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Today President Bill Clinton met with a small delegation of Greek-American leaders, led by His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, in the Oval Office to commemorate this year's celebration of Greek Independence Day.

The President issued a proclamation calling on Americans to observe March 25, 1997 as "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy." The United States Senate requested that the President issue such a proclamation through its passage of the Greek Independence Day resolution, for the eleventh year in a row, on March 14, 1997.

Representing the Hellenic Republic in this meeting with the president were Greek Ambassador Loucas Tsilas and the president of the Greek Parliament's Interparliamentary Committee for Hellenes Abroad, Grigorios Niotis. Greek-American leaders in attendance included: Andrew A. Athens, national chairman of the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC) and who, in another capacity, serves as the president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE); Dr. Spiro Macris, supreme president of AHEPA; and Andrew E. Manatos, president of The National Coordinated Effort. The Archbishop was accompanied by Father Alexander Karloutsos, Father John Heropoulos and Nikki Stephanopoulos of the Archdiocese of North America.

The Greek Independence Day resolution was created by and made possible for each of the last eleven years through the combined contributed work of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and The National Coordinated Effort. The passage of this resolution has provided an opportunity each year for Greek-American leaders to remind the president of the United States of our community's important role in America and of the importance of America's relationship with Greece and Cyprus.

For more information, please contact Mike Manatos at (202) 393-7790.

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