NEWS

World leaders celebrate the bicentenary of Greek Independence

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State leaders from across the globe have written or recorded messages celebrating the bicentenary of the beginning of the Greek War of Independence on Thursday.

Many of Greece’s Mediterranean neighbors have made statements on the celebration of Greek independence, including Cyprus, Italy, and France.

“Greece and Italy are called to promote a vision inspired by the principles of support and responsibility, which will renew the European Union, to respond in a more efficient manner to the needs of our fellow citizens and to work towards ambitious goals in an increasingly meaningful, shared international future,” wrote the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella to the Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou. “I am sure that our states will be able to find safe haven with each other in this endeavor, as European states of the Mediterranean,” he concluded.

The Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić wrote of the importance of Greek War of Independence in setting the foundation for the future of the Balkans.

“The struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire was won through the sacrifices of the freedom-loving Greek, created the foundations of the first independent modern state in the Balkans. In the years that followed, it was a guide and source of inspiration for the other peoples of the Balkans in their struggle for freedom,” highlighted the Serbian President in his message.

Several other European states also celebrated March 25, including messages by newly re-elected Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson.

“The UK was proud to play its part in the establishment of the modern Greek state and I greatly value the friendship that exists between our people today,” stated Boris Johnson in a tweet.

Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison also released a video celebrating the shared history of Greece and Australia, stressing not only the long friendship between the two states but also the importance of the large Greek community living in the Oceanic state.

“We are blessed by the presence of a vast Greek diaspora, people who have brought energy and enthusiasm to a new life in a new land. In this city, in the bush, it is impossible to miss the Greek influence,” he continued.

The Patriarch of Moscow Kirill I also sent a message to the Greek President Sakellaropoulou talking about the bonds of faith that have connected the Greek and Russian people. He also highlighted the support offered by the Russian Empire to the Greek cause, mentioning that the Greek War of Independence was initiated from cells in Odessa and Kherson.

“The Russian Orthodox Church greatly appreciates the interest of modern Greece in memorializing the Russian soldiers and sailors, who perished in battles for the freedom of their Greek brothers,” he stated. “Connected by the same faith and the same spiritual culture, with related national traditions, the people of Rus and Greece have a shared cultural mission in the modern world,” he added in his conclusion.