On the Occasion of Koningsdag in the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 27, 2016

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate His Majesty King Willem-Alexander on his third celebration of Koningsdag, and offer my best wishes to all the people of the Netherlands.

The relationship between the United States and the Netherlands has been a source of warm friendship and mutual prosperity since 1782, when Ambassador John Adams opened our first official embassy there. Through the centuries, we have remained close partners and steadfast allies. This past June, we welcomed the Royal Family to Washington D.C. to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and also to highlight our ongoing cooperation on a range of mutual interests. Our bilateral agenda today includes cooperation on trade, solidarity in fighting terrorism, shared support for human rights, and a mutual commitment to democratic values.

Over 400 years ago, Dutch explorers and merchants established their presence in what is today the United States. With place names like Tappan Zee and Brooklyn, a presidential history that includes two Roosevelts and one Van Buren, and nearly five million Americans claiming Dutch ancestry, the Dutch influence on this side of the Atlantic continues to be felt.

Congratulations again to all the people of the Netherlands as they celebrate in a sea of orange on this special day.