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FOREIGN MINISTER TALL SALL:  (Via translation.)  Thank you, Secretary (inaudible) Mr.  Secretary of State in charge of foreign policies. Ambassadors, Secretary General representing the office of ambassadors from Washington, Ambassador of the United States in Senegal.

Allow me, Mr. Secretary, as you are about to address us, to warmly welcome you in Senegal, the country of (inaudible).  I do this not only on behalf of myself, but also on behalf of His Excellency whom you saw (inaudible) and with whom you have had excellent conversations which I attended, and which gave us both an opportunity, to not only look back at our history, but also to talk about the rich tradition of the exceptional relationship between the United States and Senegal.  Also, a support which allowed us to look to the future and for a long time now to define the main (inaudible) of what this (inaudible) should be.

First of all, we want to thank you.  Thank you for having chosen Senegal.  In this first trip to Africa, we are one of the seven French-speaking countries which had the honor to receive you, and your delegation.  Believe me, this means a lot to us.  But aside from the warm feelings, this shows that Senegal holds a special place.

It might be pretentious but it is what we sincerely think.

Senegal holds a special place in the relations you want to have with Africa.  And we do want to build this relationship. We want to build it upon what has always existed before you.  Your predecessors, whether the U.S. heads of state, or the U.S. Secretaries of State, they have always thought that Africa is an important continent, a continent that counts, a continent filled with rich opportunities, a continent where hope can emerge, a continent which can be a threat if we do not do what needs to be done regarding the continent.

And us in Senegal, with the United States of America, we can be the one to deliver for the African continent together.

This is what you discussed with President Sall (inaudible).  This is what we are going to work on to implement what was envisioned by President Biden.

And I want to thank the United States, for all you did in terms of cooperating in the fight against the pandemic, including the donations of vaccines we received from the United States (inaudible).

We also want to thank you for all the support you have given us even (inaudible) before this, this great initiative, (inaudible) an initiative to support the development of African states.

We presented the program, we will do it and I am certain that with your participation, we will very quickly be able to work on very fundamental things like infrastructure and energy.  We are going to be able to do something between the United States and Senegal.  So that we can show the world what bilateral action and beyond that, multilateral action can do at its best (inaudible).  And we want to thank again the United States for having returned to the bilateral arena, for bringing the United States back to the center of the world scene, because this is where you belong and you should have never left it, and we are happy about your return.  To conclude, we also want to thank President Biden for this great initiative on democracy.

Senegal is a great democracy and whoever speaks of democracy in the world, and even more in Africa is someone who is on the side of Senegal and in any case, Senegal will be on their side.  President Macky Sall will be at this summit.  He is one of the guests.  And I am thrilled that the Senegalese model will be used as an example for all countries, so that we can create a world of peace, a world of prosperity, a world where everyone will play its part with dignity.

In any case Mr. Secretary of State, I would like to conclude by telling you once more how happy we are to have been chosen.  People will hear of Senegal, as Senegal has an important mandate coming, that is the presidency of the African Union in 2022.  And we have again the support of the United States to carry out this mandate successfully.  You saw the President outline this project earlier and I am convinced that in this project, which constitutes a break with all that has been done for this continent, the United States will continue to stand by Senegal.  Not only for Africa but to make the world better.  This is why your coming here is an extraordinary opportunity for us.  We will continue to talk to you.  We will continue to debate with you.  We will continue to confer with you.  We will keep the same principles, the same vision, the same thoughts, the same goals that we want together for the world.  Once again, Mr. Secretary of State, welcome to Senegal.  Thank you for choosing our country.  Thank you for all the lines of cooperation we saw and our dearest wish, when Senegal is ready, is to host, when you are ready, the United States – Africa Summit. (inaudible).

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  (Via translation.)  Thank you very much.  I want to say that I am very pleased to be here in Senegal, and I am also very pleased that we are here working together.

Our presidents set a significant agenda, and I am convinced that by working together over the coming months, we will be able to achieve results and strengthen even more the relationship between the United States and Senegal.

I have to say, when we consider the challenges facing us, facing our people, facing the world, Africa is essential.  Not only do we have the desire, but we have the need to work as partners.  Together, we are facing the COVID-19 pandemic and working together to build a stronger system to prevent the next pandemic.  Together, we are facing the climate challenge.  Together, we are [inaudible] after COVID-19 to build a global economy that is inclusive, growing, and will benefit everyone.

The United States and Senegal are also working together as partners to support and strengthen democracy in Africa and around the world since democracies experience challenges.  Countries like Senegal and the United States together can show the way.  After all, in about twenty-five years, one in four people on the planet will be African.  It is time to renew this global partnership, and indeed that starts with a close partner like Senegal.  Many issues have been raised [inaudible] about working together on security, law, and the Build Back Better approach.  All of this is in a spirit of strengthening and renewing our ties as partners.  Once again, I am very pleased to be here and thank you for this extraordinary welcome to Senegal.

 

U.S. Department of State

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