On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the Czech Republic on the 95th anniversary of your independence on October 28.
My personal connection to the Czech Republic reaches back into my own family tree. Ten years ago, I learned that my grandfather was a son of a master brewer from the small town of what is now Horni Benesov, and my brother, Cameron, just this month traveled to your country to help learn more about our family’s roots and see firsthand this town we’d only read about in the newspapers. Our family’s immigrant story is like so many, stronger because of the ties that bind our two peoples.
Our connection is grounded not only in the past but in the present. Today, the United States and the Czech Republic share a close and collaborative partnership as NATO allies. We are especially grateful to the Czech Republic for serving as our protecting power in Syria. Our bilateral relationship continues to mature into a comprehensive partnership based on shared values and common approaches to regional and global challenges.
The United States and the Czech Republic work together to promote the development of strong democratic institutions in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Southeast Asia. We are committed to expanding our economic ties, and we greatly appreciate the role the Czech Republic plays in support of those fighting for basic human rights across the globe, from Iran to Cuba to Belarus and beyond.
As you observe your Independence Day, the United States celebrates with you as a close friend and steadfast ally.