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East Room

9:01 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Please sit down.  Thank you.  Good evening, and thank you all for joining us — this iftar dinner — as we celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.  It’s a great month.  A lot of friends, a lot of great friends.

I want to thank Vice President Pence, Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Ross, Secretary Chao, Secretary Azar, and Administrator Linda McMahon for being with us tonight.  Thank you all very much.  Appreciate it.  We had a very busy day, a very successful day in Washington, D.C.  A lot of great things are happening.  Tremendous economy — best we’ve ever had.  And we have a wonderful administration; they’re doing a lot of great things.  So that’s really terrific.

I also want to thank the members of the Muslim community at home and abroad for joining us.  And a special thanks to Imam Agbere and all of the folks at the U.S. Army.  Imam, where are you?  Imam?  Very nice.  Thank you very much for being with us.  It’s a great honor.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

At tonight’s dinner, we especially are pleased to welcome members of the diplomatic corps, representing our friends and partners across the globe.  And a very warm welcome to all of the ambassadors here tonight representing Muslim-majority nations.  We’re greatly honored by your presence, and thank you very much for being here.  Some very good friends.  To each of you and to the Muslims around the world: Ramadan Mubarak.

In gathering together this evening, we honor a sacred tradition of one of the world’s great religions.  For the Islamic faithful, the iftar dinner marks the end of the daily period of fasting and spiritual reflection that occurs throughout the holy month of Ramadan.  Iftars mark the coming together of families and friends to celebrate a timeless message of peace, clarity, and love.  There is great love.  It’s a moment to call upon our highest ideals, and to give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy.  Thank you very much.

Tonight, we give thanks for the renewed bonds of friendship and cooperation we have forged with our valued partners from all across the Middle East.  So many of you I spent time with not so long ago — about a year ago.  That was one of the great two days of my life.  That was one of the most fabulous times, and I think we accomplished a lot together.

Only by working together can we achieve a future of security and prosperity for all.  For this reason, I was proud to make my first foreign trip as President to the heart of the Muslim world, where I addressed an assembly of more than 50 leaders of Muslim-majority countries.  That was something.

The partnership and solidarity that we established over the past year has only deepened with time.  So many friendships.  So many meetings, even in the Oval Office.  And we’ve made a lot of progress, I think, a lot of tremendous progress.

So tonight, as we enjoy a magnificent dinner at the White House, let us strive to embody the grace and goodwill that mark the Ramadan season.  Let us pray for peace and justice, and let us resolve that these values will guide us as we work together to build a bright and prosperous future that does honor and glory to God.

Thank you very much, and enjoy your evening.  Have a very blessed Ramadan.  Thank you very much for being here.  It’s a great honor.  (Applause.)  (Inaudible.)  Thank you.


9:05 P.M. EDT