It’s an honor for me to congratulate all Afghans as you celebrate your country’s 98th year of independence. Like our own Independence Day, August 19 is an opportunity for Afghans of all ethnic groups to reflect on their remarkable history and rich culture. All of us in the United States have great respect for everything the Afghan nation has achieved, under the most difficult circumstances, since gaining independence in 1919. The Afghan people are strong, resilient, and have a passionate love for their nation and families. We are confident that Afghanistan’s independence – and its commitment to democracy – will continue to propel it toward a future of greater possibility for generations of Afghans to come.
Even in the face of great challenges, such as cowardly attacks by the enemies of freedom and democracy, it is important to recall how much progress Afghanistan has made. You should be rightly proud of your achievements in education, economic growth, infrastructure, and health care. The United States believes in you and in your country’s future. We will continue to stand with you and support your tireless efforts to achieve a united, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan.