Biden links economic, political freedom

Dec. 3, 2011 at 4:14 PM
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ISTANBUL, Turkey, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, speaking Saturday at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, said political and economic freedom go hand in hand.

Biden spoke of the wave of dissent that swept the Arab world this spring and suggested countries that open up to dissent will do well.

"Meanwhile countries that try to have it both ways -- for example making the Internet closed to free expression but open for business -- those countries will find that that approach is a dead end," he said.

Biden's trip began Thursday in Iraq. He met Friday with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara and was scheduled to spend time Saturday with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is recovering from surgery. He is scheduled to travel to Greece Monday.

Biden said he did not want to spend a lot of time talking about the U.S. economy. But he said being the world's biggest economy -- the size of the next four combined -- "does not make us immune from what is happening in the rest of the world."

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