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The following is attributable to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met yesterday with Paraguayan Foreign Minister Julio Arriola.  Secretary Blinken noted that Paraguay is a strategic partner and friend in the region.  The Secretary and Foreign Minister Arriola emphasized the importance of strong U.S.-Paraguay bilateral ties, including our shared commitment to advance democratic ideals in our hemisphere.  The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed our significant collaboration combatting corruption and other regional security challenges.  They also focused on ways to expand people-to-people engagements and bilateral commercial opportunities, noting the progress made on the regulatory recertification of Paraguayan beef for export to the United States.  The Secretary expressed appreciation for Paraguay’s principled commitment to Taiwan, and for Paraguay’s votes on difficult issues in multilateral fora including on Russia, the PRC, Nicaragua, and Venezuela and our shared priorities on the United Nations Human Rights Council.  The Secretary noted democracies need to stand together to counter those who seek to suppress freedom and abuse human rights.

U.S. Department of State

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