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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  I am delighted to have the vice president and foreign minister here with us today.  The partnership between the United States and Colombia is absolutely vital.  We work together on so many different issues and in so many different ways, and it’s a particular pleasure this morning to have an opportunity for us to continue that work, to deepen the partnership on many challenges, I think some opportunities as well, and I very much look forward to the conversation.  Welcome. 

VICE PRESIDENT RAMIREZ:  Thank you very much, and Secretary Blinken, as you said, this is a long history that we have together, working together for values that we share – democracy, development, the creation of jobs.  We have a lot of common challenges, and for Colombia, it has been the most important relation.  We have to maintain this commitment to increase opportunities for our people, not only Colombia but also in the United States.  And for us, this is a relation that we really want to have in the first point always.  So thank you very much for giving us this opportunity.  And thank you because I know that you are arriving from a long trip, so this is the importance of our relation.  Thank you.  

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, Vice President.  Thank you all.  Have a good morning.  

U.S. Department of State

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