On behalf of the government of the United States and the American people, I send my congratulations to all Belarusian citizens on the occasion of your Independence Day.

The United States strongly supports the continued aspirations of the Belarusian people for democratic principles including universal freedoms, civil liberties, and the rule of law.  We urge the government of Belarus to do everything in its power to ensure the upcoming elections are free and fair.  This includes the right of a diverse range of candidates to participate in the campaign, the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and speak freely, and open and fair ballot counting.  All of these fundamental freedoms are necessary to ensure the continued independence and sovereignty of Belarus.

The United States is encouraged by the growing relationship between our two nations and is committed to assisting Belarus to develop and diversify its economy.  The United States reiterates its commitment to working with all Belarusians as you build a bright, secure, and democratic future.

I wish you continued prosperity and success in the years ahead.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future