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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  And I just want to say at the top how much I appreciate the presence of my friends and my colleagues from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.  We’ve had a very productive session at the very outset of High-Level Week with the GCC, and this is now an opportunity to have some dedicated time together to delve a little bit deeper even into our shared commitment to advance peace in Yemen.  We are, in our judgment, in a moment of opportunity – opportunity to help the people of Yemen chart a path toward a durable peace and durable security.

And Faisal, if I could just say how grateful we are to you and to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the efforts that you’ve made to advance a dialogue with the Houthis.  And on behalf of President Biden, I want to express thanks to our partners for their sustained support and coordination not only working toward a durable peace for Yemenis but also on other regional priorities where we are very, very closely linked together.  I think our partnership has been critical as we tackle these many issues.

And I also heartily welcome the recent success of the emergency phase of the FSO Safer operation which averted what was potentially a catastrophic oil spill in the Red Sea that would have affected the entire region.  I think this was a major achievement that was only possible through a concerted and sustained international cooperation and in many ways serves as a model for how the international community can and should work together to prevent future crises before they occur.  Always better if we can get to them before they occur.

Finally, I just want to congratulate both our Saudi and Emirati partners on the finalization of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor.  We were all together at the G20, and I just want to thank them for their continued commitment to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

So with that, we can actually get down to work.  Thank you.

U.S. Department of State

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