On behalf of the people and government of the United States, I congratulate the people and government of Finland on the 102nd anniversary of your independence.
Throughout 2019, the United States and Finland proudly celebrated a century of diplomatic relations, including a meeting between President Trump and President Niinistö at the White House in October. Our bilateral relationship is underpinned by the close ties between our people. Seven hundred thousand Americans trace their ancestry to Finland and Finnish-Americans have long contributed to the rich diversity of the United States. Over a thousand Finnish and American students study at each other’s colleges and universities each year. 2019 also marks the 70th anniversary of the ASLA-Fulbright program, through which 112 Finns and Americans participated in Fulbright Finland exchanges, the highest number since the 1960s.
This year, we also congratulate Finland on its successful EU presidency. The United States is proud of its partnership with Finland, including on NATO and the Arctic Council, where we are working together to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development in the Arctic region.
Our partnership continues to grow. Best wishes to all of Finland as you celebrate your independence day.