On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Senegal as you celebrate your fiftieth anniversary of independence on April 4. This is an historic milestone and an opportunity to honor Senegal’s culture and accomplishments. Our two nations share an enduring partnership based on mutual respect and common values, including our respect for human rights, the rule of law, political and social justice, and transparency.
Senegal is a champion for democracy, a defender of freedom, and an ally in the fight against terrorism in all its forms. We commend Senegal for its participation in peacekeeping operations around the world, from Haiti to Kosovo to Sudan. And we look forward to working together to continue promoting responsible democratic governance, broad-based and inclusive prosperity, and a firm commitment to civilian rule throughout the region and beyond.
Your commitment to sustainable economic development and widening the circle of prosperity provides a foundation for the Millennium Challenge compact we signed last September. Under this partnership, we will work together to support Senegal’s efforts to eliminate corruption and to promote economic liberalization, poverty reduction, and accountable, transparent, and sustainable development.
Like many Americans, I fondly recall my own visits to Senegal, where I experienced the warmth, hospitality, and tolerance of the Senegalese people. Every day, the people of our two countries are trading, collaborating, and learning from one another. Through Peace Corps programs and an array of educational and cultural exchanges, Americans and Senegalese have forged close bonds that enrich us all.
On this occasion, we celebrate Senegal’s progress and its promise for a secure, prosperous, and democratic future. I offer the best wishes of the American people for a joyous and safe holiday, and I reaffirm the commitment of the United States to our enduring friendship.