Tuesday, May 13, 2014


WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden will discuss the Ukraine crisis next week while visiting Romania and Cyprus, the White House announced Monday.

Biden will be in Europe from May 20 until May 23. In Bucharest, Biden was scheduled to meet with Romanian President Traian Basescu and with U.S. and Romanian troops conducting a joint military exercise. Biden also plans to give a speech to Romanian civil and youth leaders.

The trip is intended to reinforce America's commitment to NATO allies amid concerns about Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

In Cyprus, Biden will meet with both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political leaders and emphasize U.S. support for the island's unification as, described by the White House, a "bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality."

Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by Cypriot supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared an independent state in 1983, but only Turkey recognizes it.

While in Europe, Biden also plans to discuss a pending trans-Atlantic trade deal.

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