SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good afternoon. Foreign Minister Baerbock, we had a terrific first meeting in Liverpool and it’s really a pleasure to welcome you to Washington, to the United States for the first time in your new role as foreign minister.
We know that the close relationship between Germany and the United States will continue under Chancellor Scholz and his team. And we’re counting on it, because this partnership is indispensable. Together, we maintain and strengthen our mutual security, we defend our shared democratic values around the world, and our countries collaborate, we confer, we strategize, we coordinate on virtually every major issue that affects the lives our people, from COVID to climate to technology and innovation to trade and investment.
FOREIGN MINISTER BAERBOCK: Thank you very much, ladies and gentleman, Dear Minister.
(Via interpreter) Dear Tony, first of all, let me say that I’m delighted that we see each other again, that we’re able to meet again after the first personal meeting at the G7 in Liverpool. We had phone calls during – in between at New Year’s and Christmas, and I’m glad that we’re able to meet despite COVID, despite the difficult situation in your country and my country, and despite the snow here in Washington. For me personally, it is a very important moment indeed. I spent – as a teenager spent an exchange year here in the United States of America. Although I have to admit that the weather in Florida was a bit better than currently in snowy Washington, but of course, we know snow in Berlin as well.
For me, it was not only important to be here in person, but also against the backdrop of the urgent and pressing security political questions that we’re facing at the beginning of this new year, and we have to face at this new year and against the backdrop of Germany assuming the G7 presidency. Allow me to also say that it is not only the global political situation but also the great and special importance that the new government attaches to the transatlantic partnership and transatlantic friendship. And me personally – so for me, it was person – an important matter indeed that we meet in person again here.
As Europeans, we don’t have a stronger partner than the United States of America, and you, with your personal commitment and your work, lend a crucial contribution to this in the past years and moments, and I’d like to express my gratitude and thank you for that. For the new government, let me tell you we will continue and will always try to seek the closest possible coordination with you, our partners and friends.