I am truly delighted to be back in Belgium. For the last several months, I was in California dealing with a health issue. I credit my full recovery to the outstanding medical care I received from the health professionals both here and in the United States, as well as the many kind messages of support from people in Belgium. For all of this, I am very grateful.
During my time away, I maintained close contact with the Embassy leadership team as they worked to advance our common objectives with Belgium and twice welcomed President Obama here. Like many in Belgium and the U.S., I was deeply touched while watching President Obama, His Majesty King Philippe, and Prime Minister Di Rupo as they honored the soldiers buried at Flanders Field American Cemetery and the many Belgians and other allies who sacrificed for our freedom. I was delighted to see our President received by His Majesty and the Prime Minister when President Obama came for the G-7 meeting as well. These visits highlighted in a very concrete way the strength and breadth of the relationship between the United States and Belgium.
Together we can help build a peaceful and more prosperous future. In the years ahead, I look forward to strengthening our strategic partnership to address challenges like transnational crime and terrorism; supporting a vibrant business and trade relationship, including in critical areas like renewable energy; and continually reaffirming our people-to-people ties through educational and cultural exchanges.