US President to sign Declaration on Greek Independence Day. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni visiting Washington to meet Rice will also be present
Washington, D.C.- Archbishop Demetrios of American leading a group of Greek America leaders will meet on Friday President Bush at the White House, on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day. Presidents of Greek American national organizations, along with Senator Paul Sarbanes, Congressman Bilirakis and others will be attending the ceremony.
Also present will be Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni, who is visiting Washington to meet with her U.S. counterpart Condoleeza Rice. Bakoyianni is expected to have a brief conversation with President Bush.
“For the 20th year in a row, the Greek-American community will be meeting with the President of the United States to address their issues of concern on the occasion of Greek Independence Day. This meeting follows the adoption this week by the U.S. Senate of a resolution commemorating March 25 as ‘A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy,’” announced leaders of the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH).
“Very few of America’s most powerful interest groups have an annual meeting with the President, regardless of who they may be. Under the leadership of our Archbishop who invites community leaders to join him, we have had such a meeting each year with Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and now President George W. Bush,” said Andrew E. Manatos, President of CEH.
Earlier last week US Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), designating March 25, 2006, as “A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy’
BAKOYIANNI – RICE
Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni will be travelling to the United States on March 22 for a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice the following day in Washington. The two women are expected to discuss a broad range of issues, including the status of their countries bilateral relations, Cyprus, the name dispute with Skopje, as well as the situation in Kosovo, Iran, Iraq and the peacekeeping operations. Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos denied the meeting has anything to do with Greece’s decision on Wednesday to reject an option to buy 10 additional US F-16 fighter aircraft.
On Monday March 27, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis will meet UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the international organisation’s headquarters. Diplomatic sources believe that the issues to be discussed will be the question of Cyprus, the situation in the Balkans, Iraq and Iran.
Greece is a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council over the 2005-2006 period and the presence of Bakoyannis at the headquarters of the international organisation is considered by diplomatic circles as being of “considerable importance.”
During her presence in New York, the foreign minister will be attending the church service for the Greek national holiday and in the evening of March 25 she will be present at the open reception organised at the general consulate in New York on the anniversary of the 1821 revolution against Ottoman rule.
Bakoyannis will also be meeting the Archbishop of America Demetrios and Greek community representatives on the sidelines of events.