Secretary Blinken’s Travel to Vienna, Seoul, Manila, Jeddah, Cairo, and Tel Aviv

Secretary Blinken’s Travel to Vienna, Seoul, Manila, Jeddah, Cairo, and Tel Aviv

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to Vienna, Seoul, Manila, Jeddah, and Cairo from March 14 to 22, 2024.

In Vienna, Secretary Blinken will attend the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and serve as Head of Delegation for the United States during the High-Level Segment. At the CND, the Secretary will emphasize that illicitly manufactured synthetic drugs and their precursors are fueling a public health crisis that affects communities across the United States and around the globe. The United States looks to secure concrete commitments from countries to take domestic, regional, and international action to address synthetic drugs and their precursors. While in Vienna, Secretary Blinken will also meet with senior Austrian officials, as well as International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi to discuss nuclear safety, security, and safeguards issues.

In Seoul, Secretary Blinken will lead the U.S. delegation to the third Summit for Democracy, hosted by the Republic of Korea, bringing together leaders from governments, civil society, and the private sector committed to strengthening democratic governance, protecting human rights, and advancing the fight against corruption. The Summit demonstrates how the United States and like-minded democracies organize to address the world’s most pressing challenges. The U.S. will also highlight progress made since the last Summit for Democracy to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware. The Secretary will also meet with Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul and other ROK officials.

In Manila, Secretary Blinken will meet with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo to advance shared economic priorities and underscore the United States’ ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Philippine alliance. Secretary Blinken, President Marcos, and Secretary Manalo will discuss areas to deepen U.S.-Philippine cooperation on a range of bilateral and global issues, including on regional peace and stability, human rights and democracy, economic prosperity, health, clean energy, semiconductors, and the digital economy.

In Jeddah, Secretary Blinken will meet with Saudi leadership and then continue to Cairo to meet with Egyptian leadership. In his meetings in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Secretary will discuss efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire agreement that secures the release of all remaining hostages, intensified international efforts to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and coordination on post-conflict planning for Gaza, including ensuring Hamas can no longer govern or repeat the attacks of October 7, a political path for the Palestinian people with security assurances with Israel, and an architecture for lasting peace and security in the region.  The Secretary will also discuss the imperative of ending Houthi attacks on commercial ships and restoring stability and security to the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

In Israel, Secretary Blinken will discuss with the leadership of the Government of Israel the ongoing negotiations to secure the release of all hostages. He will discuss the need to ensure the defeat of Hamas, including in Rafah, in a way that protects the civilian population, does not hinder the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and advances Israel’s overall security. The Secretary will discuss U.S. and international efforts to dramatically increase and sustain the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians who are suffering from a lack of adequate food supplies. He will also update Israeli leaders on his talks with Arab leaders to build lasting peace and security for Israelis, Palestinians, and the broader region.

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USA - USA DAILY NEWS 24 originally published at USA - USA DAILY NEWS 24