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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

On the Occasion of France's National Day


Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 12, 2013

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On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I am delighted to extend warm wishes to the people of France on the occasion of Bastille Day.

At watershed moments in history, France and America have always looked across the sea to each other in the spirit of friendship and shared sacrifice. It is a bond forever cemented by the brave soldiers and citizens who stood together more than two hundred years ago in the defense of liberty, and those who have stood together ever since, from two world wars to Libya, and still today where we work closely on the range of global issues.

France has a special place in my heart. My mother was born in Paris and worked as a nurse aide in Montparnasse during the Second World War. As a child, I remember visiting her family’s bombed-out home in Saint Briac, and all that remained was a chimney amid the rubble. The remains of war were still fresh. This deep personal connection with the sacrifice both of our countries and people made in World War II was personal to me, and my connection there is only strengthened each time I visit.

Today, we continue to advance the cause of human liberty and champion the universal values that built our sister republics. When we support France’s efforts to bring peace and stability to Mali or work together to forge a democratic and peaceful future for Syria, we are reaffirming a centuries-old friendship based on our shared values and shared aspirations for a better and safer world.

At the core of our alliance is a commitment to global economic prosperity. Every day, French and American citizens invest in each other’s economies, launch transformative companies, and develop new technologies that will drive even greater innovation and problem solving between our people. We are also working jointly to find solutions to the global challenge of climate change to ensure the prosperity we create today continues to bear fruit for future generations.

It is in this spirit of cooperation and the timeless ideals we share that the people of the United States wish you a joyous celebration of your National Day.



PRN: 2013/0882



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