Secretary of State John Kerry Praises “Humanitarian Spirit” of Greek People

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In a message for Greek Independence Day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the people of Greece for their “humanitarian spirit” who “continue to respond with generosity and compassion to the unprecedented number of migrants and refugees fleeing persecution, conflict, and economic hardship.”

Kerry recounted a trip to Greece last year where he met with local volunteer groups in Athens while wishing Greeks well on the 195th anniversary of Greek Independence Day.

Secretary Kerry in Greece December 2015:

Kerry’s complete statement from the State Department press office:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I extend best wishes to the people of Greece on the 195th anniversary of your independence.

Last fall, I had the privilege of visiting Athens and reiterating the United States’ strong support and unwavering commitment to our longtime partnership. Our nations are united by a shared belief in democracy and liberty – first articulated in the agoras of ancient Greece and then serving as inspiration to America’s own Founding Fathers.

In our bilateral relationship, we work together to promote regional stability, trade and investment, and the diversification of energy resources. The United States and Greece maintain strong bilateral military ties. As a NATO Ally, Greece is helping to secure Europe’s borders and deter smuggling in the Aegean Sea. We are also grateful for Greece’s efforts in the Counter-ISIL coalition as we work together to destroy Daesh.

We commend the humanitarian spirit of the Greek people who continue to respond with generosity and compassion to the unprecedented number of migrants and refugees fleeing persecution, conflict, and economic hardship. The United States is proud to stand in solidarity with Greece, Europe, and the broader region as we face together this challenge of historic proportions.

As you celebrate this momentous occasion, the American people wish you peace, prosperity, and safety over the coming year.

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