Iceland's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 14, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Iceland on your National Day this June 17.

The American people join the Icelandic people in celebrating our long history as friends, NATO Allies, and partners. We are working together to ensure our common defense, enhance commercial ties between our countries, and sustainably develop the Arctic while protecting its pristine environment.

Iceland is a leader when it comes to the promotion of human rights around the world, including in its advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. It also makes important contributions to emergency and humanitarian assistance for civilians fleeing the conflict in Syria.

Protecting universal rights is at the very heart of our shared diplomatic values, and together we remain committed to advancing these rights and equality for all.

On this special day, I would like to thank the people of Iceland for their friendship and commitment to our common values.

PRN: 2013/0742