ATHENS (AFP) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday said Greeces resilience in tackling its huge debt could inspire the world, as she expressed Washingtons support for the governments efforts. I have faith in the resilience of the Greek people, Clinton said at the start of two days of talks with Greek leaders in Athens. I applaud the Greek government on its willingness to take these difficult steps. Greece has inspired the world before, and I have every confidence that you are doing so again, she said after meeting with counterpart Stavros Lambrinidis. We stand by the people and government of Greece as you put your country back on a path to economic stability and prosperity, Clinton said. The message was intended to boost the embattled Socialist administration of US-born Prime Minister George Papandreou, who has laboured to enforce tough reforms demanded by Greeces creditors over the past year. There are lots of analogies having to take the strong medicine that tastes terrible when it goes down and you wish you didnt have to, or the chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer, Clinton said. But the bottom line is this is the best approach and we strongly support it, she said. While the payoff for these sacrifices may not come quickly, it will come. We know that. The unpopular measures have sparked waves of strikes and protests, many of them violent, with many Greeks angry at the apparent futility of the effort. Despite a huge effort last year involving painful wage and pension cuts, deficit reduction targets were ultimately missed because of a greater-than-foreseen recession. This forced Papandreous administration to bring a new austerity package before parliament last month, with creditors threatening to withhold continued aid unless it, too, was passed. The package was passed by the governments majority in parliament. Those acts of leadership will help to build a better economic future, Clinton said on Sunday. Now the challenge will be to keep moving forward with the same determination and commitment to make good on the fiscal targets and continue to deliver reform that drives future growth. We believe that the recent legislation will make Greece more competitive, will make Greece more business-friendly, she said. Clinton also met with Papandreou, Greek President Carolos Papoulias and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Sunday.