Lost Opportunities for Greece - Cyprus

The National Herald Archive

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios attends funeral for George H.W. Bush. (Photo by GOARCH)

Many heads of state, prime ministers, and high-ranking representatives of various governments, attended the funeral of the 41st President of the United States George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Their presence was highlighted by American media, as one would expect.

Both the Greek and the Cypriot governments did not consider it appropriate to be represented at a high level. As if there are many such opportunities.

Moreover, as we have noted recently - on December 4 - the Greek government did not even consider it necessary to issue a statement of condolences after the former President's death.

On the contrary, a statement was issued by the President of the Hellenic Republic and the Cypriot President, to their credit.

To be fair not all governments were represented at President Bush's funeral.

However, one can argue that Greece and Cyprus are small countries facing serious issues; I would imagine it would have been wiser for them to be represented by their senior officials - rather than their ambassadors.

On the other hand, the Greek-American community, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate were represented by Archbishop Demetrios, as the heads of all religions in the U.S. were invited.

However, I do not agree with the logic of the governments of Greece and Cyprus.

The reason being that these countries, Greece and Cyprus, face serious problems - and every now and then ask the United States for help.

It is therefore logical, simple common sense, that, in the context of their collaboration, they must in some cases – like the funeral of a President – “show the flag” to emphasize the closeness they feel to the country by joining in the mourning of the American people.

While this may not end up solving problems, it shows the desire to participate, to be present, even if they are placed in the middle rows during the most important moments in the history of America and the western alliance.

Can this be related to the fact that Bush was the President who presided over the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Can this still be connected with the fact that the Bush family’s relations with President Trump are not good?

Probably. But this, the second, is not a matter of interest for a foreign country.

A state funeral is not personal affair. In addition, President Trump himself attended the funeral.

So, why should the leaders of Greece and Cyprus not also attend?

The U.S. Ambassador to Greece, in his recent exclusive interview with The National Herald, said that U.S. relations with Greece are at their "high point."