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Office of the First Lady

For Immediate Release March 18, 1996

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will make an official visit to Baumholder, Germany; Tuzla, Bosnia; Aviano, Italy; Turkey and Greece March 23 - April 1, 1996. Mrs. Clinton's visit serves to affirm the United States' commitment to democracy in that region of the world and to encourage and support American troops in Bosnia and their families.

In Baumholder, Germany, Mrs. Clinton will spend time with the families of American troops serving in Bosnia. Mrs. Clinton had previously visited with many of these families on December 2, 1995 and promised to return to carry their messages and letters to the troops.

In Bosnia, the First Lady will spend time with the American troops and with representatives of American Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as Bosnian government, civic and religious leaders who are working to establish stability, peace and democracy in the region. Sheryl Crow, Grammy award winning singer will accompany the First Lady to Germany and Tuzla to entertain the families and troops. Following the First Lady's visit to Bosnia, Mrs. Clinton will meet with military family members at Aviano Air Base in Italy.

The First Lady has been invited by both Turkey and Greece to visit their countries to underscore the strength of their friendship and alliance with the United States. These two vibrant democracies are both under the leadership of new governments. President Demirel of Turkey will meet with President Clinton later this month. Greek Prime Minister Simitis will meet with the President in early April and Greek President Stephanopoulos will make a state visit to the United States in early May.

While in Turkey, Mrs. Clinton will travel to Ankara, Ephesus and Istanbul. In Istanbul, the First Lady will meet with religious leaders representing the many faiths of Turkey convened by the prestigious Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRICA). She will also emphasize the significant role of secular/civic society in Turkey through discussions with Turkish women about health, family and economic issues and a site visit to a USAID-supported family planning clinic which partners with Baltimore, Maryland's John Hopkins Hospital to train medical professionals.

In Greece, Mrs. Clinton will visit Athens, the birthplace of democracy, focusing attention on the historic connections between the Greek democratic idea and America's own commitment to democracy; our support for democracies around the world and for those countries still struggling toward democracy -- all themes which resonate throughout the Clinton administration's foreign policy.

A key component of Mrs. Clinton's goodwill tour of Greece will be her attendance at the torch-lighting ceremony marking the opening of the 1996 Olympic Games. That same lighted torch is scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles, California April 27, 1996. The Games, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, this year celebrate their centennial. The Olympic games were revived in Greece in 1896 by French Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The President asked Mrs. Clinton to attend the ceremony to pay tribute to the ideals of the Olympic movement.