US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday thanked Muslims for their service and resilience, amid the coronavirus pandemic in his message to mark the beginning of Ramadan.
In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Blinken noted that the world's estimated 1.8 billion Muslims would celebrate the holy month "differently" in 2021, with many festivities forced online due to Covid-19.
"While we've seen tremendous loss this past year, we've also seen stories of hope and resilience in the face of this adversity, from essential workers to healthcare professionals," said Mr Blinken.
"Muslims have been on the front line, united in service, faith and shared humanity. For all those who have sacrificed so much and continue to do so, we're in your debt."
Many countries with sizeable Muslim populations have this year imposed or tightened lockdowns and social-distancing rules for Ramadan in efforts to stop gatherings becoming Covid-19 superspreader events.
“With our embassies and consulates around the world, the Department of State is committed to strong relationships with Muslim communities around the world as the holy month of spiritual renewal begins,” added Mr Blinken.
“I wish all Muslims Ramadan Mubarak.”