Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 23 in Berlin, Germany. (State Dept. / Ron Przysucha)
The United States is working with allies across Europe to fight human rights abuses, preserve democracy and fight climate change.
During his trip to Germany, France, Italy and the Vatican, Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the United States ‘enduring relations with each of the countries and the United States’ commitment to strengthen the alliance of NATO and strengthen transatlantic security.
Blinken met German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on June 23-24.
The leaders discussed common challenges, including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and issues involving China and Russia.
In Germany, Blinken:
âI think it’s fair to say that the United States has no better partner, no better friend in the world than Germany,â said Blinken. before meeting Merkel.
In Paris, Blinken and French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed the alliance of the two countries.
The two discussed how to counter terrorist threats, support global democracy and join efforts to improve the capacities of African partners in the Sahel region.
Blinken also met with a group of young French people to discuss democracy and human rights. Blinken reflected on his childhood in France and answered questions about democracy, police violence, the climate and racism. He spoke of the need to forge strong transatlantic ties for the next generation, saying âin my opinion this is more important than ever. Our history is long, but it is particularly important today.
The United States and the Holy See enjoy a strong relationship, especially when they approach humanitarian issues together.
Blinken met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 28, where they discussed the importance of tackling human trafficking, protecting human rights and tackling the climate crisis. They also discussed China and the humanitarian crises in Lebanon, Syria, Venezuela and the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
Blinken also met with the Secretary of State for the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary for State Relations, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, in Vatican City. There, they discussed how to tackle the root causes of migration and expand the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Blinken met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi to reaffirm their countries’ long-standing economic ties and their commitment to the NATO alliance.
In Rome, Blinken co-organized a Syrian ministerial with his Italian counterpart. He reiterated the imperative of ensuring that life-saving humanitarian aid reaches all Syrians in need and stressed the importance of re-authorizing and expanding the capacity of the United Nations to provide this vital assistance to the Syrian people through – beyond borders. He also announced more than $ 436 million in additional humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Syrians both in Syria and in neighboring countries hosting them.
On June 28, Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio organized a meeting of foreign ministers with the 83-member Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. During the meeting, they discussed ways to keep pressure on ISIS remnants in Iraq and Syria, and to counter ISIS networks elsewhere, including in Africa. They also assessed the priorities of the coalition’s lines of action related to stabilization, foreign terrorist fighters, financing of the fight against ISIS and counter-messaging efforts.
The ministers stressed that the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, of which the United States is a major member, remains steadfast in its commitment to the lasting and global defeat of ISIS. Due to COVID-related restrictions, this was the coalition’s first in-person meeting since February 2019.
At the end of his trip, Blinken attended the June 29 G20 foreign ministers meeting in Matera, Italy, where leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies gathered to discuss multilateral cooperation and how to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through constructive diplomacy, G20 foreign and development ministers are rebuilding better globally,” Blinken said in a statement. Tweeter. âAt the joint session, we agreed that today more than ever, we must reinvigorate our work on global food security, deepen our economic ties and address critical development challenges.