German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, the euro zone's most powerful leaders, said Athens must move quickly if it wants to secure a cash-for-reform deal with creditors and avoid crashing out of the single currency. Raising the pressure on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras before a euro zone summit on Tuesday, the European Central Bank decided to keep a tight grip on funding to Greek banks. By voting decisively against tough bailout conditions, as Tsipras had urged them to do, Greeks have strengthened his negotiating hand.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that a recently created diplomatic back-channel with the United States is "working very well" at improving communication between the two countries following more than a decade of tensions. Maduro said U.S. President Barack Obama helped pave the way for improved communication in April, after he distanced himself from an executive order that described the South American nation as a threat to the security of the United States. "The president of the United States rejected the decree that he himself signed, and allowed for diplomatic channels to seek respect and understanding," Maduro said during a speech to parliament.