U.S President Barack Obama commemorated the start of the holy month of Ramadan with a message to the Muslim world.
In his message Obama wished joy, peace and understanding to the Muslims around the world.
Obama said that for the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, the month of Ramadan is a time for thoughtful reflection, fasting and devotion.
Obama noted " Ramadan is also an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the principles that bind people of different faiths, a commitment to peace, justice, equality and compassion towards our fellow human beings. These bonds are far stronger than the differences that too often drive us apart."
Obama said further that the month of Ramadan also reminds that freedom, dignity and opportunity are the undeniable rights of all mankind.
"We reflect on these universal values at a time when many citizens across the Middle East and North Africa continue to strive for these basic rights and as millions of refugees mark Ramadan far from their homes. The United States stands with those who are working to build a world where all people can write their own future and practice their faith freely, without fear of violence,” said Obama.
Obama said " I have been honored to host an iftar dinner at the White House each of the past four years, and this year I look forward to welcoming Muslim Americans who are contributing to our country as entrepreneurs, activists and artists."