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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure as always to welcome Sheikh Abdullah here to the State Department, back to the State Department.  We have the closest of collaborations with the UAE on a broad range of regional and indeed global issues, a close strategic partner for the United States, and together we’re working to advance the cause of regional peace, stability, security.  We’re working well beyond the region, and of course we very much look forward to the UAE hosting the next COP and the important work that’s going into that that we’re also doing together.

So there’s always a lot to talk about, but my friend, welcome.  Good to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER ABDULLAH BIN ZAYED:  Secretary Blinken, we are so delighted to be back in Washington.  And thank you for, as I said, fixing the weather.  (Laughter.)  As you know, we are not quite equipped with cold weather back in the UAE.  It feels like home, actually; it’s quite warm.

I must say I’m delighted to be back and delighted to be with less COVID restrictions, and hopefully no COVID restrictions moving forward.  But I must say we have a wonderful, diverse relationship with the United States, and we should be very proud of everything that we’ve achieved together as governments, but as the people of both our countries.  We are in a terrific place looking at all our relationship.  And hopefully we can achieve more together.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, everyone.

U.S. Department of State

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