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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  It is – it’s so great, Ine, to see you, and we were just saying we’ve had the opportunity to see each other together in Brussels at NATO, but it was mask to mask, and now it’s finally face to face.  So that’s really, really good news.  But beyond that, just wonderful to have this opportunity to compare notes on lots of things that Norway and the United States are doing together across so many different fronts, whether it’s climate, whether it’s – whether it’s COVID, whether it’s diplomacy around the world.  And of course, we’ve got the Arctic Council together and a shared commitment to do everything we can to continue to make the Arctic a place for peaceful cooperation and to advance the challenge of dealing with climate change, sustainable development, medicine, and of course the well-being of indigenous peoples.

So a lot to talk about it, but it’s just a particular pleasure to be with you and to continue to advance the strong partnership between the United States and Norway.  Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER SOREIDE:  Thank you so much, Tony.  And I’d like to reiterate your points exactly.  We have a very, very strong bond between our two countries, and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting several times – either mask to mask, or screen to screen, or also physically, which has been very good, and a low threshold to conduct, implement, and talk if there is anything.

And I really think that what we have seen over the past years in terms of – is deepening to new areas of cooperation.  And I’m very happy to have this opportunity to expand on some of the issues that we’re working on together right now, and you mentioned many of them.  And I’d also like to say that we are very strongly engaged, both of us, in ocean issues.


FOREIGN MINISTER SOREIDE:  This has been a particular topic here at this meeting as well, and in addition to our very close security cooperation and our newly signed SDCA —


FOREIGN MINISTER SOREIDE:  — which, of course, is a very good thing for both of us, I think.

So I’m really happy to be here and to have this opportunity to have a conversation face to face.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

U.S. Department of State

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