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South and Central Asia: Afghan Independence Day

On behalf of the President of the United States and the American people, I send best wishes to the people and government of Afghanistan as you celebrate your Independence Day on August 19.

Today is a testament to the bravery and determination of the Afghan people. Over the last year we have seen Afghanistan make real progress in meeting the aspirations of its people for a more democratic, self-sufficient and secure future.

Despite the many challenges Afghanistan has faced, there is much to celebrate today. We stand with you as you honor these achievements, and we salute your courage, your hard work and your commitment to sustain them and build on them in the years ahead.

We look forward to continued close cooperation with Afghanistan in this effort, and to a broadening and deepening of bilateral friendship.