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Blinken says other issues need to be solved before tackling climate change

Friday, February 23rd 2024 - 10:04 UTC
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Blinken was to arrive in Buenos Aires later this week for talks with President Javier Milei Blinken was to arrive in Buenos Aires later this week for talks with President Javier Milei

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted Thursday in Rio de Janeiro during a press conference at the G-20 convention of Foreign Ministers that multilateral organizations need to solve armed conflicts worldwide before moving on to other agendas such as climate change and social development.

Speaking about the crisis in Gaza, Blinken explained that “the best way to end the conflict is to work on the hostages.”

“We are constantly discussing this. It's the fastest and most efficient way to get where we want to go. We want an end to this conflict as soon as possible. And for the suffering of the innocent people caught in Hamas' crossfire to end. And we must think about the post-war period, about a sustainable, lasting and genuine peace,” he added after the US rejected earlier this week and for the third time a ceasefire proposal in the UN Security Council.

Regarding his meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brasilia on Wednesday, Blinken underlined that “we have many agendas in common” but rejected the South American leader's likening the situation in Gaza with the Holocaust, which has triggered a diplomatic rift between Brazil and US key ally Israel. “I strongly and profoundly disagree with the comparison made with the Holocaust. But that happens with friends. We can have disagreements and at the same time work together. And we agree that we need to act together to get the hostages out of Gaza and end the conflict,” Blinken went on.

The US top diplomat also spoke about the importance of investments to preserve the Amazon rainforest, the fight against hunger, the protection of workers' rights, and actions to reduce racial inequalities.

Blinken also said he hoped the G-20 summit in Rio in November would show that the world was against Russia for invading Ukraine. “There were strong speeches, not only from the G7 but from other countries, calling for an end to Russian aggression. And that the Ukrainians can decide on their own peace. It's worth reflecting on what the world thinks of Russia. This aggression has had consequences for other countries and peoples, such as rising food and oil costs. There has been a whole impact on the supply chain. As for new sanctions, stay tuned. They will come,” said Blinken.

According to a statement from the Planalto Palace, Lula and Blinken “agreed on the need for the creation of a Palestinian State” but they disagreed on Ukraine because the South American leader would prefer a “diplomatic” while the US supports Kyiv. The document also stressed Lula “reaffirmed his desire for peace and the end of the conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip”.

Lula and Blinken also reviewed the situation in Venezuela given the disenfranchisement of opposition leader María Corina Machado. The US hoped Lula would use his influence on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to bring about democratic elections.

Blinken was to arrive in Buenos Aires later this week for talks with President Javier Milei.


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