Josh Earnest
White House spokesman Josh Earnest

The US has called on Greece and its creditors to return to the negotiating table in order to resolve the country's debt crisis, after Greek voters resoundingly rejected the terms of a bailout package in a referendum.

"The referendum is over, but our view here at the White House remains the same," White House spokesman Josh Earnest was quoted as saying by AFP.

European Union and Greek authorities need "to agree to a package of reforms and financing that would allow Greece to be on a path toward debt sustainability but also economic growth", Earnest told reporters.

He added that negotiations should focus on retaining Greece as a member of the eurozone.

"This is a European challenge to solve," Earnest added.

The comments are the first official reaction from the US after Sunday's (5 July) Greek referendum, in which over 61% of voters said no to the conditions of the "troika" of the country's creditors – the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The call for compromise from the US is in contrast to voices coming from officials in Europe, who appear to be losing patience with Greece over its perceived intransigence.

Germany and France have urged Greece to come up with credible proposals to reach a deal with creditors and stave off a Grexit.

Germany, which is the largest holder of Greek debt, has said it would not accept a write-off of the country's dues.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama spoke by phone with French President Francois Hollande about resolving the crisis in Greece.

"The two leaders agreed on the importance of finding a path forward that will allow Greece to resume reforms and return to growth and debt sustainability within the eurozone," the White House was quoted as saying.

Eurozone finance ministers are to meet on 7 July followed by a summit of eurozone leaders.