On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Italy as you celebrate your 64th Republic Day. This is an opportunity to honor the vibrancy of Italian democracy and reaffirm the shared values that are the foundation of our alliance, including freedom, equality, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The histories of our nations and our people have been intertwined since our earliest days -- from Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci, to the millions of Italian immigrants who helped build the United States, to the American soldiers who helped liberate Italy at the end of World War II. We are linked by strong ties of culture and commerce, and by the bonds of family and friendship.
Today we are NATO allies working side by side to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of the 21st century. From supporting the refocused mission in Afghanistan, to curbing nuclear proliferation, combating climate change, and spurring global economic recovery, we are working together as partners to advance peace, security, and prosperity around the world.
On this Republic Day, I wish the Italian people the very best and look forward to building an even brighter future together.