Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Joly

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February 13, 2024

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Matthew Miller:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly today in Washington, D.C.  Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Joly discussed the urgent need to reach agreement on a modernized Columbia River Treaty regime.  The Secretary and the Foreign Minister also reaffirmed their joint commitment to support Ukraine, achieve a durable peace in the Middle East, and enable a Multinational Security Support mission to Haiti.

Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  Mélanie, it’s a wonderful pleasure to have you here, my friend, my colleague of several years now, and particularly good to have you here today at the State Department.  We have a lot of work that we’re doing together on a regular basis.  On a – on bilateral issues, regional issues, global issues, the United States and Canada are the closest of partners.

And when it comes to our bilateral issues, we have a shared responsibility to manage the Columbia River, and we’ve been working on an agreement to modernize the work that we do together, and hope very much that we can bring that to conclusion soon.

Regionally, of course, we’ve been doing so much in the context of the North American Leaders’ Summit, as well as beyond.  I think very good work by our teams with our Mexican colleagues as well on issues that matter profoundly to our people, including, for example, synthetic opioids, fentanyl and others.

And then of course, on a global basis, the United States and Canada are joined in trying to deal with many of the challenges of this moment, whether it’s the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, whether it’s the war between Israel and Hamas, and whether, closer to home, it’s the challenges in Haiti.  So I look very much forward, Mélanie, to talking about all of that with you.

And then this afternoon, we also have an opportunity to speak together about something that is near and dear to both of our hearts, where Canada has been leading these past years, and that’s the whole question of arbitrary detention, citizens of our countries and many others who are arbitrarily detained and used as political pawns.  Canada has been leading an effort to bring countries around the world together to face that challenge, to meet that challenge, and to make sure that we see real change in the conduct of countries that would engage in it.


FOREIGN MINISTER JOLY:  Thank you, Tony.  It’s a pleasure to be here and to be at the State Department and to meet all of your team again.  Indeed, Canada and the U.S. have worked over the years to make sure that we live in a more secure world and that people on both side of our border are safe and secure as well.

I look forward to talking to you about many bilateral important aspects that are dear to our people, including, of course, the Columbia River Treaty, but also working on energy security together.

And we know that there are many important regional issues, including Haiti, that we will be talking about, as well as international security issues, as we’re dealing with an international security crisis.  Of course, Ukraine – I was just in Ukraine, looking forward to debriefing you on it – as well as long-term peace in the Middle East, including a two-state solution process.


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