Secretary Antony J. Blinken And Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit Before Their Meeting – United States Department of State

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning everyone.  It’s a great pleasure to have the secretary-general here.  We have a strong partnership with the Arab League, and evidence of that is the fact that we’re inaugurating our strategic dialogue, which we’ve been very much looking forward to.  It’s an opportunity for us to work even more closely together on the many issues that are affecting the lives of people in all of the countries represented by the Arab League as well as the United States.

We, of course, have a lot to talk about, so many different challenges that we’re facing together, but I think the fact that we’re inaugurating this dialogue with the secretary-general really is evidence of the possibilities, the potential for strengthening and deepening our cooperation.  We deeply value collaboration with the Arab League, and I’m very much looking forward to this conversation today.  It’s especially good to have you back here at the State Department.  Welcome.

SECRETARY-GENERAL GHEIT:  Thank you, thank you very much Secretary.  Well, as Secretary Blinken said, this is – might be the first time the United States and the League of Arab States are having that kind of very wide dialogue together on the level of the Secretary and the secretary-general of the league.  Our teams will spend the rest of the day working together trying to explore further the level of cooperation.  We are looking forward to deepen the relationship.  And the United States, a great power in the region as well as outside of that region – the region have been passing through most difficult times, and I’m sure that the steady hand of the United States – we will be receiving more and more help and support.  Thank you very much.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Thank you, Secretary-General.  Thanks, everyone.

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