WASHINGTON, D.C. — Haitian President Michel Martelly and Albanian President Bujar Nishani sat down for separate interviews Friday at the VOA headquarters in Washington, where they discussed developments at home and their participation in today’s National Prayer Breakfast.
“It is always an honor for a news organization to have the president of a country sit down for an exclusive interview, but to have the leaders of two countries come on the same day is very unusual,” VOA Director David Ensor said. “Their decision to appear on VOA programs is an indication of the respect that many world leaders have for the Voice of America, which broadcasts in 45 separate languages to a worldwide audience of more than 164 million.”
President Martelly was interviewed by VOA Creole Service Chief Ronald Cesar shortly after taking part in the annual Prayer Breakfast, where President Barack Obama renewed his calls for the release of two American citizens being held captive in Iran and North Korea.
“To many people, my meeting with President Obama is a clear sign that the United States and Haiti have good relations,” President Martelly said. “President Obama invited me to the White House as a sign of his solidarity with Haiti. And I appreciate that,” the Haitian president said.
Albanian President Bujar Nishani also discussed his participation in the National Prayer Breakfast, which brings together top U.S. political leaders from both parties and a host of distinguished world leaders.
President Nishani said the message he took from President Obama’s address to the gathering, was the need for “respect for each other, the respect for what everybody represents, regardless of faith, political party and race.”
Nishani also praised the role of Voice of America, saying, “it’s a voice of the truth, and it’s a model, even for our media, how a media must work for citizens, must work for society,” Nishani said.