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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to have Foreign Minister Rasmussen here today at the State Department in Washington.  Denmark and the United States are the closest of partners, of allies.  We are working together on regional challenges, on global challenges, and for the United States, the strength and depth of the partnership could not be more appreciated.  Especially in challenging times, the most important thing, I think, for both of us is the closeness of the partnership and the work we’re doing together.

We see that, of course, in Ukraine and in our strong common defense in supporting the Ukrainian people and making sure that they have what they need to deal with the aggression from Russia, and we see it in a whole diversity of areas, including, for example, on green technology, where both of our countries are leaders and there’s more and more that we’re doing together.

I was especially eager, Mr. Minister, to get a chance to see you today, particularly to hear about the priorities of the new government.  We congratulate you.  I congratulate you on being, as we would say, a glutton for punishment – (laughter) – coming back into leadership.  But grateful to have you as a partner.

FOREIGN MINISTER RASMUSSEN:  Thank you so much, and it’s an honor to be back, and I’m so pleased that you received me so soon after my appointment as minister of foreign affairs.  It’s nice to be back in Washington, D.C. in an official capacity.  As you just stated, we have excellent bilateral relations.  And I mean, if the only problem the world should solve are the problems between us, it will be an easy job.  (Laughter.)  But I realize that you have a much – tough job.  But we look eye to eye on so many things, and I really appreciate our close cooperation in trade, security, green transition – where I admire what you guys are going to do with this country.  So I’m looking forward to our cooperation, and I hope this will not be my last visit.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Absolutely not.  Thank you.


U.S. Department of State

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