United States President Donald Trump on Friday wished people across the world ahead of Diwali celebrations over the weekend. This came a day after he celebrated the festival of lights in the Oval Office with a group of Indian-Americans, PTI reported.

The president said Diwali celebrations were an important reminder of the significance of the country’s commitment to religious liberty, which he said was one of America’s core tenets. “My administration will continue to defend the rights enshrined in our Constitution that enable people of all faiths to worship according to their beliefs and conscience,” Trump added.

The president said “for many Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists in the United States and around the globe” Diwali was “an opportunity to commemorate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”.

The event was closed to the press, according to ABC News. Last year, then Indian ambassador to the United States Navtej Sarna was invited to celebrations in the White House. The US president had kicked up a storm by failing to mention Hindus in a tweet on the festival. Trump described Diwali as a “holiday observed by Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the United States and around the world”.

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