Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of the Gabonese Republic as you celebrate the 56th anniversary of your nation’s independence on August 17.

"The United States applauds your commitment to conducting free, fair, and peaceful elections later this month. Your support for transparent democratic institutions and processes can serve as a model for other countries in the region. The United States values its friendship with Gabon, and looks forward to continued partnership with you in support of economic growth and strong environmental stewardship, especially in the areas of climate change, sustainable forestry, wildlife management, and the protection of biological diversity.

"I offer my best wishes to you on this special day and throughout the year to come."