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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s a pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Turkish foreign minister.  We have, as always, a lot to talk about.  I’m grateful for the work we’re doing together as NATO Allies and partners, many security challenges that we’re facing together.

I want to particularly praise the work that Turkey has done to help establish the grain port on the Black Sea that is allowing desperately needed food to get out of Ukraine and to the people who need it, particularly in the Global South, and we’ll be working together to extend the mechanism that Turkey and the United Nations put into place to make sure that this could happen.

Lots more on our agenda.  But Mevlüt, it’s always great to see you.  Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER ÇAVUŞOĞLU:  Thank you very much, Secretary Blinken, my dear friend Tony.  I’m very happy to see you again, and I agree with you that each time we meet, we discuss many issues from bilateral to regional issues and global ones as well.  And today I will – I look forward to discussing aspects of bilateral relations and our good cooperation in many areas, and also the regional issues, the war in Ukraine and also the situation in the South Caucasus.

And let me commend your efforts, and yesterday you brought two foreign ministers – foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia – together, and the situation in Syria in our region as well.  And I’m very happy that strategic mechanism has been working very well.  And my deputy and my colleagues (inaudible) consultations, and I will hold all those meetings and consultations.  I’m very much looking forward our discussions today.


U.S. Department of State

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