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FOREIGN MINISTER LE DRIAN:  (In French.) My dear Tony, I am very happy to welcome you in Paris.

There has been no face-to-face bilatarel meeting since you were appointed, even if we have talked several times [inaudible].

It was normal you came to Paris because here you are a little bit at home.

I am delighted about this meeting. I am also pleased about the state of mind of our discussions since we are able to organize them, both for the revitalization of the transatlantic relation, but also for our bilateral relations and the [inaudible] that we share, for crises the world experiences, global, singular, [inaudible] crise, [inaudible]

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  (In French.)  My dear Jean-Yves, I am very happy to get back to you here and to be in Paris.

(In English.) It’s been a while since my January (inaudible).  So I’m especially pleased to be back.  And I think it’s an important opportunity for us to pursue the very good work that France and the United States are doing together during these weeks and these months.  We were together at the G7, NATO, indirectly at the U.S.-EU summit.  We’ve been working very closely together these few months, and of course we had a very productive meeting between President Biden and President Macron on the margins of the meeting of the G7.

So it’s a very long and strong agenda, and I think we bring exactly the same perspective to bear, which is that there is a very imperative message in working together to meet the challenges of this moment that are really having an impact on the lives of our citizens.  Neither of us can do this alone.  We are so much stronger and more effective when we’re working together.  And President Biden is extremely grateful for and (inaudible) partnership that we have with France.  Working together we have an opportunity to demonstrate that our democracies can deliver real results for our people and the people of the world, and I’m grateful to be able to work with you in that context.  So thank you for hosting us.

U.S. Department of State

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