On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to congratulate the people of Iceland as you celebrate your Independence Day this June 17. The United States was the first country to recognize Icelandic independence in 1944, and this friendship has grown deeper over the past decades.
On this special occasion, we celebrate the rich history of cultural and personal ties between our peoples, as well as the cooperation and mutual support that are the foundation of our relationship. We share a commitment to individual freedom, human rights, and democracy, and we are working together on a wide range of issues, from enhancing peace and stability in Afghanistan -- to harnessing new green energy sources -- to ensuring peaceful cooperation in the Arctic.
As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States is a friend and partner. I send my best wishes to the people of Iceland and reaffirm our commitment to strengthening and deepening our ties in the years to come.
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