Posted by Brian O’Connor
July 8, 2011
George W Bush Statue Unveiled in Albania
Toronto Sun - A tiny Albanian village that President George W. Bush visited in 2007 has unveiled a short-sleeved statue of him, in a square named for him.
The 2.85 m- (9.3 ft-) tall statue of the former president, raising his left hand in greeting, was unveiled on Wednesday in the square festooned with Albanian and American flags for the occasion.
“Albanians’ pro-Americanism has its roots in our attempts… to build our deserved future as a free nation, as a free country,” Prime Minister Sali Berisha told the crowd.
Bush was the first U.S. president to visit post-communist Albania, which is hoping to join the European Union.
Albanians have a special affection for the United States, which they credit with ending their country’s Cold War isolation and leading NATO’s 1999 bombing offensive that halted ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians by Serbian troops.
Washington also was a staunch supporter of Albania’s drive to join NATO, which accepted it into the military alliance in 2009.