New York, NY - His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios concluded his meetings in Washington, DC yesterday and, after meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, at the State Department, met early in the afternoon at the White House with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, who today was nominated by President George W. Bush to assume the position of Secretary of State.
This meeting, which was cordial and frank, gave the opportunity to Archbishop Demetrios to express the pain and the disappointment of the Greek Orthodox Community for the unfair decision regarding the issue of the name Macedonia for F.Y.R.O.M. He also asked that the American government use all its influence toward F.Y.R.O.M. so that the inflexible position, that they show in the issue of the name, will change.
National Security Advisor Rice assured Archbishop Demetrios that the United States will fully support the existing process of the dialogue between Greece and F.Y.R.O.M., under the aegis of the United Nations, to find a name for F.Y.R.O.M. which is acceptable to both countries.
During his visit to the White House, Archbishop Demetrios also had the opportunity to meet with Karl Rove, Senior Advisor to the President; Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism Fran Townsend; National Security Council Senior Director for European Affairs Dan Fried; National Security Council Director for Southern European Affairs Bert Braun; and National Security Council Director for Aegean Affairs Matt Bryza. Archbishop Demetrios also met at the White House the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), and the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Dennis Hastert (R-IL). With all of the above Archbishop Demetrios had brief discussions in which he explained the purpose of his visit.
Later in the afternoon, Archbishop Demetrios and representatives from several Greek American organizations who were with him met with Greek American Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), in his office, for further detailed discussions on this same issue as well as on the appropriate action of the Greek American Community. Additionally, during lunch there was an exchanging of views among Archbishop Demetrios, the representatives of the Greek American organizations and Ambassador of Greece to the United States George Savvaides, who was present at the luncheon.