US President Barack Obama has extended his best wishes to Muslims around the world as Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, starts.
"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world, " Obama said in a statement Wednesday.
"Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the US, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country," Obama said.
He also said he will host a dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House later this week.
Obama has been reaching out to the Muslim community, in an effort to improve America's negative image in the Muslim world.
The first day of Ramadan this year was determined to be on Wednesday.