Bush to be honored by Estonia

Feb. 1, 2012 at 10:12 PM

TALLINN, Estonia, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President George W. Bush will be awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

The award is one of 99 state decorations to be handed out by Ilves on the eve of Estonia's Independence Day Feb. 23, Estonian Public Broadcasting reported Wednesday.

Bush will receive the first-class order for his "decisive role in NATO's 2004 expansion," when Estonia joined the alliance, and for his "support for Estonian interests in foreign policy and security," a statement by Ilves' office read.

Since Estonia began handing out the awards in 1995, the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana -- the highest honor given non-citizens -- has been awarded to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and former French President Jacques Chirac, RIA Novosti reported.

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