Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Zimbabwe as you mark 35 years of independence on April 18.

"The United States is a steadfast friend of the Zimbabwean people. We are proud to work with you toward a future that is healthy, prosperous, and democratic for all your citizens.

"I look forward to our continued engagement in areas of common interest over the coming year."