On the Occasion of Norway's National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 14, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Norway on your Constitution Day on May 17.

Norway is a stronghold of tolerance and progress. After the anti-Semitic attacks in Paris and Copenhagen this past winter, the world mourned. And in Norway more than one thousand young people formed a “ring of peace” around a synagogue in Oslo to ensure its walls survived the night unharmed. That is the kind of courage and solidarity that inspires the world.

The United States and Norway are natural Allies and partners in advancing our shared interests. From the fight against ISIL, support for democracy in Ukraine and our countries’ engagement in the South Sudan peace process, we are united by the values enshrined in our constitutions. I very much enjoy my frequent conversations with Foreign Minister Brende as we collaborate on global challenges, most recently during his April visit to Washington, D.C.

Whenever I meet a Norwegian, I fondly remember the time I lived in Norway as a teenager. I hope to return to experience your warm hospitality again. As you celebrate with family and friends, I wish all Norwegian people peace and prosperity in the coming year.

Gratulerer med dagen, Norge!