On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of the Republic of South Africa as you celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of your democracy. The April 27, 1994 elections were the culmination of decades of struggle and opened a new era of equality and opportunity in South Africa. I was honored to attend the inauguration of President Mandela and witness first-hand the historic excitement of those days.
Your story serves as an inspiration to people around the world yearning to be free. And your progress is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of democracy.
The partnership between the United States and South Africa is rooted in our shared values and common aspirations. Our two countries share the goal of ridding the world of discrimination in all its forms, promoting broad-based prosperity and opportunity, and supporting democracy and the rule of law.
We have much to learn from one another, and much to accomplish together. The U.S. - South Africa Strategic Dialogue that we launched last month provides a framework for meeting our common challenges. The United States believes in South Africa’s promise and we are committed to our partnership.
I offer you my warmest wishes as you celebrate this momentous anniversary.