U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presided over a special naturalization ceremony at the State Department to swear in 50 new American citizens.  Four naturalized Americans also were singled out for special awards. VOA's Bill Rodgers reports


The ceremony on Monday April 23rd was held at the State Department's ornate Benjamin Franklin room. Fifty people from 23 countries were sworn in as new Americans.


Secretary Rice congratulated them and then spoke of their new obligations. "An obligation to be a partner to the millions of men and women in the world, especially the weakest and less fortunate, who now look to you as Americans, to help them strive in their own nations for the enduring ideals of a new world."


Special awards were presented to four naturalized Americans, including Egyptian-born Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs, Dina Habib Powell. The "American by Choice" awards recognize the outstanding achievements of naturalized U.S. citizens.