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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  And first let me simply say welcome, welcome, welcome.  You’ve been on the job, Mr. Minister, for two weeks – I guess it’s three weeks, I think – so I know what it feels like to plunge in on the deep end of the pool.  But we’re delighted to have you, delighted to have all of our colleagues from Peru here. 

We have a lot of good work to be done this week here at APEC.  We also have the fact that at the end of the week we will be handing the baton to Peru to take leadership next year.  So we’re very much looking forward to that.  Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to working together to further strengthen the ties between the United States and Peru – not only bilaterally but also through our work together in APEC (inaudible).  So a lot to be done this week. 

But we’re gratified to have you here, and gratified for the longstanding partnership between our countries that we both (inaudible).  So welcome.


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much.  Gracias.  Thanks, everyone.

U.S. Department of State

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