Address by Nelson Mandela at luncheon hosted by President Costis Stephanopoulos of Greece

21 June 2002

Your Excellency President Stephanopoulos
Your Excellencies
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I have had more than one occasion during this visit to express my great delight and privilege at being received and hosted here in the Hellenic Republic.

Please indulge me by allowing me to once more repeat that sentiment and feeling.

Mister President, the history of your country inspired and continues to inspire the quest for freedom in many parts of the world. Your philosophers and their thoughts on democracy, freedom, governance, morality and justice have been shining beacons to freedom fighters and freedom loving people over the centuries. Our own liberation struggle drew deeply on that fount of wisdom.

Modern day Greece and democratic South Africa are today partners in development and in the search for a just world where there shall be equality amongst nations and democratic principles shall also apply in global and multilateral governance.

It is one of the highlights of our public life - one which we sought to dedicate to the search for freedom - to at last be able to visit this cradle of democracy and rational pursuit of truth.

Please, therefore, rise with me and drink a toast to President Stephanopoulos, to the Hellenic Republic, and to friendship between our two freedom-loving countries and peoples.

I thank you.

Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation