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USA/Kuwait – Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah (US Department of State)

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today in Kuwait City with His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq al Ghanem, and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah to discuss regional security, joint efforts to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, and other key issues important to the bilateral relationship.  Secretary Blinken recognized two milestones in the U.S.-Kuwait relationship – the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Shield and 60 years of diplomatic ties – and thanked the Amir for the enduring support that has enabled close cooperation in defense, counterterrorism, trade and investment, security, education, culture, and science.

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USA/India – Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi (US Department of State)

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today, where they discussed efforts to deepen the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Modi discussed regional challenges and a growing range of cooperation on COVID-19 response efforts, climate change, shared values and democratic principles, and regional security, including through U.S.-Australia-India-Japan Quad consultations.

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USA/India – Opening Remarks at a Civil Society Roundtable (US Department of State)

MR KESHAP:  Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  Nice to see all of you.  Thank you for joining us this morning.  It is a very great pleasure for me to participate in this morning’s discussion on inclusive development with the United States Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and our distinguished guests from these civil society organizations.

The theme selected for discussion today, “Advancing Equitable, Inclusive, and Sustainable Growth and Development,” is central to addressing the challenges that we face throughout the world, including in the United States and India.  We cherish the rich diversity of our societies and see this as a source of our strength.  Another great pillar of our strength is the roles of civil society in both the United States and India.

Today it is indeed my great honor to welcome Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Delhi and for what I am sure will be a very vibrant discussion.

Mr. Secretary, welcome.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you, well thank you so much.  Everyone, thank you very, very much.  It is a great pleasure to be with all of you.  This is actually the first event on our first day in India.  I’ve been here many times before, but this is my first visit in this capacity as Secretary of State, and I wanted to start the day with all of you.  And I’m really here to underscore the importance of the relationships between our countries, to try to deepen our ties and extend our cooperation.  I think it’s hard to find countries with more – who do more together in more different areas than with the United States and India.

Later today, I’ll have a chance to see Prime Minister Modi, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar, an old friend and colleague.  We’ll talk about many of the critical issues our countries are working on together, from COVID-19 to climate change, defense, mutual security, trade and investment, education, energy, science, technology.  The list goes on and on.

When you put it all together, the relationship between our countries is one of the most important in the world.  And I think that’s because not only is it a relationship between governments when we’re working between our governments, but critically it’s through relationships between the Indian and the American people.  We’re connected in so many different ways – business ties, university ties, religious and spiritual ties, and of course, millions of family ties.

Perhaps most important, we’re connected by shared values, and I believe shared aspirations, that are common to our people.  The Indian people and the American people believe in human dignity, in equality of opportunity, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religion and belief.  We believe that all people deserve to have a voice in their government and be treated with respect no matter who they are.  These are fundamental tenets of democracies like ours, and our purpose is to give real meaning to these words and constantly renew our commitment to these ideals.

And of course, both of our democracies are works in progress.  As friends, we talk about that, because doing the hard work of strengthening democracy and making our ideals real is often challenging.  We know that firsthand in the United States, where we aspire to be, in the words of our founders, a more perfect union.  That’s an acknowledgement from day one of our country that in a sense we will always fall short of the mark, but that the way to make progress is by constantly trying to achieve those ideals.  As I said before, sometimes that process is painful, sometimes it’s ugly, but the strength of democracy is to embrace it.

At the same time, we celebrate our achievements.  Here in India, that includes the free media, independent courts, a vibrant and free and fair electoral system – the largest expression of free political will by citizens anywhere in the world.  At a time of rising global threats to democracy and international freedoms – we talk about a democratic recession – it’s vital that we two world leading democracies continue to stand together in support of these ideals.

We also know that successful democracies include thriving civil societies.  That’s how citizens become more fully engaged in the life of their communities.  It’s how we organize and provide the resources to respond to emergencies.  And we’ve seen people and organizations come together throughout COVID-19 in creative and incredibly generous ways, and civil society is also where we’re able to build meaningful connections across our social, religious, and cultural differences.

In short, if we want to make our democracies more open, more inclusive, more resilient, more equitable, we need vibrant civil society.  As leaders in your respective communities, I think you know this better than anyone.  I am proud of all the connections that already exist between civil society organizations in our countries.  I want to support more of those connections to make the overall partnership between our democracies even stronger.

So what I hope we can do in our time today is do a little bit of that to continue to strengthen the connections among civil society and between civil society and government.  I need to learn more about the work that you’re doing in your communities, especially during this pandemic.  I want to know what more we can do to strengthen the ties between our civil society, and I want to hear your ideas, your ideas about how to drive inclusive, equitable development, because that’s something that democracies all over the world are called upon to do.

So thank you again for taking the time to have this conversation.  I’m especially eager to hear from you.  And with that, we can get started.

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USA/Somalia – The United States Announces New Humanitarian Aid for the People of Somalia (US Department of State)

The United States is providing nearly $199 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia who have faced decades of chronic food insecurity, violence, and cycles of drought and flooding—the impacts of which have all been compounded by desert locusts and the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional funding, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State, brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia to more than  $408 million for Fiscal Year 2021.

This assistance will help many of the nearly six million people of Somalia in need of humanitarian aid, including three million displaced people inside Somalia as well as nearly 500,000 Somali refugees in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya.  This new funding will provide emergency food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, shelter, protection, education, and health care, as well as logistics and other support, in the face of worsening environmental, humanitarian, and conflict related challenges.

The United States is the largest single donor of humanitarian aid in Somalia and for Somali refugees in the region, and we welcome efforts by the UN to draw attention to the plight of the people of Somalia.  We remain concerned about the continuing increase in humanitarian needs, and we urge other donors to contribute to the international response and provide the support needed to save lives.

For the latest updates on U.S. humanitarian assistance for the people of Somalia, visit:  https://www.usaid.gov/humanitarian-assistance/somalia.

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USA/Yemen/Saudi Arabia – U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking’s Travel to Saudi Arabia (US Department of State)

U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking arrived in Saudi Arabia today, where he will meet with senior officials from the Saudi and Republic of Yemen Governments.  Special Envoy Lenderking will discuss the growing consequences of the Houthi offensive on Marib, which is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and triggering instability elsewhere in the country.  The Special Envoy will address the urgent need for efforts by the Republic of Yemen Government and Saudi Arabia to stabilize Yemen’s economy and to facilitate the timely import of fuel to northern Yemen, and the need for the Houthis to end their manipulation of fuel imports and prices inside of Yemen.  Finally, Special Envoy Lenderking will meet with representatives from the international community and the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen to discuss the importance of an inclusive peace process and a rapid appointment of a new UN Envoy.  Now is the time to stop the fighting and enable Yemenis to shape a more peaceful, prosperous future for their country.

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USA/India – The United States and India: Deepening our Strategic Partnership (US Department of State)

“The United States and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time and ones that are having a profound impact on the lives of our citizens. The partnership between the United States and India is vital, it’s strong, and it’s increasingly productive.”

– Secretary Antony J. Blinken, May 28, 2021

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to New Delhi, India, July 27-28 to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening our partnership and underscore cooperation on our shared priorities. Secretary Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to discuss a wide range of issues, including continued cooperation on COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis.

Deepening the U.S.-India Partnership

  • The United States and India have a strong strategic partnership founded on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The United States supports India’s emergence as a leading global power and vital partner in efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability, and growing prosperity and economic inclusion.
  • The United States and India cooperate on a wide range of diplomatic, economic and security issues, including defense, non-proliferation, regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, shared democratic values, counterterrorism, climate change, health, energy, trade and investment, peacekeeping, the environment, education, science and technology, agriculture, space, and oceans.
  • In 2008, the United States and India signed an agreement, making India a full partner in the governance and funding of the Fulbright Program. An increase in exchanges under the agreement has allowed for the development of new and innovative programs, and India now has the largest Fulbright Scholar (faculty) program in the world. In FY 2019, this funding provided opportunities for 61 U.S. Scholars, 66 Indian Scholars, 80 U.S. students, including 29 English Teaching Assistants, and 55 Indian students, including 13 Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.
  • The United States and India are working to expand cooperation in international organizations. The United States welcomed India joining the UN Security Council in January 2021 for a two-year term.
  • In October 2020, India hosted the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, and the United States looks forward to the next 2+2 later this year.

The Indo-Pacific Front and Center

  • India is a leading global power and a key U.S. partner in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. At the inaugural Quad Leaders’ Summit in March, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi joined their Japanese and Australian counterparts in pledging to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combat the climate crisis, and address shared challenges, including in cyber-space, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maritime security.

Deterring Our Adversaries and Defending Our Interests

  • U.S.-India defense cooperation is reaching new heights, including through information sharing, liaison officers, increasingly complex exercises like Malabar, and defense enabling agreements, such as the secure communications agreement COMCASA. As of 2020, the United States has authorized over $20 billion in defense sales to India.
  • Through the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defense equipment.
  • The United States and India are also closely coordinating on regional security issues, such as Afghanistan.

Combating the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • The United States stands with the people of India as they continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States has contributed more than $200 million for India’s COVID-19 relief and response efforts since the pandemic began, including more than $50 million in emergency supplies  and training for more than 218,000 frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, benefitting more than 43 million Indians.
  • Earlier this year, the United States and India initiated renewal of a memorandum of understanding to collaborate through an International Center of Excellence in Research focused on infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and other emerging threats.
  • The United States and India are partnering to strengthen the global response to COVID-19, on issues ranging from addressing infectious disease outbreaks to strengthening health systems to securing global supply chains.
  • U.S. pharmaceutical companies have coordinated with Indian companies since the beginning of the pandemic. This cooperation includes voluntary licensing and technology transfer agreements to increase global manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines, therapies, and conducting clinical trials.

Tackling the Climate Crisis

  • U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry traveled to India in April of this year and met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They discussed the importance of two of the world’s largest economies leading together to address the climate crisis.
  • At the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi launched the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership to strengthen cooperation on strong actions in the current decade to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to help each country achieve its respective climate and clean energy goals.
  • Under the new Agenda 2030 Partnership, the United States and India look forward to launching the new Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue, led by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and relaunching the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership, led by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, later this year.
  • The United States looks forward to further cooperation with India on tackling the climate crisis and raising global ambition ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, in November.
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USA/Oman – Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Meeting with Omani Deputy Foreign Minister Al Harthy (US Department

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met today in Muscat with Deputy Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalifa Al Harthy to discuss advancing peace and security in the region and our shared commitment to bolstering the U.S.- Oman bilateral relationship, including advancing new opportunities for trade and investment. The Deputy Secretary also thanked the Deputy Foreign Minister for Oman’s role in mediating peace in the region and underscored the importance of an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire to help bring the war in Yemen to an end.

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USA/Libya – U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland’s Visit to Tripoli (US Department of State)

U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland visited Tripoli, Libya July 26 where he met with interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, attended a signing ceremony for a new 5G telecommunications contract between Libyan company Hatif and U.S. company Infinera, and held other meetings with Libyan and international representatives.  Ambassador Norland underscored the need for Libya’s leaders to make key preparations to ensure successful nationwide elections in December, including determining a constitutional basis and the election law that will govern them.  He emphasized that Libya’s leaders must make the necessary compromises to meet the Libyan peoples’ expectation of free and fair elections, an essential step towards a stable, unified, and democratic Libya.  Ambassador Norland also reaffirmed that stability and continued progress on the political and security track will lead to greater economic opportunities, foreign investments, and prosperity for Libyans.  Ambassador Norland was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury Eric Meyer.

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USA/Iraq – Joint Statement on the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue (US Department of State)

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq.

The delegations of the Republic of Iraq, led by Dr. Fuad Hussein, Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the United States of America, led by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, co-chaired the final session of the Strategic Dialogue, initiated on June 11, 2020, in accordance with the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq (SFA).  The Iraqi delegation also included representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The two sides reaffirmed the importance of these discussions, which focused on strengthening the long-term strategic partnership defined by the SFA and on key issues of mutual concern: regional stability, public health, climate change, energy efficiency, energy independence, humanitarian aid, human rights, economic cooperation, and cultural and educational exchanges, among other issues.  Iraq provided a detailed accounting of its efforts to promote the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons to their home regions, and the United States pledged its continued support in this regard.

The two delegations reaffirmed the principles agreed upon in the SFA.  The United States reaffirmed its respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and laws and pledged to continue providing the resources Iraq needs to preserve its territorial integrity.  The Government of Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to protect Coalition personnel advising and enabling the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and reasserted its position that all Coalition Forces are in Iraq at its invitation.  The two delegations also emphasized that the bases hosting U.S. and other Coalition personnel are Iraqi bases and are operating per existing Iraqi laws; they are not U.S. or Coalition bases, and the presence of international personnel in Iraq is solely in support of the Government of Iraq’s fight against ISIS.  The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no U.S. forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021.  The United States intends to continue its support for the ISF, including the Peshmerga, to build their capacity to deal with future threats.

The two delegations confirmed their commitment to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press, through strict adherence to due process of law, national constitutions, and their respective international human rights obligations and commitments.  Both sides confirmed that free and fair elections will strengthen Iraq’s sovereignty, democracy, and development.  The Iraqi side provided a detailed account of its plans to promote voter participation and ensure the safety of voters, candidates, poll workers, local monitors, civil society groups, and international observers.  Both delegations stated their appreciation for the international community’s support, expressed through UN Security Council Resolution 2576 (2021) and concurred that the presence of both a UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) monitoring team and EU observation mission represents a good-faith effort by the international community to support the call of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government for free and fair elections in October.  Iraq welcomed long-running U.S. support for UNAMI, and recent U.S. financial contributions to UNAMI’s electoral-assistance, including for its election monitoring team.

Both sides intend to pursue cooperation in working with international organizations and through intergovernmental processes, including the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Glasgow this fall.  The United States expressed its support for Iraq’s effort to promote economic reform and enhance regional integration, in particular through energy projects with Jordan and the GCC Interconnection Authority.

The two delegations reaffirmed their determination to preserve and strengthen the strategic relationship, across the full spectrum of bilateral issues, for the sake of their respective national interests and their shared interest in regional stability.  The United States and Iraq confirmed that they would resume their discussions through the various coordinating committees enumerated in the SFA.

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