Secretary Blinken’s Call with Polish Foreign Minister Rau

19 Jun

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau. Secretary Blinken emphasized the strength of our Polish-American partnership to NATO and the Transatlantic community in addressing regional and global challenges. The Secretary also discussed our cooperation with Poland to address the threat posed by the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to European energy security. The Secretary emphasized the importance of defending our democratic values, including media freedom and respect for civil rights, as Poland looks forward to assuming the chair of the OSCE in 2022.

 

Secretary Blinken Joins the Atlantic Council’s Front Page Pride Edition Virtual Conversation

18 Jun

Office of the Spokesperson

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will participate in a virtual conversation with journalist Jonathan Capehart on “Pressing for Equality: Engaging on LGBTQI Issues Around the World,” 1:00 p.m. on Monday, June 21, 2021. This event is coordinated in partnership with gliffa – LGBTQI+ Pride in Foreign Affairs Agencies, the State Department’s official LGBTQI+ Employee Affinity Group.

This event will be live streamed on http://www.state.gov.

For more information, please contact the Department of State’s Office of Press Relations at PAPressDuty@state.gov.

U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking Returns from Travel to Saudi Arabia

18 Jun

Office of the Spokesperson

U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking returned from Saudi Arabia on June 18. During the trip Special Envoy Lenderking met with officials from the Governments of the Republic of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as well as UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. In these meetings, Special Envoy Lenderking noted the need for the Yemeni government to return to Aden as soon as possible and highlighted the importance of swift progress in the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.

Additionally, Special Envoy Lenderking discussed the latest efforts to achieve a comprehensive, nationwide ceasefire, including the urgency of de-escalating the fighting in Marib, and reiterated the importance of the free flow of goods, especially fuel, through Hudaydah port and throughout Yemen.

The Special Envoy also discussed with the Omanis their recent visit to Sana’a and reiterated U.S. appreciation for the efforts of Oman in encouraging peace efforts in Yemen.

For any questions, please contact NEA-Press@state.gov and follow us on Twitter @StateDept_NEA .

 

Acting Assistant Secretary Reeker’s Travel to Italy, Albania, and North Macedonia

18 Jun

Office of the Spokesperson

Acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip T. Reeker, will travel to Milan June 20-22, Tirana June 30, and Ohrid July 1-3.

In Milan, Acting Assistant Secretary Reeker will meet with local officials, including business leaders and Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala, to discuss the many ways the United States and Italy cooperate on economic, commercial, and other key issues. While there, Ambassador Reeker will give remarks at the annual meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Italy. He will also visit the Italian Red Cross, an important partner and recipient of U.S. assistance to combat COVID-19, to highlight U.S.-Italian cooperation to combat and build back from the pandemic.

From June 22-29, Acting Assistant Secretary Reeker will accompany Secretary Blinken on his travel to Berlin, Paris, Rome, the Vatican, Bari, and Matera. Please see the trip announcement for more details: https://www.state.gov/secretary-blinkens-travel-to-germany-france-italy-and-the-vatican/.

In Tirana on June 30, Acting Assistant Secretary Reeker will meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama and other senior officials to discuss the U.S.-Albania relationship and areas of mutual concern. On July 1, Ambassador Reeker will arrive in Ohrid, where he will attend the “Road to Prespa” Conference to highlight U.S. support for continued dialogue and cooperation toward stability and progress throughout the region. Finally, in Ohrid, Acting Assistant Secretary Reeker will meet with Prime Minister Zaev, Foreign Minister Osmani, and other senior officials to discuss our shared priorities for the Western Balkans.

In Commemoration of Juneteenth

18 Jun

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Juneteenth, or June 19, is a reflective day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery. Yet it wasn’t until two and a half years later, on June 19, 1865, that his notice of freedom was received across our country. Since then, Juneteenth has come to mark not only the effective end of chattel slavery, but the reality that freedom and justice have been delayed for far too many.

Juneteenth reminds us of our responsibility to grapple with the enduring legacy of slavery and to tackle the barriers to full equity and justice for African Americans. It is also a day to honor the extraordinary contributions of the African American community to our nation throughout our history in the face of ongoing adversity and systemic racism.

The United States is taking concrete steps to root out and dismantle existing institutionalized racism and deep-seated inequities. That starts with holding ourselves to the highest possible standards of accountability on our obligations and commitments, acknowledging our continued challenges, and dealing with them transparently.

This Administration has demonstrated its commitment by issuing Executive Order 13985 on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”; supporting the creation of a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the State Department and similar positions at federal agencies; and nominating a candidate for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In March, the United States led a United Nations Human Rights Council Joint Statement on Countering Racism and Racial Discrimination that was supported by 158 countries. President Biden has been clear that the United States will always support dignity, equity, and freedom for all around the world.

Juneteenth is not a celebration of victory; it is an affirmation of strength and resilience, and a reminder that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice. We must pursue that path tirelessly even if it is not expeditious or linear. Today, we recommit to moving toward racial justice and equity at home and abroad. We call upon the international community to join the United States in honoring the contributions of people of African descent around the world and echo our promise that, despite the most painful parts of our history, we can and will change.

Appointment of António Guterres as UN Secretary-General for a Second Term

18 Jun

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the United States, I am pleased to congratulate United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on his re-appointment today by the General Assembly to serve a second term. Secretary-General Guterres has proven a capable leader in a demanding role.

The United Nations is an indispensable anchor of the multilateral system. It provides a vital framework through which member states work together to meet such unprecedented challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, human rights, development, migration, and humanitarian crises. These and other priorities that member states must address require a collaborative, effective, and results-oriented leader in the United Nations Secretariat, and we have that in António Guterres.

The United States looks forward to continuing our strong and constructive relationship with Secretary-General Guterres as we advance the urgent task of bringing about a more peaceful world and prosperous future.

DNC on the Commemoration of Juneteenth

18 Jun
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC Black Caucus Chair Virgie M. Rollins released the following statement in commemoration of the 156th Juneteenth in the United States:

“On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and informed slaves of their freedom and the end of the Civil War — and Juneteenth was born. On this day, we commemorate not only the beginning of a new chapter of liberation and promise for Black Americans, but also reflect on the hardship placed upon Black Americans in the pursuit of the full citizenship and opportunity due to us all.

“This week, Congress passed and President Biden signed a law, which took the important and long overdue step of designating Juneteenth a federal holiday, but the urgency of protecting our fundamental freedoms cannot wait. Congress must pass legislation to ensure the right to vote remains strong and protected.

“Today we reflect on the remarkable resilience of our ancestors and take stock of our progress and of what work remains in order to end the systemic racism that still impacts so many Black Americans. As Democrats, we are committed to honoring Black history, mirroring the fortitude of those who came before us, and forging a better path for our children and for the American people.”

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IN THE STATES: America is on the Move Again — Just Ask These Students.

18 Jun
Over the course of the last sixteen months, young people across the country have worked through how to commemorate key moments such as birthdays, school dances, and graduation ceremonies during a pandemic. But now, thanks to the American Rescue Plan and an aggressive vaccination program, America is back on track. This week, students across the country thanked President Biden for getting the virus under control, allowing them to attend in-person classes, celebrate graduations and proms, and to feel a new sense of hope about the future.

Here’s a look at what voters in the states were reading this week…

As the 2021 school year comes to a close, students from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin to North Carolina talked about how President Biden’s leadership has brought them hope:

  • In Wisconsin: Simon, high school junior, Madison: “This year I’m feeling ready to make plans and move forward with my life after the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel optimistic and prepared.”
  • In Pennsylvania: Caleb, recent high school graduate, Erie “I’m incredibly thankful for the leadership President Biden has provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of his efforts, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, which created a national vaccine strategy to put shots in millions of Americans’ arms. Because of that, I’m able to safely attend in-person classes at the University of Pittsburgh this fall, fully optimizing my college experience.”
  • In North Carolina: Ashley, a Bennett College student: “Because of this new administration, I was able to easily schedule and receive both doses of the Moderna vaccine for free … Being fully vaccinated while many opportunities are slowly opening back up makes me feel safe and motivated for the new experiences that the year will bring.”
  • In Arizona: Tessa, a college student from Tucson: “Thanks to the election of President Biden, the success of his administration, and effective leadership from our Democratic representatives in Congress, there is now light at the end of that tunnel.”

From Minnesota to Texas, the American Rescue Plan continues to deliver needed relief to communities across the country:

And from Arizona to Tennessee, local leaders made the case for President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, proposals that would create millions of jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure, and invest in our families and children: 

Last but certainly not least…the ACA is here to stay. State parties celebrated yesterday’s victory over years of Republican attacks: 

  • Arizona Democratic Party: Release: ADP Statement on the California v. Texas SCOTUS Decision: “This decisive Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the hundreds of thousands of Arizonans whose right to quality, affordable health care was on the line due to the Republican’s reckless and dangerous agenda.”
  • Indiana Democratic Party: INDems Statement on SCOTUS Voting to Save the Affordable Care Act: “Passing the Affordable Care Act and its provisions like protections for pre-existing conditions, keeping young people insured with families until the age of 26, and funding Indiana’s HIP 2.0 program is exactly why Democrats will time and again go to bat for Hoosier families and the opportunity to make Indiana the place where anyone – regardless of Zip code or health status – has a chance to succeed.”
  • Democratic Party of Wisconsin: Democratic Party of Wisconsin Statement on SCOTUS ACA Decision: “Democrats have been and will continue working to lower health care and prescription drug costs. Thanks to Democratic leadership and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, more Americans than ever are now covered under the ACA. Today’s decision reminds us that health care is on the ballot in 2022, and Wisconsinites will vote against those who try to sabotage their care, just as they did in 2018 and 2020.”
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Secretary Blinken’s Call with President Carter

18 Jun

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with former President Jimmy Carter today about the deteriorating situation in Nicaragua. They discussed U.S. concerns about the recent arrests, harassment, and arbitrary restrictions placed on presidential candidates, political parties, and independent media in Nicaragua, as well as the need for broad electoral reform to permit free and fair elections in November. They welcomed the strong June 15 vote at the Organization of American States Permanent Council, which sent a clear message that Ortega and Murillo’s actions are unacceptable. Secretary Blinken thanked President Carter for his efforts to promote democracy and human rights throughout the world, including in Nicaragua.