Canada’s Federal Elections

21 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

We congratulate the people of Canada following their federal elections, and we look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Trudeau across the range of shared challenges and opportunities. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Canada as our neighbor, close friend, democratic partner, and trusted ally.  

The United States and Canada enjoy one of the most comprehensive partnerships in the world. Our collaboration extends beyond our robust economic ties, border security, and defense cooperation to include engagement on global issues of mutual concern, such as human rights, democracy, global health, and climate change. 

Our shared history, values, and the ties of family, friends, and communities across our border are the foundation of our unique relationship. We look forward to continued engagement with our Canadian partners to strengthen the security and prosperity of North America and the world.

Belize Independence Day

21 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government and people of the United States of America, I extend my warmest congratulations to the people of Belize on the momentous occasion of the 40th anniversary of your independence.

The United States joins the people of Belize in celebrating the accomplishments your country has achieved over the past four decades of independence.  Our nations are bound by a strong friendship and partnership, safeguarded by our mutual commitment to democracy, security, and joint prosperity.  We continue to stand with Belize in facing shared challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, transnational organized crime, and the climate crisis.

As you celebrate your 40th Independence Day, may the bond between our nations continue to be an example of what is possible through partnership between vibrant democracies with shared values and common goals.

Malta National Day

21 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the United States of America, it is my pleasure to congratulate the people of Malta as you celebrate your 57th Independence Day.  The United States is proud of our longstanding partnership and cooperation with Malta, which is based upon our shared democratic values.

We also cherish our friendship with Malta, which has lasted for more than two centuries.  The United States looks forward to continuing the meaningful cooperation that exists between our two nations, as well as the expansion of our economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties.

Best wishes to all Maltese on this special day.

Armenian Independence Day

21 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the United States of America, I send best wishes to the people of Armenia as you celebrate the 30th anniversary of your independence.

In the three decades since Armenia rejected oppressive communist rule and declared independence from the Soviet Union, the United States and Armenia have developed a strong partnership based on respect for human rights, the rule of law, and democratic institutions.  We appreciate Armenia’s dedication to both these shared values and to its international commitments that play such a vital role toward strengthening peace and stability in the region.

We value the important contributions that Armenian-Americans have made that enrich communities across the United States and add to our nation’s vibrancy.  These cultural connections and our people-to-people ties continue to strengthen the bond between our nations.

As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains committed to helping the sides negotiate a long-term political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and address the humanitarian impact of the fighting, including the release of all detainees, accounting for those missing, and the full and expeditious exchange of remains.

On this important day, we congratulate Armenia and look forward to building upon our strong bilateral relationship.

Secretary Antony J. Blinken And UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss Before Their Meeting

21 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

New York, New York

Palace Hotel

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It is a real pleasure to welcome Foreign Secretary Truss here to New York and to the United States, and this is our first opportunity to meet.  We had a chance to speak on the phone the other day, but it’s just a great pleasure to connect in person.  This is the first meeting I’ll have an opportunity to do here in New York at the UN General Assembly, and that’s very fitting given the extraordinary partnership and agenda that we have between our countries, lots that we are very actively working on, lots we’ll be discussing today.

I’m particularly pleased that we’re also meeting just when we’ve made the announcement on the lifting of travel restrictions, which is something we’ve been talking about for some time.  Very pleased that Elizabeth (inaudible) with us and also to get going on a lot of work that we have to do together.  So welcome.  So very good to be with you.

FOREIGN SECRETARY TRUSS:  Well, fantastic.  Thank you very much, Secretary Blinken.  It’s fantastic to be here on my first overseas visit since being appointed as foreign secretary last week.  And we welcome hugely the lifting of the travel ban and the ability of vaccinated UK citizens to travel to the United States, which will help our trade and our business relationships but also families who want to travel across the Atlantic.

And I’m delighted to be meeting you to talk about how we deepen further our very important partnership in areas, of course, like the economy, but also our mutual security, so fantastic to be here.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you.  Thanks, everyone.

On the Republic of Korea’s Chuseok Holiday

20 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the United States of America, I wish Koreans across the globe a safe and joyous Chuseok.

While this year’s celebrations will continue to be muted, our experience through the pandemic has reinforced the importance of family and friendship.  On the occasion of Chuseok, we give thanks for all that we have and look forward to a prosperous year ahead.

The enduring alliance and friendship between the American and Korean people is built upon our shared democratic values and our commitment to work together to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century, and the steadfast U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliance is essential for promoting global peace, security, and prosperity.

On this Chuseok holiday, I extend my warmest of greetings to the Korean people. 

United States Announces Actions Against Seven Central American Officials for Undermining Democracy and Obstructing Investigations into Acts of Corruption

20 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

The United States is committed to supporting the people of northern Central America by fortifying democracy, rule of law, and accountability, which are the keys to a brighter future.  To advance this priority, today we are adding seven perpetrators to the United States’ Undemocratic and Corrupt Actors list, under section 353 of the United States–Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act, which generally makes the perpetrators ineligible for visas and admission to the United States.  These designations respond to recent actions that undermined democracy and obstructed corruption investigations in El Salvador and Guatemala.

The list transmitted to Congress details the following attacks on democracy and on anti-corruption measures:

El Salvador

Elsy Dueñas De Aviles, Oscar Alberto López Jerez, Hector Nahun Martinez Garcia, Jose Angel Perez Chacon, and Luis Javier Suárez Magaña, current Magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, undermined democratic processes or institutions by accepting direct appointments to the Chamber by the Legislative Assembly, in a process that appears to have contravened the Salvadoran constitution.  The previous five Magistrates were abruptly removed without legitimate cause following the May 1 seating of the newly elected Legislative Assembly.  After being installed, the new Magistrates declared their installation by the Legislative Assembly to have been constitutional.  The Magistrates undermined democratic processes or institutions by approving a controversial interpretation of the Constitution authorizing re-election of the President despite an express prohibition in the Constitution forbidding consecutive terms of the Presidency.

Guatemala

Maria Consuelo Porras Argueta De Porres, current Attorney General of Guatemala, obstructed investigations into acts of corruption by interfering with criminal investigations.  Porras’ pattern of obstruction included ordering prosecutors in Guatemala’s Public Ministry (MP) to ignore cases based on political considerations and actively undermining investigations  carried out by the Special Prosecutor Against Impunity, including by firing its lead prosecutor, Juan Francisco Sandoval, and transferring and firing prosecutors who investigate corruption.  Angel Arnoldo Pineda Avila, current Secretary General of the MP, obstructed investigations into acts of corruption by interfering in anticorruption probes.  The MP has opened a probe into allegations that Pineda interfered in an anticorruption investigation.  Pineda is alleged to have tipped off investigative targets about cases being built against them.

The United States will continue using the tools at our disposal to promote accountability for attacks on the democratic aspirations of the people of Central America.  We will continue partnering with government officials who show a dedication to combating corruption and strengthening democratic governance, including as part of an overall policy of addressing the root causes of irregular migration.  And we will continue supporting the people of El Salvador and Guatemala as they strive to contribute to and benefit from democratic institutions, generate equitable economic opportunities, and create the futures they desire for themselves and their families.

St. Kitts and Nevis Independence Day 

19 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the government of the United States and the American people, I congratulate the people of the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis on the 38th anniversary of your independence. 

The United States is committed to helping St. Kitts and Nevis overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild our economies.  Through donations of vaccines, support for the COVAX facility, and provision of medical supplies to St. Kitts and Nevis, we demonstrate our resolve to defeat this virus together.  Likewise, we will continue to work through the Small and Less Populous Island Economies Initiative and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to create a more inclusive, prosperous economy and cooperate on security and climate change issues. 

The United States values the friendship between our two countries and wishes the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis a happy Independence Day. 

Nepali Constitution Day

19 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the people and the Government of the United States of America, I warmly congratulate you and the people of Nepal as you celebrate your Constitution Day on September 19.

This past year has seen our relationship grow as we have confronted shared challenges.  In particular, we worked together to combat the COVID‑19 pandemic and tackle the climate crisis.  We celebrate an enduring friendship that has strengthened through the bonds of people-to-people ties and our nearly 75 years of diplomatic relations.

I extend my best wishes to all Nepalis on this special occasion.

Chile’s Independence Day

18 Sep

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States and the American people, I send our best wishes to the people of Chile as you celebrate your Independence Day on September 18.

As long-standing partners with shared democratic values, Chile and the United States collaborate closely on a wide range of shared priorities for our hemisphere, and we both benefit from deep economic and people-to-people ties.  This past year has been especially challenging as we faced the impact of the global pandemic, but we are proud to partner with Chile to help our nations and the world combat COVID-19.  We value the strong partnerships between our governments, companies, universities, and people, and look forward to working together as we move into the next year.

The United States wishes all Chileans “Felices Fiestas Patrias” and a prosperous year to come.