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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat Before their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It’s a real pleasure to have the opportunity to meet with Chairman Faki.  We’ve had many previous meetings.  This one comes at an important time as the AU is playing a leadership role in trying to bring to an end the violence and conflict in northern Ethiopia; and so I look forward to hearing from the chairman about our combined efforts to do that, and also to talk a little bit about the Africa Leaders Summit that will take place in Washington in December, where President Biden very much looks forward to hosting the African Union and many other colleagues from around the continent.

Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON FAKI: (Via interpreter) It’s a pleasure for me, too, to meet Your Excellency.  We have had our strategic dialogue in Washington.  I think peace and security issues will be at the top of our agenda.  Two days ago, I launched the peace process between the Ethiopian parties in South Africa.  We hope (inaudible) to congratulate United States of America to have (inaudible) to make this process succeed.  And we have a – we (inaudible) hope that this will lead to a ceasefire and opening a way to bring humanitarian support to those who are in need.

Of course, we are preparing very actively the African-United States summit in December in Washington.  It’s a very good opportunity to (inaudible).

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Merci.  Thank you, everyone