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Biden to Visit Poland, Romania, Czech Republic

By VOA News
20 October 2009

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden left Washington Tuesday on a four-day trip that will take him to Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.

Biden is scheduled to arrive in Warsaw late Tuesday. He is to hold talks Wednesday with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President Lech Kaczynski. He travels to Bucharest on Thursday, and Prague on Friday.

The White House has denied that Biden is being sent to eastern Europe because of anger in Warsaw and Prague over the administration's decision to scrap a Bush-era plan for a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Mr. Obama announced in September that the U.S. would instead develop a new, more flexible missile system based on new intelligence and technology.

While in Europe, the vice president will meet with heads of state and other government officials, as well as representatives of civil society. White House officials say Biden will talk about expanding trade and strengthening democracy.

The vice president's national security advisor, Tony Blinken, says Biden will also mark the occasion of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The trip coincides with the approaching anniversary of the historic event two decades ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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