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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  I’m especially pleased to have Foreign Minister Huitfeldt here.  Anniken and I have had an opportunity to talk, to see each other at some multilateral meetings, but it’s great now to have this opportunity to spend time together here in Washington.  So welcome, first of all, to the State Department.  Welcome to Washington.

We – Norway, the United States – are the closest of partners and allies.  Through NATO, bilaterally, we are working together around the world to deal with some of the biggest challenges of our time, whether it’s COVID, whether it’s climate, whether it’s standing up for democracy and human rights.

And I think the other particularly poignant moment in this visit is the fact the crown prince is here as well, inaugurating the newly renovated embassy.  I think that, in and of itself, is powerfully symbolic of our revitalized, renewed, re-energized ties.  And I’m grateful to have you here and grateful for the work that we’re about to do.  So welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER HUITFELDT:  Thank you for a very warm welcome, Tony.  We have talked on the phone and also met in Riga and Stockholm, but this is my first bilateral visit.  And it’s only natural that this goes to our most important ally, the United States.  So thank you for a warm welcome.  I am looking forward to cooperate with you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Lots in the inbox, so we can get down to work.  Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

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