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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, it’s wonderful to finally get a chance to see each other, Carlos, in person.  The foreign minister and I have had an opportunity to speak several times on the phone, but this was an important opportunity for us to get together in person.  We have a lot to talk about, a lot to cover, but I would simply say that as the two largest countries in the hemisphere with so many strong interests in common, it’s particularly timely that we have a chance to get together and talk about a number of the very important things on the agenda.  And we also had the back-to-back of President Bolsonaro and President Biden speaking —


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  — this morning at the General Assembly, for which (inaudible).  But mostly, Carlos, thank you for being here and the opportunity to get to work on a number of things.  So welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER FRANÇA:  Thank you very much, Secretary Blinken, and (inaudible) we are very glad to be here for our first person-to-person meeting after all our conversations, the phone conversation in June (inaudible) the United States is a very, very close ally of Brazil, a very close partner.  So I’m happy to be with you here and I’m looking forward to (inaudible) very broad and profound agenda we have (inaudible).  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks so much.

U.S. Department of State

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