Washington, DC (STL.News) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken released the following statement:

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, it is my pleasure to congratulate the people of The Gambia on the 56th anniversary of your independence.

The partnership between the United States and The Gambia is based on mutual respect, shared values, and interpersonal connections as we work together to promote effective democracy, regional stability, and economic growth and prosperity.  With the prospect this year of a referendum on a revised constitution and national elections to choose a president, Gambian citizens have the power to solidify the foundational principles of respect for fundamental human rights and dignity for all people, governance based on rule of law, and democratic institutions accountable to the people.

The United States stands with our Gambian partners as you celebrate Independence Day.  We remain committed to strengthening our partnership with The Gambia as it strives to strengthen democratic principles and enhance economic growth and investment.