SECRETARY BLINKEN: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a great pleasure to welcome to welcome the foreign minister here to the State Department, to Washington. I was very much looking forward to this conversation.
I have to start, though, on a very difficult note, which is to share again our condolences for the 10 Nepali students who were murdered by Hamas in Israel. We feel their loss deeply, as we feel the loss of so many who were slaughtered by Hamas.
We have 76 years of diplomatic relations between Nepal and the United States, and Nepal is today a very valued partner in the Indo-Pacific. We’re working together to ensure that we have a free, open, secure, prosperous region. And in so many ways, Nepal is leading, not just in the region but globally, as a very constructive actor in international organizations – of course, with so many peacekeepers who are trying to help people move from conflict to peace around the world. And in our own bilateral relationship, we’re working to deepen it and strengthen it even more, particularly with more people-to-people ties, and as well, economic ties, investment.
So, we have a lot to talk about today, and I’m just delighted to have you here.
FOREIGN MINISTER SAUD: Good afternoon, everybody. First of all, I would convey my gratitude to Secretary of State Antony Blinken for providing us such a precious time in this complicated situation especially in Middle East and other preoccupied schedule.
Nepal and the United States has very long and close relations. The United States is a development partner of Nepal. The United States is helping us in too many sectors, especially in (inaudible) of health, education – and now in the Middle East also – we are victim of terrorism. We – I would like to thank Mr. Secretary for giving us condolence. We have lost our 10 students there, and one is kidnapped.
And we’ll have a triple meeting after this. And I would thanks United – Government of the United States and American people for helping Nepal in any crisis, any problems. Thank you.
SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you. Thanks, everyone.