Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio Before Their Meeting

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, everyone.  Just a special pleasure to be with my good friend and colleague, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.  We have been working very, very closely together these past nine months, and in particular, besides our work here at the OECD, Luigi, very much looking forward to continuing to work on the Italian G20 presidency and the vital work that you and Italy are doing to lead us on COVID, on climate change, and on many of the other fundamental issues of our time.  So we have a lot to cover, but as always, wonderful to see you.

FOREIGN MINISTER DI MAIO:  Dear Tony, thank you very much for your close collaboration with us, and it’s a pleasure to be here, and congratulations for your leadership at OECD during these days.  And I think that there is – strongest link between all the international events that we participated together during this year involved the important issues that you mentioned as presidency – during the presidency of the G20 and the co-partnership of COP26.  We are managing issues – some issues like climate change.

But at the same time, your idea was crucial, your effort about the minimum taxation for the multinational companies.  And other similar issues which are issues about our public opinion is very sensitive, European public opinion is very sensitive.  And with your efforts about multilateralism and these things, these issues, I think that we will increase the collaboration between Italy and U.S. and in general between you and the EU and U.S.  It is crucial in this particular moment of the world.

So for this reason, thank you very much for your efforts.  Thank you very much for your commitment about multilateralism because it was an important gamechanger during this COVID era, one without – a world without multilateralism was impossible to face this challenge, so thank you very much, Tony, for your commitment (inaudible) and thank you to President Biden.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much, appreciate it.