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07 Jul 11

Albanian Town Unveils Statue of George W. Bush

The town of Fushe Kruja has unveiled a statue to the former US President commemorating his visit on June 10, 2007, when Bush received a rock-star welcome.

Besar Likmeta
Albania PM Sali Berisha unveils the statue of US President George w. Bush in Fushe Kruja | Photo courtesy of www.km.gov.al

The 43rd US President visited the town, which lies close to Mother Teresa International Airport, to discuss a US-funded microloan programme with a baker, a barber, a tailor and a shepherd.

The 2.85-meter statue of Bush was unveiled on Wednesday, his 65 birthday, in a ceremony attended by Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and US embassy officials.

“Albanians and the citizens of Fushe Kruja welcomed President Bush as the leader of a country that we are more connected to than any other place in the planet,” said Berisha in a speech in front of a cheering crowd of locals gathered in the town square festooned with Albanian and American flags.

“Albanians are proud of their pro-Americanism and always will be,” Berisha added.

Bush was the first US President to visit Albania, and received a warm welcome. He is credited with sponsoring Albania’s successful bid to join NATO in 2009, and unequivocally supporting Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia one year earlier.

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