ATHENS, Greece – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Greek political leaders Monday his government is "standing with you in solidarity," at the start of a crucial week for the future of the debt-saddled eurozone.
Biden, who traveled from Turkey, met with President Karolos Papoulias before starting talks with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and leaders of the main parties backing the country's new coalition government.
"It is overwhelmingly important to the United States that Greece works its way through this financial crisis and that Greece and remains a strong and vital part of the European Union," Biden said before beginning talks with Papademos.
Last week, the United States joined a coordinated effort by global central banks to provide relief to banks in the eurozone.
The eurozone debt crisis began in Greece two years ago, and the country is currently negotiating the terms of a second, massive bailout package from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
"It's of overwhelming importance to the United States that Greece works its way through this crisis and remains a strong part of the European Union," Biden said.
"We are standing with you in solidarity as you meet some very difficult requirements from the IMF and European Union in this very difficult times."
The new debt deal involves lengthy negotiations with banks to accept voluntary losses on Greek government bonds.
European leaders will meet at a summit Friday on the eurozone -- alarmed by surging borrowing costs among its vulnerable members.