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Secretary Antony J. Blinken And European Union High Representative Josep Borrell Before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s, as always, a great pleasure to see High Representative Borrell, my friend Josep, here in Washington and at the State Department.  As I’ve said before, the European Union is our partner of first resort when it comes to meeting the challenges of our time, whether that’s in the transatlantic space or whether that’s in the global space.  And we’re grateful for the partnership, the strength of that partnership, and the fact that on so many of the critical issues that we have to face, there’s extraordinary convergence between the United States and the European Union. 

I know we’ll have an opportunity, Josep, today to discuss our unrelenting support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression; the crisis in the Middle East and in Gaza; some challenges closer to home in the Western Balkans; and as well, the common approach that we put together when it comes to relations with China. 

These and so many other issues are front and center in the work that the United States and the EU are doing day in and day out, and it’s very good to have you here to continue that work.  Welcome.

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE BORRELL:  Thank you.  Thank you very much, my dear friend, Secretary of State, for receiving me and my delegation.  I very much appreciate our regular dialogue between the U.S. and European Union, especially in those extraordinary, difficult times.  The world is becoming darker and darker – that’s how I told the Security Council yesterday – and the developments around us makes our security inseparable and only prove the need for the U.S. and UE to work together. 

We are facing an aggressive Russia, who will not stop; an assertive China, who will become more and more assertive; military takeovers in Sahel – I know that you have a delegation in Niger today; criminal gangs challenging the authorities in Haiti – once again you have been playing an important role in this part of the world; and Central and South America in big trouble. 

Ukraine – Ukraine is our biggest and immediate worry for us Europeans, and for you too, for our common security.  And the Russia aggressor will not stop.  We have to stop it.  You are doing a lot; we are doing a lot.  Both, I think, we can do still more – in order to support Ukrainians in this very challenging time.

And then this war is something – what’s happening in Gaza.  Thank you very much for your efforts in order to try to diminish the humanitarian sufferances of the people in Gaza.  We deplore the current situation, but we have to do more than just deplore, which we both agree.  But I think that we need to act – the very survival of the population in Gaza is at stake today.  And once again, thank you for your personal efforts.

And then, we need to clear the humanitarian access through sea, by air – that’s good.  That’s not enough.  You cannot replace hundreds of trucks by sending parachutes.  The most important thing is to open the borders by land and continue working – or start working on the two-state solution that both of us, U.S. and EU, endorse.  It is the only way for a lasting peace.  I hope that we can join our efforts in order to make that a reality.

Thank you very much, Secretary of State. 

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thanks, everyone.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/secretary-antony-j-blinken-and-european-union-high-representative-josep-borrell-before-their-meeting/

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