June 26, 2023
Villa Taverna, Rome
[As Prepared for Delivery]
Minister Tajani, members of the government, fellow diplomats, distinguished guests, good evening, buonasera. Welcome to the U.S. Embassy’s celebration of the 247th anniversary of the declaration of independence of the United States of America!
A titolo personale, vorrei esprimire il mio sincero ringraziamento ad ognuno di voi, per aver assistito me ed i miei collaboratori dell’ambasciata nel corso del mio mandato cominciato un anno fa. Tuttavia, il mio italiano deve ancora migliorare; perćho continuerò in inglese.
I would like to start by taking a moment to thank the many donors whose contributions made tonight’s celebration possible, as well as the Embassy team and the staff here at Villa Taverna. We would not be here without your generosity and support. We recognize the invaluable role that the American and Italian business communities play in strengthening the ties between our countries. Together, our efforts create good jobs by facilitating sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We look forward to continuing to partner with you in the future.
This is a very special day for us, and we are thrilled you are here to share it. You may have noticed the display in the garden that commemorates the visit 60 years ago by President John F. Kennedy. While in Italy, he said (quote), “Today, Italy and the United States are more closely allied than ever before as partners in the defense of freedom.” Thanks to the efforts of the people gathered here tonight, I believe that statement is even more true today than it was in 1963.
In fact, the U.S.-Italy relationship has never been stronger. It is built on the foundation of our democratic systems, our shared values, and the personal bonds between the Italian and American peoples. Together we are more prosperous and more secure.
As we rightly celebrate that partnership and those values, we are mindful that, not too far away, the people of Ukraine are on the battlefield fighting for their lives, their freedom, and their independence. Secretary of State Blinken consults frequently with world leaders on the crisis, including a call this weekend with Minister Tajani and other G7 foreign ministers. As the Secretary said when he hosted the Minister in Washington just two weeks ago, the United States and Italy will continue to support efforts to secure a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, consistent with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The world sees, and appreciates, Italy’s leadership in that effort.
President Biden has said that Putin had hoped his war would undermine the Transatlantic Alliance. It has not. In fact, our unity and resolve have never been stronger. Instead, as Secretary Blinken said when asked about events this weekend, we’ve seen real cracks emerge in Russia.
We appreciate Italy’s leadership in other areas as well. We look forward to Italy’s presidency of the G7 next year and are excited to spend next summer in Puglia with many of you for the Leaders’ Summit. Together, we have important work to do to combat climate change, secure supply chains, prevent future pandemics, and increase global prosperity. To continue to ensure the our security and prosperity, we need to deepen cooperation to make our economies more resilient and less dependent on strategic competitors that fail to meet international standards.
I am proud to serve in Italy during this challenging and historic time. I am confident that our relationship will continue to grow stronger to the benefit of people on both sides of the Atlantic.
I would like to conclude by welcoming our guest of honor. We are privileged this evening to have Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani with us representing the Government of Italy. He is a staunch defender of Italy’s interests, a good friend, and a steadfast partner, both with the United States and across Europe. Please join me in welcoming Minister Tajani to the podium.