SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Greetings, everyone.  It is a true pleasure to welcome Foreign Minister Landsbergis to the State Department, the United States.  Gabrielius, it’s wonderful to see you here.  We’ve had the opportunity to see each other at NATO and talk on the phone numerous times, but it’s particularly good to have you at the State Department in Washington.

Lithuania and the United States are very strong partners in NATO.  We stand together for collective defense and security.  We stand against economic coercion, including that being exerted by China.  And we stand strongly for democracy, including in Belarus, where we’re very much working together.  And I also want to say on a personal note that the foreign minister has been such a strong voice for democracy and human rights not just in Lithuania, but around the world, and in that sense it’s also a particular pleasure to be with you and work with you.  So welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER LANDSBERGIS:  Thank you so much, Mr. Secretary.  It is a great pleasure to be here, and especially on the day of International Day for Democracy.  It’s truly symbolic that we can reaffirm our commitment to defend democracy, liberty, human rights across the globe.  And we have some knowledge about that since we are still a young democracy – just 30 years since we’ve ourselves re-established our nationhood.  But then we feel that it’s very right and the right thing to do to help others who are striving to do the same thing across the globe.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Welcome.  It’s great to have you.  We can hear democracy in action outside right now.

FOREIGN MINISTER LANDSBERGIS:  Yes, absolutely.  Thank you so much.

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