27 March, 2006
US president George Bush on Friday praised Greece's contribution to democracy and liberty, and spoke of the historic bonds uniting the American and the Greek people, during a special celebration organized at the White House in honor of the March 25 Greek national Independence Day, which celebrates the start of the Greek revolution against Ottoman rule in 1821.
Bush also praised Greece's new foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, who is currently on a visit to the US, and who also attended the event.
The US president said that the Americans had been among the strongest supporters of the Greek revolution, adding that their common struggles continued in the 20th century.
Bush also described as "wise" a government “who relies upon the judgment and advice of a woman as a Foreign Minister or Secretary of State”, referring to the Greek government with Bakoyannis at the helm of the foreign ministry, and his own government with Condeleezza Rice as secretary of state.
The US president said he was enthusiastic at having met with Bakoyannis, whom he said was a powerful and optimistic figure and was serving her country with dignity.
Bush spoke of Greece's contribution to stability not only historically but also in the modern age, adding that it was involved in confronting international terrorism and was playing an active role in development in Afghanistan.
He further placed strong emphasis on the role played by the Greek American community in the political, cultural and economic fields, and praised the contribution of Senator Paul Sarbanes and the Greek Americans serving in the US government, adding also that the presence of the Greek Orthodox Church in America reflected the religious richness of the US.
Archbishop Demetrios of America, who attended the event, stressed that although Greece was a small country, it was situated in an important geographical position, with great contribution to the principles embraced today by the civilized world.
Source: Athens News Agency