It’s a pleasure for Eden and me to welcome you to the Embassy tonight to help us celebrate American Independence.
Americans love the Fourth of July. It’s a chance for our country to come together to celebrate our independence, our freedom, our tolerance, and the remarkable achievements of our diverse society and its contributions to the world.
I think that one of the most significant things–and there are many–that Americans and Egyptians have in common is our love for our countries and our readiness to pay the highest price to protect them as well as to help others threatened by tyranny and aggression. That’s what we are celebrating.
We have a large Embassy in Cairo, as befits the extensive cooperation between our governments and peoples. Representatives of more than fourteen U.S. government agencies work every day with colleagues throughout the Egyptian government and private sector on projects and initiatives that make both of our countries safer and more prosperous, and ultimately happier and more cultured.
In that regard, I would like to particularly welcome the many Egyptian colleagues, including senior government officials and senior officers of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
In my capacity as Charge d’Affaires, I had the honor earlier today to receive the national day greetings and congratulations of President Sisi. We deeply appreciate President Sisi’s support for our relationship, as President Trump highlighted in their historic meeting in the White House in April. Even more recently, many delegations of senior officials and leaders of our Congress have been graciously received by the President. Our visitors’ understanding and support for a strong relationship has been enhanced as a result.
Welcome also to members of Cairo’s large and active diplomatic community. Ambassadors, colleagues and friends from around the world: you are always welcome and your friendships enrich our experiences and understanding.
We are also so happy to see so many friends of the United States from all parts of Egyptian society, including participants in the many cultural, development, and educational programs that the Embassy supports.
Our Embassy team has been working for many months to organize a festive evening that shows off the best of our nation. The U.S. Air Force’s “Central Command Band” will be playing and singing well-known American standards. Thank you very much for being with us.
Tonight’s food has been expertly catered by the Fairmont Towers Heliopolis. We have tried to offer a sampling of some of our best regional foods. There are stands featuring cuisine from six unique American cities: Philadelphia, Houston, New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago, and Honolulu. If you can, please try to give them all a try.
A new addition this year is the mini-White House replica to my left where you can experience the latest Virtual Reality technology. Just put on the goggles, and you’re someplace in the United States. Thanks to the Embassy’s fantastic Information Resource Center team for making this happen.
We are immensely proud of the American business community in Egypt. American businesses big and small have been thriving here for decades and new ones are arriving every day. A number of our most prominent companies have supported tonight’s event. You can find their names listed in the program. Thank you very much to our corporate donors for making tonight possible.
Finally, you may have heard that Cairo is now hosting basketball teams from around the world for the 2017 Under-19 Basketball World Cup. Members and coaches of the U.S. Under-19 Men’s Team are with us us tonight. You should be able to spot most of them. These are our most promising and talented young athletes, and we are thrilled that they came to Egypt for this tournament. Go Team USA!
Please enjoy the evening. Thank you and may God bless and protect the United States and Egypt.