Statement by Secretary Kerry on Chile’s National Day

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Chile as you celebrate two hundred and five years of independence this September 18.   We wish all Chileans a joyous day as you celebrate your independence.  We stand with Chile in the wake of the September 16 earthquake and are ready to assist.

The relationship between the United States and Chile is an enduring one that draws on a long history of cooperation and friendship.  Shared values and close people-to-people ties, bolstered by robust educational exchanges, our free trade agreement, and Chile’s membership in the Visa Waiver Program, draw us ever closer.  The United States appreciates Chile’s global leadership on issues such as LGBTI rights.  I am greatly looking forward to joining leaders, academics, and activists from all over the world at the Our Ocean conference in Valparaiso October 5-6, as we work together to protect our great shared resource – the ocean.  A partner and friend, we look forward to continuing to deepen and broaden our relationship with Chile in order to address challenges that affect us all.

I greatly appreciate the strong friendship between the United States and Chile, and I wish everyone a Feliz Dieciocho.