WASHINGTON, DC (RFE/RL) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday congratulated Armenia on the 25th anniversary of its independence and praised its “warm friendship” with the United States.

“The United States deeply values its warm friendship with Armenia and with all of you,” Kerry said in a statement on the holiday that will be celebrated by the South Caucasus state on Wednesday.

“In the past quarter century, Armenia has made great progress, and my government looks forward to continuing to work closely with you in support of shared prosperity, strong democratic institutions, the rule of law, and regional peace,” he said.

“We appreciate Armenia’s consistent support for effective international peacekeeping operations and its leading role in responding to the Syrian refugee crisis,” added the statement.

President Serzh Sarkisian reiterated that U.S.-Armenian relations are now “at their highest level in their history” when he met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Washington in late March.He spoke of deepening bilateral political, economic and security ties between the two countries.

Biden and Sarkisian held talks in the White House ahead of a global nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama. The Armenian president was among around 50 heads of state that were invited to the summit.

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