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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to have my colleague and friend Foreign Minister Linde here in Washington at the State Department, pursuing a conversation on work we’ve been doing for so many months.  But Ann, welcome, and let me say this is a particularly important time for the longstanding and strong and vital partnership between the United States and Sweden.  We are working together across so many different issues that have an impact on the lives of our people, starting with Euro-Atlantic security, but going through everything from standing together strongly for democracy, for human rights, for humanitarian assistance, not only in Europe but around the world.

I’m grateful to Ann and to Sweden for its leadership last year of the OSCE, but now as well for its strong partnership and particularly its support of Ukraine and in opposition to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.  We both believe strongly that we need to and we are standing up for the people of Ukraine, but also standing together and standing up for the principles of the international order that are also being aggressed by Russia in Ukraine.

So we in the United States are grateful for this partnership, grateful for the work that we’re doing together.  And I look forward to pursuing our conversations on all of these things in a few minutes.  Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER LINDE:  Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary, dear Tony.  I am so happy that we have managed to meet several times already, because now when we are in such difficult times it’s easier to continue our already very good relationship.  It is actually a horrendous time with Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has made all of us to consider what is the most secure situation for our countries and our peoples.  This is something we will discuss.

I also thank you for your leadership when it comes to sanctions against Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine, and that we have been able to keep so close, from Sweden, from EU, together with U.S.  Transatlantic link has maybe never been so important as it is now.

And we also cooperate on other issues, I have to say, like Yemen, which both Sweden and the United States are so engaged with, and both on our level but also on our special envoys level we cooperate a lot.  And that is because we have many of the same values: for people to thrive, people to be able to keep their own way in their own countries, and this is something we continue.

So I’m looking forward to our discussions today.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Again, welcome.  Thanks, everyone.


U.S. Department of State

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