Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with European Commission President von der Leyen

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January 16, 2024

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Matthew Miller:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today in Davos, Switzerland. Secretary Blinken and President von der Leyen discussed the importance of continued international assistance for Ukraine as it fights to defend its freedom and independence. They also addressed the urgent need to increase humanitarian assistance for Palestinian civilians in Gaza, prevent further spread of the conflict, secure the release of all hostages, ensure the Hamas attacks of October 7 can never happen again, and advance a pathway for a Palestinian state. The Secretary and President von der Leyen underlined that freedom of navigation in the Red Sea is vital for global commerce and regional security and called on the Houthis to cease attacks on vessels.


Secretary Blinken and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Before Their Meeting


SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, first of all, thank you.  It’s so good to see you, as always.  And very simply, for the United States, the European Union is the partner of first resort, not last resort, as we are working together around the world on some of the most acute challenges – whether it’s the conflict between Israel and Hamas; whether it’s the Russian aggression against Ukraine; whether it’s the challenging situation in Haiti – many economic opportunities and issues as well.  One of the things that we’re most grateful for is this incredibly close collaboration between the United States and the European Union.  So I’m very pleased for the opportunity, as always, to focus in on some of the challenges that are on our plates today.  And great to see you.

PRESIDENT VON DER LEYEN:  Thank you very much for meeting again.  It is wonderful to know that our friends see us on a regular basis.  I believe you have mentioned all the different conflicts, how we stand together and work on them.  But it’s also very good to see that – in past years as well – positive development that we (inaudible).  So in this sense, many thanks.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Thanks, everyone.

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