“My dear Tony, I am really very happy to welcome you to Paris,” declared Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, opening discussions with Blinken in an ornate room at the Quai d’Orsay.
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“You are expected to visit Paris because you are at home here. I would even be tempted to say, welcome home!
Blinken moved to Paris as a child with his stepfather, lawyer Samuel Pisar, and received his high school education in the French capital before returning to the United States for college and a career in the circles of democratic foreign policy.
Blinken greeted Le Drian in French before switching to English for the benefit of the rest of the US delegation.
“We are stronger and more effective when we work together,” said Blinken.
“Together we have the opportunity to demonstrate that our democracies can deliver real results,” he added, echoing a common theme for Biden.
Blinken traveled to Paris from Germany, which hailed a resumption of relations after the turmoil under Trump.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said she sees a growing consensus with the United States on China and Russia, despite Berlin’s generally more cooperative positions with the two powers.