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MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s New York Foreign Press Center briefing with Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price.  Mr. Price will provide a readout of the UN General Assembly and take questions.  We are so pleased to have him here today.   

This briefing is on the record.  Following the spokesperson’s opening remarks, I’ll open the floor for questions.  If you have a question, go to the participant field and raise your virtual hand and wait for me to call on you.  When called on, please enable both your audio and your video so the spokesperson can see you and continue seeing you as he’s answering your question. 

And with that, it’s – turn it over to Spokesperson Price.  Thank you so much for joining us today. 

MR PRICE:  Well, thank you, Daphne, for that introduction.  I am so pleased to be here.  It is, in fact, a real pleasure to be here.  This is my first briefing at the FPC.  I can assure you this will not be my last, and I’m looking forward to speaking with all of you. 

It’s also an especially opportune time to speak to all of you.  This week, as you know, Secretary Blinken participated in the UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week – the first time since President Biden took office.  

This was an opportunity for the United States to show up, to listen, and lead as we rally the world to work together in tackling the most pressing challenges of our time.  You heard President Biden call for “relentless diplomacy,” as he put it, and our State Department team – including the Secretary, including the deputy secretary, including our under secretaries, including our assistant secretaries, and many others across the department  – have been doing just that.  

The Secretary, during his time here in New York, had the opportunity to meet with partners and allies from around the world for a wide range of bilateral and multilateral discussions.  You have all seen the readouts by now, so I won’t bore you by rehashing all of them, but I will note that the Secretary, in the course of his several days here in New York, met with over – engaged with counterparts from more than 60 countries in bilateral, regional, and multilateral settings.  That includes meeting with the foreign ministers from the UK, Brazil, Turkey, Egypt, France, Pakistan, the EU high representative, and the president of the DRC.  

Among his multilateral engagements were meeting with counterparts from the P5 hosted by the UN Secretary-General, and with the C5+1.  He met with foreign ministers from ASEAN nations, from the Gulf Cooperation Council, and with foreign ministers from Mexico and Central America in his final meeting here yesterday.  The Secretary also participated in trilateral talks with the Japanese and Korean foreign ministers on the margins of the General Assembly.  

In addition, Secretary Blinken participated in a ministerial hosted on Libya – in a ministerial on Libya, hosted by France, Germany, and Italy.  He had a productive discussion with G20 foreign ministers on Afghanistan, and he attended yesterday’s UN Security Council meeting on climate and security that you all saw.  The Secretary also spoke at the Global COVID-19 Summit, which was hosted by the White House, where he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to fighting the virus both at home and around the world.  

All of these engagements are essential, in our view, because if we are to deliver for the American people – to confront the truly great challenges of our time – we have to work together.  We have to work with the entire world.   

And that’s exactly what you have seen us do not only in the context of the UN General Assembly, but also since our very first day in office, when we have demonstrated a determined effort to revitalize our alliances and partnerships around the world.  We’ve reaffirmed our unshakable commitment to NATO, and in particular to Article 5, as well as to the defense of our allies in East Asia.  We’re renewing, broadening, and deepening our engagement with the European Union, and we’re elevating the Quad partnership, including with what you will see today.  We’re re-engaging with regional institutions, and that includes ASEAN to the African Union to the Organization of American States. 

But across all of our diplomatic engagements this week, two challenges really stood out above the rest, and you heard Secretary Blinken discuss these in a bit of detail yesterday, but that was really COVID-19 and the climate crisis.  

In terms of the former, COVID-19, you heard the President announce new commitments the United States is making to end the pandemic, and that includes purchasing half a billion additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine – that is half a billion with a “b.”  That brings the total number of doses the United States will donate to more than 1.1 billion – again, billion with a “b.”  We are working with countries around the world to vaccinate billions of people, taking bold steps to save lives, and building back better to prevent the next epidemic. 

We know that if we are to keep the American people safe at home, if people are to be safe anywhere from this virus, people need to be vaccinated and to be safe everywhere from the scourge of COVID-19.  

On tackling the climate change, we are only weeks away from the COP26 Summit, and you heard the Secretary very clearly state that every nation will need to come to the table with their highest possible ambitions.  We must achieve that if we are to keep within reach the essential goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

The Secretary also had several opportunities – both bilaterally and multilaterally – to make the point that all the countries and organizations represented here this week in New York have a shared interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan.  And together we must stay united in holding the Taliban to their commitments in key areas, and we’ve outlined five of those. 

First, we must hold the Taliban to their commitment to allow foreign nationals and Afghans to travel outside the country if they so choose.  The United States supports the safe departure of Afghans who wish to leave, and we support our partners in their efforts to relocate Afghan staff and family members.  We believe this should be a prerequisite to any meaningful engagement with the Taliban.   

Second, we must hold the Taliban accountable to their commitment to prevent terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base for external operations that threaten other countries.   

Third, we must be fierce advocates for the human rights of all Afghan people, and, of course, that includes the women, the children, members of minority groups in Afghanistan.  And the Taliban must make good on their commitment not to carry out reprisal violence and to grant amnesty to all who worked for the former government or coalition forces.  

Fourth, we must keep pressing the Taliban on unimpeded humanitarian access, and you’ve heard from the United States, you’ve heard from a number of countries around the world about our humanitarian commitment – our enduring humanitarian commitment – to the people of Afghanistan.  

And finally, we’ve called on the Taliban to form an inclusive government, a government that can meet the needs and reflect the aspirations of the Afghan people.   

So it was a lot of business that we were able to accomplish here in New York over the course of this week, but the diplomacy does not end here.  High-Level Week may be ending, but that relentless diplomacy, as the President said, will continue.   

And with that, I look forward to taking your questions.  

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much for those opening remarks.  If you have a question, please – excuse me – raise your virtual hand, wait for me to call on you, please identify yourself and your outlet, and enable your video and audio.  Let’s go first question to Ben Marks. 

QUESTION:  Yeah.  Hi, Ned.  Nice to see you.  Thank you for doing — 

MR PRICE:  Hey, Ben.  Good to see you. 

QUESTION:  Yeah.  I have a question on the CPTPP.  Both China and Taiwan have formally applied to join.  Could I first get your comment on this?  And I’d like to know if the U.S. is considering going back to consultations about joining the CPTPP. 

And then finally, several parties to the CPTPP were in meetings with the Secretary during this week, so did the issue come up at all in any of his meetings?  Thank you. 

MR PRICE:  Thanks for that, Ben.  So you raised the issue of both China and Taiwan raising their hands and submitting a request to join the CPTPP.  We are not a party to the CPTPP, therefore we defer to those countries that are parties regarding their views on the accession of any would-be entrant.   

When it comes to China, we would expect that China’s non-market trade practices and China’s use of economic coercion against other countries would factor into the CPTPP’s parties’ evaluation as a potential candidate for accession.  Similarly, we would expect that Taiwan’s record as a responsible member of the World Trade Organization and Taiwan’s strong embrace of democratic values would factor in the CPTPP’s parties’ evaluation of Taiwan as a potential candidate for accession, but, of course, those are decisions that need to be made by the member-states. 

When it comes to the United States, we have addressed this on several occasions, including recently from the White House.  The President has been clear that he would not rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward.  Much has changed in the world since TPP was signed in 2016.  This administration is reviewing CPTPP to evaluate its consistency with our Build Back Better agenda.  We want to work with Congress to negotiate and develop trade policies that advance the interest of all Americans, support U.S. innovation, and enhance our competitiveness.   

And in the midst of all of that, you have heard from the White House and others that our first task is to make the investments at home that will make us more competitive on the world stage that will allow the American people to take advantage of global commerce in a way that redounds and rewards our economy for its vibrancy and the American people for their creativity and ingenuity.  And so that agenda is well underway.  Thanks, Ben. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  The question will go Jan Ellen.  Please enable your audio and video and identify your outlet, please.  

QUESTION:  Yeah, hi, I’m from Turkish Journal and I cover Turkey and the world.  I want to ask:  How important is Turkey’s role in the situation with Afghanistan, considering that Turkey is involved in the security of the airport?  But how important is Turkey’s role to the U.S. in diplomacy? 

And the other question on Afghanistan is that obviously the Taliban, as you know from many eyewitnesses, have not kept their commitments.  And I don’t see how you can think to engage – I mean, I know you want to engage with them, but how can you trust the engagement to be real for humanitarian aid and women and girls?  If you could answer that, but especially about the Turkey question, I would appreciate it.   

MR PRICE:  Sure.  Thank you for that question.  As you know, Turkey is an important NATO ally.  We’ve worked closely with our Turkish allies across a number of challenges, and that includes in the context of Afghanistan.  Turkey is and has long played an important role in Afghanistan most recently.   

They are working closely with our Qatari partners in the context of Kabul International Airport and doing incredibly important work to see to it that the airport can be operational in the first instance, allowing for a limited set of charter flights, charter flights that have been able to facilitate the departure of American citizens and LPRs – lawful president – permanent residents, that is to say, and other – and others who wish to leave with an eye towards reopening the airport to regular and more regularized commercial traffic going forward.   

That is an important task.  It’s an important task for a number of reasons: one, for the ability of those who wish to depart Afghanistan to do so.  And when the Taliban have made public and private commitments to safe passage, a functioning airport and a functioning commercial airport in the form of Kabul International Airport is an important instrument in that regard.   

But this also gets to you an element – the second element of your question.  A functioning international airport is important for the provision of humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, and that is something that we are deeply committed to.  The United States has contributed billions of dollars to the people of Afghanistan over the past 20 years, about $4 billion since 2002.  This year alone we have put forward $330 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan, including an additional $64 million in recent weeks.   

And importantly, this is humanitarian assistance.  This is assistance that will help and provide relief to the people of Afghanistan, to the women, to the girls, to minorities, to all those who may be in need of it.  This is, of course, separate from any bilateral assistance that the United States provided to the former government.  This is only about helping the Afghan people.   

We believe that we can continue to provide this humanitarian aid without it flowing through the Taliban or any other entity.  This is something we have done in any number of contexts around the world working directly with our operating partners on the ground so that they can dispense with this assistance as appropriate to the Afghan people.  We’ve been in regular touch with our operating partners, and we’re confident that we can continue to provide this humanitarian assistance going forward.   

In terms of our engagement with the Taliban, there is – we have been, as have many countries, engaging with the Taliban on issues that are paramount to our national interest.  And of course, those have been very narrow and limited in scope to date.  First and foremost, it has been – this engagement has been predicated on the ability of American citizens, of lawful permanent residents, of Afghans who have worked with and for the United States over the course of 20 years to depart the country if they so choose.  It is manifestly in our interest to engage in these types of discussions with the Taliban, and a number of countries are doing so in a way that is limited, narrow, and appropriate. 

When it comes to any broader engagement, that is something where we will look not to what the Taliban say, not to what they profess, but to what they do.  And we together with the international community have made clear that there are a number of metrics and benchmarks and expectations of the Taliban, the important of which were spelled out in a UN Security Council resolution that the international community put forward.  And importantly, because those commitments are enshrined in a UN Security Council resolution, it gives us another important tool to hold the Taliban to account, should they not live up to those international commitments. 

Thank you for the question.   

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  The next question will go to Mushfiqul.  Can you please unmute yourself? 

QUESTION:  Thank you.  Can you hear me? 

MR PRICE:  We can. 

QUESTION:  Yeah, thank you, Ned.  Nice to have you in this press briefing. 

MR PRICE:  Thank you.   

QUESTION:  So on Bangladesh, more than 10 human rights organization asked U.S. and the UN for decisive action because the country’s law enforcements agency and the government is violating human rights extremely.  The extrajudicial killing is going on.   

And as you know, press freedom is very much controlled, and very disappointing piece of that that the Bangladesh regime organized a press conference in New York, and just one of our colleague ask a simple question:  Why hundred – Bangladesh prime minister leading 141 delegation in this pandemic time where the other countries leading very small?  Then they attacked brutally.  He was in hospitalized and released from the Elmhurst Hospital, even though the USA is the First Amendment is the free press is established already.  But the other country where they are coming for the press briefing and they are attacking journalists, so it is very – and I am – what is your reaction on that?   

And what is your reaction about the 10 human rights organization like Human Rights Watch or Kennedy Human Rights that wrote a letter to UN for decisive action for these extreme violation of human rights?  Thank you very much. 

MR PRICE:  Good to see you.  I believe you and I had an opportunity to discuss this issue a couple months ago now.  But we continue to be deeply concerned over increasing reports of suppression and intimidation of journalists in Bangladesh, and that includes under the Digital Security Act, a law that suppresses and actually criminalizes freedom of expression.  Press freedom and access to factual and accurate information are foundational to prosperous and secure democratic societies.  That is true the world over. 

We condemn the use of harassment or intimidation to restrict the ability of independent journalists to serve the public wherever it may occur, and we call on governments to ensure media safety and to protect journalists’ ability to do their jobs without fear of violence, threats, or unjust detention.   

When it comes to the incident in New York City this week that you raised, we’re aware of reports of an alleged assault against a Bangladeshi journalist at an event located in New York.  We would need to refer you to the New York Metropolitan Police Department for further information on that.   

Good to see you. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  The next question will go to Owen Churchill from the South China Morning Post.  Please, go ahead. 

QUESTION:  Hi there.  Can you hear me? 

MR PRICE:  We can. 

QUESTION:  Great.  Thanks, Ned.  Thanks a lot for doing this.  A couple of questions. 

So on Wednesday, the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang, he said that – he reiterated the point from Beijing that they were not willing to engage in collaboration and cooperation with the U.S. on things like climate change while the U.S. was confronting China on other fronts.  And I was just curious whether either this week at the UNGA or in general you’ve seen any evidence to either support that idea or refute that idea, that China was holding back on cooperation with the U.S. on climate change while the U.S. is pursuing these other points of competition and confrontation with Beijing. 

And secondly, a final point.  He also said that Beijing would happily reopen the consulate in Chengdu as soon as the U.S. reopened the Houston consulate.  So I just wanted to get an update on the administration’s consideration of that, whether you’re considering reopening the consulate in Houston, and thanks a lot.   

MR PRICE:  Thanks for that question, Owen.  Good to see you.  When it comes to climate, we are committed to working with countries around the world on climate as an urgent priority.  And of course, we are seeking and committed to working with the PRC on climate.  It’s especially important that we do so given that the PRC is the world’s largest emitter by a long shot.  We know that the world cannot successfully address the climate challenge without significant additional action by the PRC.  Their emissions I think represent about 30 percent of the global total in addition to their carbon-intensive investments abroad. 

We need the PRC and the United States to succeed in slashing emissions if we are to reach that Paris Agreement temperature goal and to, as I said before, limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels to keep that limit within reach.  We can do this by identifying specific, amibitious, near-term emissions reductions goals, backing them up with serious policy, and working together to show the world that – where we need to go and how we need to get there.   

As you know, the Secretary took part in a meeting with many of his counterparts this week focused on this very issue.  And we have continued to work with a number of countries – and Secretary Kerry was not all that long ago in Tianjin, where he had extended conversations with some of his PRC counterparts about this.  But the United States has put forward ambitious goals, and we continue to work with our partners around the world to encourage them to put forward similarly ambitious goals, because we know that quite frankly we don’t have a choice.  This is something that we must do, and I use the “we” collectively here to refer to the United States and the rest of the international community, especially those countries that are responsible for a great share of the world’s emissions.  Thanks, Owen.   

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  This question was pre-submitted by Duk Byun from Yonhap News Agency.  He asks:  “The South Korean president proposed South Korea, the U.S., and North Korea declare a formal end to the Korean War as a starting point of North Korea’s denuclearization process.  While the U.S. says that it’s committed to engaging with North Korea, it appears to disagree with President Moon that such a declaration could mark the start of a denuclearization process.  So my question is:  Does the U.S. believe a declaration of formal end of the Korean War can and should be made?  More precisely, does it believe that the declaration can be made at the top of a denuclearization negotiations, or should it wait until the North completely denuclearizes first?  Thank you.” 

MR PRICE:  Thanks for that question.  Look, we remain committed to achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, and we believe the best way to do that is through dialogue and diplomacy with the DPRK.  We will continue to seek engagement with the DPRK as part of a calibrated, practical approach in order to make tangible progress that increases the security not only for the United States but also for our allies in the region, our deployed forces, and our partners as well. 

We’ve said this a number of times now, but we have no hostile intent towards the DPRK, and we are prepared to meet with the DPRK without preconditions.  We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach. 

In the meantime, you have seen us do a lot of concerted work, quite a bit of spade work, with our allies and partners.  And just this week Secretary Blinken held another trilateral engagement with his ROK and Japanese counterparts.  And one of the primary topics of discussion in that trilateral engagement was a common approach towards the DPRK, knowing that if we are to be effective we need to continue to be and to work in lockstep with our partners in the ROK and in Japan. 

When it comes to relations between the ROK and the DPRK, we continue to believe that inter-Korean dialogue and engagement is a good thing, and we continue to work closely with our ROK allies on the broader agenda.   

Thank you. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much.  We have time for a few more questions.  The next question will go to Amrai.  Amrai, please enable your video and identify your outlet and your full name, please. 

QUESTION:  Okay.  Can you hear me? 

MR PRICE:  We can. 

QUESTION:  Great.  So I’m Amrai Coen.  I’m the U.S. correspondent with the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit.  Thank you very much for this meeting.   

So after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and after the Australia-UK-U.S. submarine deal, the EU feels a little bit left out, I guess, or in the case of France even betrayed by the U.S.  So my question is:  What is the transatlantic relationship still worth, and can the EU still rely on the U.S. as an ally? 

MR PRICE:  Well, thank you for that question.  Let me start with the first element of it.  As you know, Secretary Blinken, yesterday it was, had an opportunity to meet directly with his French counterpart Foreign Minister Le Drian here in New York City, and that was after they’d been in several meetings together during the course of our High-Level Week engagements on – at the UN and on the margins of the General Assembly. 

The Secretary has a long friendship with the foreign minister.  He is someone the Secretary holds in high regard.  The Secretary’s meeting yesterday followed the President’s discussion with President Macron the previous day.  We agreed – and the President communicated this directly to President Macron – that the September 15th announcement would have benefitted from open consultations among allies, and President Macron and President Biden and Foreign Minister Le Drian and Secretary Blinken have now put in place a process of in-depth consultations going forward.   

Look, we recognize this will take time and hard work that needs to be demonstrated not only in words and readouts, but also in deeds to make clear the priority we attach to the bilateral relationship we have with France, but also the relationship with have with the EU as a whole.  We recognize that the transatlantic alliance has fostered security, stability, and prosperity around the world for more than seven decades, and our commitment to those bonds and this work together is very much unwavering.   

We welcome the broader trend of European countries playing an important role in the Indo-Pacific.  And in fact, the EU several days ago released its own Pacific strategy which France had a heavy hand in helping to craft, and that is something that we very warmly welcome, knowing that our own interests, our own objectives and goals in the Indo-Pacific region, can only be achieved if we work hand-in-glove with our allies and partners around the world.  That includes our allies in Europe; it includes our allies in the Indo-Pacific region as well. 

We know when it comes to France, when it comes to the EU, we will continue to have strong relations.  But we also know we can do more, and we can do better in a few specific areas.  As I said before, we’ll look to deepen that engagement in the Indo-Pacific.  The EU strategy is complementary to our own agenda, to our own strategy, and you’ll hear more about that, our own revised strategy, in the months ahead.  It will, in fact, be informed by what the EU has done and France’s role in the region as well.  

And the Sahel is another region where we stand to benefit greatly from our cooperation with our French allies and from our European partners more broadly.  We’re already working very closely with France in that region against terrorism.  France recently announced a remarkable achievement in eliminating a senior terrorist leader, Abou Walid, from the battlefield.  This is someone who had American blood on his hands and French blood on his hands as well. 

And finally, on transatlantic security, we very much support France’s efforts to strengthen European security and defense capacity in conformity with NATO.  I’ve already spoken to our commitment to NATO – in fact, the sacrosanct status that we attached to Article 5 – but we know it’s in our interests and in Europe’s interests for Europe’s capacities to be strengthened further, and we’ll be talking about this as we go forward and we’ll be thinking about this with our European allies and with France in particular.  So thank you for the question. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you so much, sir.  We have time for one more question, and that question will go to Seema Sirhoi of The Economic Times.  Please, go ahead. 

QUESTION:  Hello.  Thank you, Ned.  The question I have is about Afghanistan and one about the Indo-Pacific.  On Afghanistan, is there any move from the Biden administration to recognize the government anytime soon?  And about the delisting of the terrorists, of the Haqqanis who are now part of the government, and how much coordination are you doing with other countries such as India that is going to be directly impacted by this? 

My question on the Indo-Pacific is:  There’s some – a bit of heartache in parts of the Indian strategic community that this was technology that India sort of desperately wanted and had asked for.  The U.S. completely denied it, and now in the views of these people, the Indo-Pacific – the Quad formation – kind of loses a bit of fizz and – because of AUKUS, the new security alliance.  Would you care to comment on that?  Thank you. 

MR PRICE:  Sure.  Thank you for those questions.  When it comes to our approach to Afghanistan, I would hasten to add it is not our approach.  It is approach that you have heard echoed and codified by much of the international community.  It was an approach that was put forward in a binding UN Security Council resolution.  It’s an approach that’s been put forward in a statement that more than 100 countries have signed on to.  And, on the other side of the ledger, it’s an approach that the Taliban have told us both privately and publicly that their actions would be consistent with.   

And so in my opening remarks I spoke of really five key expectations that the United States and the international community has for the next government of Afghanistan: number one, allowing foreign nationals and Afghans to travel outside the country if they choose to do so; two, preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base for attacks against other countries; three, respecting basic human rights, and that includes, of course, the rights of women, of girls, of Afghanistan’s minorities; four, allowing unimpeded humanitarian access so that the humanitarian relief that the United States and our partners are delivering to the Afghan people can in fact reach the Afghan people; and fifth and finally, forming a genuinely inclusive government that meets the basic needs and is representative of the people that the next government of Afghanistan purports to lead. 

Again, those are not conditions that the United States has put forward unilaterally.  These are conditions that much of the international community has signed onto in different ways and in different forms and in different statements.  This is the international community speaking with one voice, and we heard that by and large this week at the UN General Assembly.  There was a ministerial on the part of the Group of 20 nations, the G20, this week that was focused on Afghanistan, where these same key themes were put forward.  There were any other number of bilateral and multilateral engagements that we took part in where these same expectations were made loud and clear. 

And so our engagement, as I said before, with the Taliban right now is focused narrowly and exclusively on our key national interests.  And right now, paramount to us is the ability of our citizens and those with whom we’ve worked over the past 20 years to depart the country if they choose to do so.  Our relationship with the Taliban, with any future government of Afghanistan, will, of course, be contoured to the actions of the Taliban and to any future government and will conform with any future government’s ability, willingness, and success in complying with those basic frameworks. 

When it comes to the Haqqani Network, this gets back to the issue of the caretaker cabinet that the Taliban has put forward.  The Haqqani Network in our system is designated as a foreign terrorist organization.  I can assure you that any engagements that we have with the Taliban will be conducted consistent with U.S. law and to advance U.S. national security goals.  And as I said before, paramount among those goals right now is the willingness on the part of the Taliban to allow freedom of movement, freedom of travel to American citizens and to others who wish to leave Afghanistan should they choose to do so. 

When it comes to India and when it comes to the Quad, this is an especially opportune time to ask that question.  I believe right now, in fact, the – President Biden and the administration is meeting with members of the Quad at the White House.  We believe the Quad is an essential multilateral grouping that convenes four likeminded democracies – the United States, Australia, Japan, and India – to coordinate in the Indo-Pacific, ensuring our collective commitment to peace, to security, to prosperity in the region and beyond.  And so the Quad leaders today will be focused on deepening our ties and advancing practical cooperation in a number of different areas; included among those areas, COVID-19.   

And we announced earlier this year a manufacturing arrangement with the Quad that will be key to helping us defeat this pandemic around the world, addressing the climate crisis – and we’ve talked about this already in the context of this briefing – partnering on emerging technologies and cyber space, promoting high standards – promoting high standards infrastructure, and the broadest of all, promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific.  Hosting of these leaders today is just the latest indication of the priority we attach to this multilateral grouping.  As you know, there was a virtual Quad Leaders Summit earlier this year.  This will be the first time the leaders, all four of them, meet in person in the context of the Quad.  Secretary Blinken has also engaged his Quad counterparts at the ministerial level. 

The Quad, as you know, is one multilateral grouping.  We’ve talked about our system of partners and alliances around the world.  The Quad is not intended to replace or supplant any other multilateral grouping.  We know that each and every one of our allies, each and every one of our partners, each and every one of the multilateral fora in which we engage are incredibly important to our goals.  And chief among those goals is the promotion and the protection of the rules-based international order that the United States and our partners have helped to build and protect over the past seven decades. 

So with that, I want to thank you all very much, and again, I look forward to doing this again soon.  Thank you to the FPC for having me. 

MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Thank you for joining us today.  That concludes today’s briefing.  As a reminder, today’s briefing was on the record and we’ll share a transcript with everyone who joined us today as well as post it on our website afterwards.   

Good afternoon.   

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future