U.S. President Barack Obama last visited Israel in 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama last visited Israel in 2013 Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO
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U.S. President Barack Obama sent his "warmest wishes" to Israel on the occasion of its Independence Day on Tuesday.

"On behalf of the American people, I wish President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Israeli people a joyous Yom Ha’atzmaut," Obama said in a statement.

"Generations of Jews dreamed of the day when the Jewish people would have their own state in their historic homeland, and 66 years ago today that dream came true," the statement said. "Today, Israel thrives as a diverse and vibrant democracy and as a "start-up nation" that celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation."

Obama's statement also said that the relationship between the two countries, "based on shared democratic values and our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security, has never been stronger."

"The United States was the first nation to recognize the government of Israel in 1948, and today we are still the first to come to Israel’s defense," Obama added.

Obama said he would continue to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to ensure that "that the Israelis will live alongside their neighbors in peace and with security."