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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Hey, good morning.  Good morning, everyone, (inaudible) great to see you.  I’m really pleased to be with Jose Manuel.  We’ve been doing a lot of work on the phone in recent months, but it’s good to be – actually to be able to get together in person.  We are so grateful for the role that our close ally and partner has played in the evacuation from Afghanistan, including the use of the base in Rota to evacuate and transit people.  And we have a lot of work to do together as well in preparation for the NATO summit next year, which is going to be critical in continuing to strengthen and prepare NATO for the challenges at this time, as well as lots of work together on the big issues of the moment, to include COVID and climate and many other things.  But it’s just very good to have this opportunity to spend time together, so welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER ALBARES:  Thank you, Tony.  It’s very nice to meet you here in person.  We have many common points we have discussed on the phone several times: of course, Afghanistan, global affairs, climate change, and women-men equality.  We share a common vision of several countries in Latin America.  And I consider the United States the natural ally and partner of European Union, so nothing more evident than to be here talking to you today.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, my friend.

U.S. Department of State

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