New Delhi: US President Donald Trump on Friday sent Diwali greetings to Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, saying that the celebration of the festival across the country was an important reminder of one of its core values, i.e religious liberty.

The US President’s remark came a day after he celebrated the festival in the Oval Office with some members of the Indian-American community, news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) said.

In a statement earlier today, Trump, who will seek reelection in next year’s US Presidential Elections, said, “The celebration of Diwali across our country is an important reminder of the significance of one of our nation’s core values: religious liberty.”

He further vowed that his government will continue to defend the right of American people, across all faiths, to worship according to their religious beliefs and choice.

“As Diwali begins, First Lady Melania and I wish everyone a blessed and happy celebration,’ PTI further quoted Trump as saying.

“For those celebrating it, the festival is an opportunity to commemorate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil,” added Trump.

The practice of celebrating Diwali in the Oval Office was started by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama in 2009. This will be his third celebration of the festival, having celebrated it there in 2017 and 2018, inviting, on the latter instance, then-Indian envoy to the US, Navtej Singh Sarna for celebrations.

The five-day-long Diwali festival started in India on Friday with Dhanteras. The main festival will be observed on the third day, i.e October 27.