Former U.S. President George W. Bush has been named an honorary citizen of Vilnius, Lithuania, in recognition of a 2002 speech in which he pledged U.S. support for the Baltic state.
The decision was “unanimous,” the Embassy of Lithuania in Washington, D.C. said in a tweet.
“If we look at Lithuania’s achievements over more than 10 years, it is obvious that changes that took place after we joined the EU and NATO were essential,” Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, said.
“And looking back at whose steps, whose position was decisive at that stage, then we see that George W. Bush was the person, the U.S. president whose position was key.”
In his 2002 speech in Vilnius, the 43rd U.S. president said: “Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America.” He also described the country as being “on the right side of a new Iron Curtain.”
The move to honor Bush comes at a time when U.S. President Trump has unsettled NATO allies by threatening to pull out of the military alliance and questioning its Article 5 mutual defense commitment.
G.W.Bush was named an #honorary #citizen of #Vilnius by the unanimous Vilnius municipality’s decision today. “Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America,” said the 43rd POTUS in his famous speech in Vilnius in 2002. pic.twitter.com/Pfg25LQIm3
— Embassy of Lithuania (@LTembassyUS) August 29, 2018