Obama on Israeli Independence Day: "My best wishes"
Sixty-three years ago, when Israel declared its independence, the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland was finally realized.
On that same day, the United States became the first country in the world to recognize the State of Israel. As Israelis celebrate their hard-won independence, it gives me great pleasure to extend the best wishes of the American people to the people of Israel and to honor their remarkable achievements over the past six decades.
Our two nations share a unique and unbreakable bond of friendship that is anchored in common interests and shared values, and the United States’ unwavering commitment to Israel’s security. I have every confidence that the strong relationship between our countries will grow deeper with each passing year.
This is a period of profound change in the Middle East and North Africa, as people across the region courageously pursue the path of dignity and self-governance.
Just as I know that Israel will always be one of our closest allies, I believe that the region can be more peaceful and prosperous when its people are able to fulfill their legitimate aspirations.
We will continue our efforts with Israel and others in the region to achieve a comprehensive peace, including a two-state solution, and to working together toward a future of peace, security and dignity for the people of Israel and all the people of the region.
I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the people of Israel as they celebrate their 63rd Independence Day. ####
Photo: Jason reed / Reuters (Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama, September 2010).