I congratulate the people of Italy as they celebrate Republic Day this June 2.
Following years of struggle, the Italian people in 1946 made an historic choice that set their country on the path to becoming the vibrant democracy it is today. Commemorations such as this provide an opportunity to reflect upon the fundamental values our two countries share. I have a particular admiration and affection for the Italian experience since my own personal narrative is interwoven with many visits to Italy, and many Italian friends. I witnessed firsthand the effects of the Italian economic miracle of the 1950’s which so clearly exhibited a national strength of character.
The U.S.-Italy alliance is grounded in our shared history and strengthened by the bonds of mutual respect, trust, and affection between our two peoples. These ties have been reaffirmed during my two visits to Italy as Secretary, and by the conversations I have had recently with Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Foreign Minister Emma Bonino.
We are working together to address challenges and attain common goals – promoting peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, outlining a path for global economic prosperity that will provide greater opportunity for young people, and protecting the environment for future generations. Our cooperation on security issues remains particularly close, and we are grateful for the hospitality extended to our defense personnel.
It is in the spirit of this enduring partnership and friendship that I extend to all Italians my sincere best wishes on this 67th anniversary of Republic Day.