The annual Greek Independence Day reception was held at the White House on Wednesday.

This is a special honor from the US government for Hellenism, as the Greek and Irish communities are the only ethnic groups in the US to celebrate their national anniversary at the White House every year. This particular event, in addition to its strong communication aspect, offers a first-class opportunity for the Greek-American community to convey a message to the US political leadership.

US President Joe Biden met with American Archbishop Elpidaforos. The two sides held a private meeting during which the archbishop reportedly asked for US support in protecting the religious freedoms of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. According to sources, the archbishop described the climate change observed in Greek-Turkish relations as encouraging, expressing the belief that this thaw in relations could be the starting point for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and an end to the illegal occupation of Cyprus.

The US president also referred to the common cultural ties that bind the two countries, as well as to the ancient Greek ideals that inspired the founding fathers of American democracy. With that in mind, he explained that he thought it was especially fitting that the Second Democracy Summit began in Washington on the same day that the White House celebrated the anniversary of Greek independence.

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