The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Pandor emphasized the importance of continued partnership among the United States, the African Union, South Africa, and the other impacted nations in Africa to help vaccinate populations and combat the impacts of COVID-19. The Secretary expressed appreciation for the longstanding public health cooperation between the United States and South Africa. Secretary Blinken specifically praised South Africa’s scientists for the quick identification of the Omicron variant and South Africa’s government for its transparency in sharing this information, which should serve as a model for the world.