In honor of Tunisia’s National Day on March 20, Secretary of State John Kerry praised the resilience of the Tunisian people in their march toward democracy.

“We commend the Tunisian government and all Tunisians for working together to meet their aspirations for freedom, security, economic opportunity, and dignity,” Kerry said, adding that recent peaceful protests against terrorism “show Tunisian resolve to stand up for the ideals of their hard-fought democratic revolution.”

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House recently noted Tunisia’s democratic advancements, calling it a “bright spot” in the region, due in part to “the holding of free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections, all with a high degree of transparency.”

Kerry said America continues to build and deepen partnerships with Tunisia as the country shapes its destiny.

“The United States remains committed to strengthening and expanding our strategic partnership with the Tunisian people as they continue to lay the foundation for a bright and prosperous future for their country,” Kerry said.

Initiatives such as the Thomas Jefferson Scholarship Program and the United States–Tunisia Trade and Investment Council, among others, highlight America’s ongoing commitment to the Tunisian people.