Greece is fighting its own battle under difficult conditions, on a global level, to distinguish itself on the European scene, for peace, security and cooperation in its region, Greek Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis said here on Sunday.

He was speaking during a mass held at the Holy Trinity Church in Manhattan to celebrate Greece's March 25 Independence Day holiday, led by Archbishop of America Demetrios.

The mass was attended by visiting politicians, MPs and diplomats from Greece and Cyprus, local officials and members of the Greek-American community. Papoutsis is representing the Greek government.

Papoutsis stressed that Greece was reinforcing ties of friendship with all peoples in its neighbourhood, while at the same time

demanding respect for international law and the decisions of the United Nations in all cases, especially in Cyprus for the departure of Turkish occupation troops from the island.

The mass was followed by a reception at a hotel in the city and then the Greek parade on 5th Avenue, with the central slogan 'Visit Greece'.

Greek Independence Day at White House

US President Barack Obama greets Archbishop of America Demetrios on Saturday, March 26, 2011, on the occasion of a special ceremony hosted at the White House in Washington D.C. to commemorate the 190th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence against Ottoman rule, which was celebrated on Friday, March 25, in Greece and throughout ethnic Greek communities around the world.

The contribution of Greece, the birthplace of democracy, to the founding and enrichment of the national character of the United States was stressed by Obama in a proclamation entitled "Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy", issued on Friday.

In the proclamation, Obama also underscored the role played by the Greek American community as a bridge between the two countries and also as one of the most dynamic elements of American society.