Obama Blesses Muslim Month of Ramadan as Israel Envoy Looks On

Israel's ambassador to Washington Michael Oren attended White House dinner to mark Iftar meal.

"Ramadan Kareem," was the blessing given by U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday, where members of Congress and diplomats gathered for the Iftar meal to break the fast during the holy month in the Islamic calendar.

Among those in attendance was Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren. The administration invited emissaries from Muslim countries as well as states with large Muslim populations, a grouping which includes Israel and India.

Also on hand were Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union and Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism.

Obama praised the accomplishments of the American Muslim community and hailed Islam as "a part of America".

"Together, we have a responsibility to foster engagement grounded in mutual interest and mutual respect," Obama said. "And that's one of my fundamental commitments as President, both at home and abroad. That is central to the new beginning that I've sought between the United States and Muslims around the world."