December 9, 2022

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Before Their Meeting

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Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Riga, Latvia

ATTA Center

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a great pleasure, as always, to be here with my friend and colleague, Mevlüt.  We’ve been sitting together for the last day and a  half, and we both thought it was important to be able to compare notes directly on many things that we’ve already talked about with our allies, including the situation in Ukraine and around Ukraine, including what we just talked about, the Western Balkans, as well as the Caucasus and a number of other areas, and also focusing on some of the important work and cooperation that the United States and Turkey have together as we’ve been working very closely on a number of issues.  I think we’ll have a chance to talk about other things we’re doing farther afield, including in Africa.  But, Mevlüt, thank you for taking the time to get together and to be able to spend some time today.

FOREIGN MINISTER ÇAVUŞOĞLU:  Thank you very much, Tony.  Good afternoon as well, and as always, very, very happy to have a meeting with you once again.  And a lot of issues that we are going to discuss.  And our presidents – Erdogan and Biden – had a very constructive meeting in Rome.  We need to follow up the issues that they discussed and the decisions taken there.  And we need – we are hoping to further our bilateral relations in many areas.  And as Tony mentioned, there are regional issues and developments in our region, in and around Ukraine, and in some other regions, a source of concern for all of us.  We discussed some of them during the NATO ministerial, but bilaterally, I think as two NATO Allies, we should discuss all these issues, and I’m looking forward to have exchange of views on these issues and regional issues like Libya, like Syria, like Ukraine, and also Afghanistan.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you all.

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