Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Belgium on your National Day and King Philippe on the second anniversary of his reign.

"History has long linked our two nations. Our friendship endured through the cauldron of two worldwide conflicts and continues into the era of prosperity we enjoy today. We recognize in Belgium a steadfast friend and transatlantic partner, and celebrate the many cultural and trade links that enrich both our countries.

"As NATO Allies, we share a strong commitment to collective defense, global security, and the preservation of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. This year we commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and paid a special tribute to the thousands of brave U.S., Belgian, and other Allied citizens who gave their lives to re-claim liberty from those who tried to destroy it. As the home of many post-war pan-European and transatlantic institutions, Belgium embodies our most cherished hopes for a united, stable, and just future.

"On behalf of the American people, I send congratulations and best wishes on your National Day. I look forward to strengthening further our proud tradition of peace and friendship in the year ahead."