Libreville, April 26
The Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy and Mrs. Samuel Watson welcomed 50 guests at their residence for an iftar, a dinner to break the Ramadan fast. Among the Chief of the American diplomatic mission’s guests were Imam Ismaël Oceni Ossa (President of the Superior Council of Islamic Affairs), Monsignor Dieudonné Mouloungui (representative of the Archbishop of Libreville), Pastor Peter Gbenga, Reverend Alain Kombile, and diplomats from Algeria, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
The interfaith meeting celebrated the importance of faith and religious freedom. The U.S. Mission in Gabon is following a two-hundred-year-old tradition initiated by Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States.
Quoting Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in his address to commemorate the month of Ramadan with Muslim communities around the world, the Chargé d’Affaires recalled that Ramadan, beyond being a period of fasting and prayers, embodies the values of peace, compassion, and solidarity. He reiterated the importance of the notions of love and sharing in our diverse communities to pave the way for tolerance and especially for the acceptance of differences to face the future in peace and confidence.