American Independence day was colorfully celebrated at the U.S. Embassy compound in Asmara on Saturday evening July 4, 2015. There were more than 240 guests including Eritrean government officials, Ambassadors, and other representatives of the diplomatic community, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, airlines and other companies, and friends of the American Embassy. Deputy Chief of Mission, Lori Dando, opened the ceremony by welcoming the guests in the Tigrigna Language and both the Eritrean and American national anthems were sung by a well-known Eritrean Artist, Barnebus Mebrahtu. Chief of Mission, Louis Mazel delivered remarks noting that Eritrea is a fascinating country with great tourism potential.
He underscored that the US government is interested in engaging with both the government and people of Eritrea on many levels including sports and cultural exchanges. He also urged the government of Eritrea to welcome more visitors from UN agencies. Chief of Mission Mazel welcomed the Eritrean National Cycling team to the World Road Cycling Championships that will be held in Richmond, Virginia in September and congratulated Eritrea on having two participants in the prestigious Tour De France cycling race. Mr. Mazel thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its assistance in issuing visas to U.S. government personnel on a regular basis, noting that regular visa operations are benefitting both countries.