Obama congratulates Israel on Independence Day
As Jewish state turns 62, US president issues special statement to its residents, says 'Israel remains our important partner and key strategic ally in the Middle East and I am confident that our special relationship will only be strengthened in the months and years to come'
WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama issued a special statement to the people of Israel on Monday, congratulating the Jewish state on its 62nd Independence Day.
"Israel remains our important partner and key strategic ally in the Middle East," the American president said, "and I am confident that our special relationship will only be strengthened in the months and years to come."
Obama began his statement by saying, "On the 62nd Anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, I join the American people in congratulating the government and people of Israel on this celebration of their independence.
"To this day," he added, "we continue to share a strong, unbreakable bond of friendship between our two nations, anchored by the United States’ enduring commitment to Israel’s security."
The president noted that the United States was the first country to recognize Israel, "minutes after (Prime Minister) David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence, realizing the dream of a state for the Jewish people in their historic homeland."
Addressing the stalemated peace process, Obama said: "I look forward to continuing our efforts with Israel to achieve comprehensive peace and security in the region, including a two-state solution, and to working together to counter the forces that threaten Israel, the United States, and the world.
"On this day, we once again honor the extraordinary achievements of the people of Israel, and their deep and abiding friendship with the American people. I offer my best wishes to President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the people of Israel as they celebrate this happy occasion," the American president concluded.