September 28, 2021

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau Before Their Meeting

14 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Reykjavik, Iceland

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Marc, good morning.

FOREIGN MINISTER GARNEAU:  Good morning, Tony.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Great to see you.  So pleased to have a chance to spend some time with my friend, the minister of foreign affairs.  We have been meeting in all sorts of places – in Brussels for NATO, in London at the G7, now here in Reykjavik.  And of course, as always, we have a lot to cover, but I think we’re primarily focused on what brings us here today, which is the Arctic Council meeting and the shared commitment of the United States and Canada to work to preserve this region as a place for peaceful cooperation and positive human endeavor, whether it’s sustainable development, whether it’s dealing with climate, whether it’s advancing science, looking out for the interests and well-being of indigenous peoples – a lot to work on.

I think I’m grateful, and I suspect Marc is as well, for the remarkable leadership of Iceland and its chairmanship of the Council.  So we look forward to coming together on the work that Iceland has done, and then preparation for the handoff to Russia for its chairmanship.  But lots, of course, to talk about on many other parts of the world, but meanwhile, it’s just great to see you, as always, and look forward to getting down to work.

FOREIGN MINISTER GARNEAU:  Well, thank you very much, Tony.  It’s always a pleasure to be with you again.

(Speaking in French.)

It’s a real pleasure to be here with Secretary Blinken and the United States delegation to talk about issues that are important to both our countries and to the Arctic Council itself with whom we share a great deal in common with respect to the future of the Arctic.  As Secretary Blinken mentioned, the importance of taking into consideration the indigenous peoples who have lived in the certain polar Arctic region for millennia as well as carefully developing it, but in a sustainable fashion and, of course, being mindful of environmental change, which is going on very, very seriously at this time.

Canada and the United States have a strong and enduring relationship and we share a great deal in common with respect to the Arctic and with respect to our continental security as well, and we face the same challenges with COVID at the moment and economic recovery.  And so there’s always lots to talk about between our two countries, but I welcome this opportunity to be here with you, Secretary.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  (Speaking in French.)

FOREIGN MINISTER GARNEAU:  (Speaking in French.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  (Speaking in French.)

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