On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I send warmest wishes to the people of Italy as you celebrate Republic Day on June 2.
I have always felt a very special, personal connection to Italy and its people, dating back to my travels in Italy as a young college student. That bond has only strengthened over many visits this past year. I am especially grateful to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini for their partnership on so many issues that matter to the security and prosperity of our citizens.
In 1946, the people of Italy embraced these same principles in their own constitutional referendum. Their choices, during a time of great turmoil, helped Italy become the strong and prosperous democracy it is today.
Italy is one of our closest allies. We are united by a shared belief in freedom for all people. The United States and Italy are working together to promote stability in Ukraine, the Middle East, and North Africa. Our countries are promoting shared prosperity and tackling the challenge of global food security. The United States looks forward to participating in Milan Expo 2015, an important venue to raise awareness about the challenges of feeding the planet through sustainable agriculture and nutrition.
I extend to all Italians best wishes on this 68th anniversary of Republic Day and look forward to strengthening our partnership in the years to come.