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PRESIDENT IOHANNIS:  Mr. Secretary, members of the delegations, first of all, welcome to Romania.  Welcome to Cotroceni.  It’s my pleasure to receive you here.  And it is a perfect timing that you chose to pay a visit to Romania as we have the raging war in Ukraine, but also because we have difficult and important decisions to take at NATO, and of course we have some very positive (inaudible) bilateral issues to discuss.  So welcome, I’m glad you’re here.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Mr. President, thank you so much for receiving us today.  It’s wonderful for me to be back in Bucharest, in Romania, in this room I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of being in in the past, including with then-Vice President Biden not so many years ago.

As you said, I think it’s – the timing could not be better, both because we’re looking back over 25 years of strategic partnership that has flourished in ways I think maybe President Clinton and President Constantinescu at the time could not fully have imagined, but also because we have so many urgent and important matters on our agenda both bilaterally, regionally, even globally.  And in all of that we could not be more grateful that Romania is such a strong ally and partner.  So thank you for your time today.  Thank you for the work every day that you do.

PRESIDENT IOHANNIS:  Thank you very much.

U.S. Department of State

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