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22 September, 2001
Orthodox Archbishop of America Dimitrios was among United States religious leaders who were invited to the White House by US President George Bush, who briefed them on the developments after last week's terrorist strikes in the US.
After the meeting late on Thursday, the gathered religious leaders signed a unanimous joint communique in praise of those who had risked or lost their lives in efforts to save their fellow human beings.
The communique also stressed that the terrorist actions of September 11 were not solely directed against the US but affected the whole of humanity.
Finally, they noted that "we must react not in a spirit of aggression but as victims of an attack, who must take steps to prevent further terrorist violence."
The gathered clerics thanked President Bush for his prompt stand against acts of racism and violence targeting Arabs, Moslems and other minorities.
Emerging from the White House, Archbishop Dimitrios described it as an "important meeting" and said the president had been open to ideas and proposals.
"He wanted to be certain of the support and assistance of religious leaders and communities in the major and extremely difficult task that is now ahead of us," the archbishop said.
Following his visit to the White House, Archbishop Dimitrios visited Greek-American CIA chief George Tenet at the US intelligence service's headquarters. Tenet met the Archbishop in the lobby of the building and briefed him for half an hour in his office.
The visit ended with a brief service by Dimitrios for "divine guidance" in the difficult work ahead.
Source: Athens News Agency