The US ambassador to Greece emphasized that the US and Greece share a special bond and a friendship forged through common struggle.
The anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the USA was celebrated tonight, for the first time after two years due to the restrictions of the pandemic, with the usual reception in the garden of the American embassy in Athens.
The first reception he gave as the US ambassador to Greece, George Tsounis warmly welcomed the dozens of guests at the entrance of his house from early in the afternoon and accepted their wishes for the American national holiday.
The celebration of the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the USA began with the performance of the national anthems of Greece and the USA by the soprano Elena Kelesidis, followed by the greetings of the press George Tsunis and Albert Burla.
During his greeting, George Tsounis assured in Greek that “the best days of Greece are ahead of us” and made special reference to the Greek values and ideals of Democracy, hospitality, kindness, philanthropy, and ethics.
Referring to Democracy, he said that since the Golden Age of Pericles, its light has guided the world’s path forward, dispelling the darkness of tyranny and inspired the founding of the United States. He expressed, in fact, the commitment of the two countries to never extinguish the flame of democracy.
At the beginning of the greeting, George Tsunis welcomed the presence of the Ukrainian ambassador and wished “soon we will be able to go to a free and united Ukraine”.
Referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said that “today, as a sovereign state faces a full-scale invasion so close to us, and the international rules-based order on which our collective security and prosperity rests is being challenged as never before, countries we are at the forefront of the struggle between democratic values and tyranny.” Crystallizing his message further, he said it is about what kind of world we want to live in today, a democracy or an autocracy. In this context, he emphasized that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was right when he said in his historic speech to the joint session of the US Congress in May, that the two countries have always been on the right side of history.
Focusing on bilateral relations, he emphasized that the US and Greece share a special bond and a friendship forged through common struggle, which calls them to defend the values that led to the birth of both nations. “This is why we have worked so hard together to promote stability and economic prosperity across the Eastern Mediterranean, the Western Balkans and beyond. And I know we can do a lot more together,” he said.
Regarding taking up the post of US ambassador to Greece, he said it was an honor for him and confided that his mother left the country 60 years ago and never imagined she would return “to see me perform the credentials to the President of the Hellenic Republic”.
Passing the baton to Dr. Albert Burla, he said that he literally saved tens of millions of lives, exclaimed “Worthy” three times, and pointedly stated that he asked for his $1 million prize to be donated to the construction of the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Thessaloniki. As he characteristically underlined, Dr. Albert Burla is the model of the American dream.
For his part, Dr. Albert Burla thanked Ambassador George Tsuni and wished him success in his new role. He then noted that he is privileged to be revealed as the home of the two great countries and that he is equally proud of both, because Greece and the US are not only among the longest-standing democracies in the world, but also share strong ties in the economy, diplomacy and security. Both countries believe in the value of freedom, justice and equality and both embrace the spirit of enterprise and innovation, they further pointed out.
The reception was attended by personalities from the political, diplomatic, professional and academic worlds of the country, heads of diplomatic missions, as well as members of the military community in Greece. Among others, the Speaker of the Parliament Konstantinos Tassoulas, the ministers Kostas Tsiaras, Makis Voridis, Adonis Georgiadis, Yiannis Plakiotakis, Vassilis Kikilias, the deputy ministers Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Theodoros Skylakakis, Nikos Papagenasis, Nikos Papathanasis, the deputy government representative Aristotelia Peloni, participated. the head of Foreign Affairs of SYRIZA Giorgos Katrougalos, the diplomatic adviser of Alexis Tsipras Vangelis Kalpadakis, the head of GEETHA Konstantinos Floros, the Governor of the Bank of Greece Giannis Stournas. Former Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou and former Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos were also present.
In the garden of the American embassy, which was decorated in the colors of the “star” (red, white, blue), the guests had the opportunity to taste delicious dishes to the sounds of the Greek Navy band.
It is noted that the Independence Day of the USA is celebrated every year on the 4th of July. It is the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776 and is considered as the founding act of the state of the United States of America.
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