On the Occasion of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 23, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to all Bissau-Guineans as you celebrate the 40th anniversary of your independence on September 24.

Guinea-Bissau has the opportunity to take an important step forward by holding credible and timely elections later this year. The people of Guinea-Bissau deserve a democratic and responsive government worthy of their highest aspirations and ideals.

Elections are only the beginning of a long road. We urge the transitional government to embrace – and implement – a robust agenda of national reconciliation, improved governance, fiscal transparency, and economic reforms. Leaders and political candidates must be publicly accountable to the citizens of Guinea-Bissau.

The United States stands ready to support you in this process, and we look forward to a long-term relationship. As you celebrate this special day, I wish all the people of Guinea-Bissau peace and prosperity in the coming year.

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PRN: 2013/1167