Washington: US President Barack Obama has expressed his best wishes to Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday. The former South African president is recuperating in a hospital and may be discharged soon.
"On behalf of our family and the people of the United States, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes and prayers to Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 95th birthday, as well as to Graca Machel, the Mandela family, and the government and people of South Africa as they mark the fifth annual Nelson Mandela International Day," Obama said in a statement.
In his honour, the United Nations declared the Nobel peace laureate's birthday Mandela Day in 2009. "Through our own lives, by heeding his example, we can honour the man who showed his own people - and the world – the path to justice, equality, and freedom.
May Nelson Mandela's life of service to others and his unwavering commitment to equality, reconciliation, and human dignity continue to be a beacon for each future generation seeking a more just and prosperous world," Obama said.
Obama said that his family was deeply moved after their visit to Robben Island and they would always draw strength and inspiration from South African leader's example.
"Our family was deeply moved by our visit to Madiba's former cell on Robben Island during our recent trip to South Africa, and we will forever draw strength and inspiration from his extraordinary example of moral courage, kindness, and humility," he said.
Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars.