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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I’m very, very pleased to be here with my friend and colleague, Josep Borrell.  We’ve spent a lot of time seeing each other in various parts of the world and on the phone, but it’s particularly good to have you at the State Department today.

It really is simple on one level.  When it comes to virtually all of the challenges that we face around the world, the European Union is a partner of first resort to the United States, and there is virtually not a challenge that we are not working on together.  So we have a very lengthy, important agenda, both matters European, Indo-Pacific, Western Hemisphere.  All of that is on the table.  But it just underscores the fact that as the United States is looking at the challenges we have to meet around the world to actually improve the lives of our own citizens, the first place we’re looking is Europe, the European Union, as our partner.

So welcome.  It’s great to have you here.

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE BORRELL:  Thank you.  Thank you to the Secretary of State for the meeting.  Thank you for your time.  You are completely right; it appears we are the best partner and the best allies of the U.S., and the transatlantic relationship is the most important relation that we have with the rest of the world.

So we have to turn the leaf of any misunderstanding and to continue working together.  There are many places in the world that need us to work together – the Western Balkans, Afghanistan, China, Russia, Sahel.  Wherever you look in the globe, you see a place where there is a challenge that you have to face.  And from this point of view, working with our common values, I think this meeting will be an important step towards the relationship across our nations, especially on the issues of security and defense.



U.S. Department of State

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