On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the government and people of Afghanistan this August 19 as you celebrate your independence and conclude the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The friendship between our two nations, forged in mutual respect and shared interests, will endure. The United States is proud to support the Afghan people as you continue to build a more peaceful, secure, prosperous, and democratic future, especially this year with Afghan forces increasingly leading in securing that future. I have seen the inspiring progress made across Afghanistan in many sectors, including health care, education, women’s rights, rule of law, trade and commerce. During my many visits, I have seen firsthand the better life you are creating for your children and grandchildren.
Working together this past year, both Afghanistan and the United States took steps to ensure that these strides are sustained. In May, we signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which provides a strong foundation for our enduring partnership across the board: in security, economic and social development, strengthening institutions and bolstering regional stability. And in July, I was pleased to announce in Kabul that President Obama designated Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally of the United States – another important symbol of our commitment to your future.
As you celebrate your 93rd year of independence, know that the people of the United States stand with you and that we look forward to even greater cooperation in the years ahead. Eid Mubarak to all of Afghanistan’s proud citizens.