US, Libya and COVID-19

Department Press Briefing – June 24, 2021

Department Press Briefing
Jalina Porter, Principal Deputy Spokesperson
June 24, 2021

[Excerpted …]

MS PORTER:  Good afternoon, and thank you for joining today’s daily press briefing. …

Yesterday, the Secretary met with Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Maas to discuss how we can further strengthen the U.S.-Germany relationship to address common challenges, including recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, as well as China and Russia.  The Secretary also participated in the second Berlin conference on Libya which was an opportunity for the international community to support the progress made by the Libyan people and underscore our support for the full implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the October 2020 nationwide ceasefire agreement.

Next, I am pleased to announce that 3 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in Campinas, Brazil tomorrow morning.

This donation is a part of 80 million doses that President Biden announced on May 17th and is the result of close collaboration between the governments of the United States and Brazil toward putting an end to this pandemic.

As President Biden has said, the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts as we have demonstrated right here at home.

We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world into bringing an end to this pandemic.

We’re working to get as many safe and effective vaccine doses to as many people around the world as quickly as possible.

Thanks to the innovation of U.S. companies and the resilience of and commitment of American people, we’re in a position to help others.

The United States congratulates law professor Gay McDougall on her election as an independent expert on the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination or CERD.  Given her extensive legal and international human rights experience, including two previous terms on the Committee, the United States considers Professor McDougall a highly qualified expert who has made and who will continue to make valuable contributions to the Committee.

Racial justice is at the forefront of our international engagements, as demonstrated by our engagement at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) 46th session where we led a statement addressing systemic racism signed by 158 nations, our nomination of Professor McDougall to the CERD, and submitting overdue report on the CERD on June 2nd.

The United States will continue to engage the international community to find effective means to address systemic racism both at home and around the world.

And finally, leaders from 16 Southern African Development Community nations held a summit in Mozambique Wednesday June 23rd, 2021.  We applaud the Southern African Development Community’s focus on the threat of terrorism in Mozambique, as ISIS is not an isolated problem but rather a regional – a broader regional concern.

The United States is also committed to supporting the Government of Mozambique to counter terrorism and combat violent extremism with a holistic strategy that also includes socio-economic development, community resilience programs, and security assistance, as well as humanitarian aid.  We look forward to learning more of the South African Development Communities – Development Community, excuse me, plan coming out of the summit, and we will underscore the importance of keeping civilian protection and respect for human rights at the forefront of all security assistance.

[For full text of transcript, please follow this link].

Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Libyan Interim Prime Minister Dabaiba

Office of the Spokesperson
June 24, 2021

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba in Berlin.  Secretary Blinken and interim Prime Minister Dabaiba discussed the need for timely preparations for the December 24, 2021 national elections.  The Secretary and interim Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of full implementation of the October 23, 2020 ceasefire agreement, including the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces and mercenaries from Libya.  Secretary Blinken reiterated the U.S. commitment to increasing diplomatic support for progress in Libya.

Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Libyan Interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba Before Their Meeting

Remarks to the Press
Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
Berlin Marriott Hotel
Berlin, Germany
June 24, 2021

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Prime Minister, welcome again. And I’m so pleased to have this opportunity to see you, to see the foreign minister, to see your delegation, especially after the very good, good day we had yesterday, which I think demonstrated again the very strong support on the part of the international community, the United Nations for Libya, for a strong, positive future as a unified, independent, stable country without any foreign interference.

And I think the path that you’re on and that you’re leading the country on is – offers tremendous opportunity and possibility for the future. I know the Libyan people very much look forward to elections in December, and I know you’re working toward that, but we’re very pleased for this opportunity today to talk in a little bit more detail. So welcome. Very good to see you.

INTERIM PRIME MINISTER DABAIBA: Thank you, Secretary. We are very grateful for your presence with us yesterday.

You clearly presented your good position on several issues that are very important to us, and we look forward to a lot of support and cooperation, through Special Envoy Norland and the U.S. Embassy in Libya. We are grateful for your position, attitude and cooperation, that was very clear recently. This shows the level of interest the United States has in Libya and the Libyan position.

We are grateful for the wonderful cooperation we had in the African Lion Exercise and your invitation to Mr. Al-Haddad to be there with you on the ground.

Raising the level of Ambassador Norland to Special Envoy was appreciated because Mr. Norland personally knows the Libyan issue very well and knows the country, and he was one of the people who helped make this government a reality via the Geneva Conference and Tunis conferences and he visited all Libyan cities and knows the Parliament.

We have many difficulties and challenges ahead. We are counting a lot on the United States to collaborate with us in many fields, especially international cooperation, and building international relationships, especially concerning the countries that are involved in Libya.

We are on the same page, but our collaboration should not be limited to a political level only, we should also look at other ways like an economic partnership and we will discuss all that shortly.

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