Шом ба хайр дустони азиз! Хуш омадед ба ҷашни Истиқлоли Иёлоти Муттаҳидаи Амрико! Муҳтарам вазир Сироҷиддин Муҳриддин, dear guests, welcome to the 247th Independence Day of the United States of America. I am honored to celebrate this occasion with you all in the great city of Dushanbe.
Tajikistan’s beautiful mountains, sunny climate, rich agriculture, and warm people remind me of my native California. As Ambassador of the United States, I am proud to call Tajikistan my second home and I am grateful to again experience the legendary hospitality of the Tajik people.
The Fourth of July – America’s birthday – is a special day. Millions of Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate with food, music, and lots of cheer – just as we do here today.
For generations, the story of America has brought together people from different backgrounds, countries, religions, and ethnicities. The United States began with one special dream: for the independence, freedom, and equality of all its people – Истиқлолият, озодӣ ва баробарӣ барои тамоми мардуми он. This is the pioneering American spirit of E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”
The American story is one of continuing progress with every new generation, challenging conventional wisdom and, when necessary, our own government through dissent and civil disobedience, from the Boston Tea party in 1773 and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to Stonewall in 1969. From Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, the pioneering women who in 1848 held the first Women’s Rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, and launched a movement that would improve women’s lives around the world. To Ida Tarbell, an American journalist who exposed unethical business practices in the early 1900s and reaffirmed the value and importance of media freedom to a country’s progress.
America is a country of immigrants, and today we also celebrate their and their descendants’ contributions to our country, including the spirit of enterprise.
Whether it was Steve Jobs, born of immigrant families from two distant continents, who challenged us to “think different” in 1976 and revolutionized computing and communications with his start-up Apple Inc., or Amadeo Pietro Giannini, an Italian American grocer who responded to discrimination against new immigrants by financial institutions to launch a small business in 1904 that would become the Bank of America, Americans have taken risks, built our start-up ecosystem, and changed our country and the world. Our diversity is indeed our strength.
We continue to strive for freedom, equality, and opportunity for all. I am proud to share with you this totality of the American experience and invite you to learn from our successes, of which we are rightfully proud, as well as our failures, from which we do not shrink. In this spirit, I look forward to working with you to advance our shared goal of improving the lives and conditions of all the people of Tajikistan, from Khujand to Khorugh, from Dushanbe to Bokhtar.
Indeed, the United States and the Republic of Tajikistan are both young, newly independent nations with big dreams. We are proud partners of the Government of Tajikistan and civil society, and we are committed to uplifting the country’s sovereignty and independence. Both of our nations strive to fulfill the promise of our constitutions. Together, we aspire to create a better future for our children and all who follow.
And over 31 years, we have accomplished a lot together. The United States will never forget Tajikistan’s immediate support for our country following the September 11 attacks. In our time of greatest need, Tajikistan allowed our French allies to launch the very first air support missions from Dushanbe Airport, a critical operation that continued for 12 years. Tajikistan also opened flows of humanitarian aid for the Afghan people – generosity that continues to this day. Thank you.
Our unity of purpose is more important than ever. The rules-based international order that we worked to build together is under grave threat. The horrors that we had hoped to leave behind in the last century are repeating, with Vladimir Putin’s illegal war of aggression in the very heart of Europe.
While we rightly focus on the defense of sovereign, free Ukraine and alleviating the suffering of the Ukrainian people, Russia’s crimes are negatively impacting so many others, including Tajiks and other Central Asians.
Know that the United States will remain a steadfast partner and friend to Tajikistan. We will continue advancing our longstanding, transparent shared goals: enhancing Tajikistan’s sovereignty, economy, healthcare, civil society, and education to provide more options and hope to all its people. I extend my sincere thanks to our partners in these efforts.
I would also like to express my gratitude to all of you for coming this evening to celebrate with us, your friends, the American people.
In the name of this friendship, I leave you with the words of Tajik poet Mirsaid Mirshakar:
Friendship is a wonderful world
Its gardens are enchanting
Like the hearts of innocent children.
Its skies are clear and pure
Those who are blessed by its light,
I know that this world belongs to them.
Happy birthday, America! And cheers to our friends! Thank you very much.