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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, January 16, 2009

U.S. President George W. Bush Receives Flag of Lebanon Flown Over Beirut; Lebanese Ambassador Antoine Chedid Attends Ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC - (From Naharanet) U.S. President George W. Bush, making his final visit to the U.S. State Department, said Thursday that the U.S. should confidently engage the world with the "transformative power of freedom and liberty."
"We've made our alliances stronger, we've made our nation safer, and we have made the world freer," Bush said, summing up his foreign policy initiatives around the globe. Bush said State Department employees worked to advance the ideals of freedom and can be proud of the results, whether in the Mideast or Asia or Africa. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented Bush with the flags of Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia and Lebanon -- countries that she says have joined the "circle of freedom" during the past eight years.
"Mr. President, it's also going to seem inevitable that peoples with long histories of oppression would gain the opportunity to liberate their countries, and that they would seize these opportunities, with America's support, to make a new life for themselves in freedom," she said. "On that day, we will remember, but it will seem inevitable, that an American president would stand before the flags with democratically elected leaders in Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Afghanistan, and Iraq," Rice told Bush.
Looking back, Rice listed things she said she never expected to witness: Kuwaiti women gaining the right to vote; a democratic provincial council meeting in Kirkuk, Iraq; the king of Saudi Arabia at an interfaith dialogue at the United Nations listening to the Israeli president; and men, women and children across Africa who no longer are dying of AIDS. Bush also gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ryan Crocker, who served as U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

JOHN AKOURI ONLINE NEWSROOM 'We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won.' -- PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH Add to end of above"line without paranthesis when wanting to loop sound (( loop="-1">