the rescue funds.

[ATHENS] Newly re-elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he received a congratulatory phone call from US President Barack Obama on Thursday, during which the two leaders discussed Europe's migration crisis and Greece's debt-ridden economy.

"They discussed developments concerning the issue of refugee flows. The American president expressed his hope that the Greek economy will stabilise and return to growth," Mr Tsipras's office said.

Mr Tsipras won a convincing election victory on Sunday, giving him a fresh mandate to push trough a controversial bailout deal with international creditors that demands tough reforms in return for the rescue funds.

The economic pains come as the country is struggling to cope with a huge influx of migrants and refugees arriving on its shores, many of them Syrians fleeing the four-year war at home.

In a bid to revive efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict, Mr Obama on Thursday accepted an invitation to meet with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, a longstanding ally of regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The two leaders will hold talks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday.

Mr Tsipras is likely to attend a dinner hosted by Mr Obama for foreign leaders on the sidelines of next week's General Assembly, according to Greek media reports.

Mr Obama has in the past criticised the austerity measures imposed on Athens, memorably telling CNN in February: "You cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression."

AFP

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