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US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke a greeting to Finland on 6 December, Finnish independence day."The Foreign Minister of the United States John Kerry greets Finland on its independence day on behalf of President Barack Obama and the US nation with significant warmth. Kerry's greeting was published on the website of the US Department of State. He highlights the strong bond between the USA and Finland based on joint democratic values and the lasting contributions of American Finns.

According to Kerry, the Finnish "sisu" and the spirit of vigorous entrepreneurship are an essential part of the success of Finland, and contribute to it being an inspiration to others. He wishes that the commercial, cultural and political relations between Finland and the USA will continue to be strengthened. As areas of co-operation he mentions energy safety, global climate, health and teaching, as well as the TTIP contract currently under negotiations.

Kerry's greeting ends with a promise:

"As you celebrate this day, please know that the United States of America will always stand with you as a faithful friend and partner. I wish all Finnish people continued peace and prosperity in the coming year."

ILTA-SANOMAT 6 December. TUOMAS MANNINEN
LEHTIKUVA / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

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