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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 20, 2002
Statement by the President
I send warm greetings to Afghans and Afghan-Americans observing Nowruz.
This year's observance occurs during a period of trial, when the people of Afghanistan and the United States are joined in our determination to make the world safe from terrorism. Afghans have shown extraordinary courage in helping to rid their country of the Taliban and al-Qaida. We will continue to help Afghanistan become a stable, prosperous, and free country. And we will support Afghanistan in its effort to protect itself from becoming a base for international terrorism.
This Nowruz will be particularly special to millions of Afghans. Throughout their history, Afghans have observed Nowruz. But the Taliban had forbidden Afghans from following this treasured part of their heritage. Next week, for the first time in many years, Afghans will be free once more to celebrate this time-honored tradition.
Afghanistan's observance of the traditional New Year honors an ancient and storied history and marks a time of renewal. As the season changes, may the observance of Nowruz serve as a special time for Afghans to enjoy their new found freedom and the company of family and friends.
Best wishes for a memorable Nowruz.
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