Blinken Arrives in Berlin for Libya Conference 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Berlin for talks Tuesday with German leaders and to take part in a conference on Libya’s political future. Germany and the United Nations are hosting Wednesday’s Berlin conference, seeking to build on earlier efforts to bring about a lasting halt in fighting in Libya and support a stable government.  Wheels up for my visit as Secretary to Germany, France, and Italy. First stop, Berlin, where I’ll be engaging with our partners to further peace and stability through the Berlin II dialogue. Looking forward to a productive trip! U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport in Schonefeld, Germany, June 23, 2021, to travel to Berlin. Blinken begins a week long trip to Europe traveling to Germany, France and Italy.  
Norland said those attending the Berlin conference would also discuss “destabilizing actions by armed groups and terrorism,” citing recent attacks in Libya claims by Islamic State militants.    U.S. State Department officials also highlighted the need to counter those who are denying or distorting the Holocaust, which will be the subject of talks between Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas this week.    “As knowledge of the Holocaust wanes, nefarious individuals, organizations, and occasionally governments engage in Holocaust denial and distortion for all manner of ends,” U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Cherrie Daniels told reporters.  Daniels said promoting greater education about the Holocaust, its consequences and its origins will help government officials and the public “recognize modern manifestations of anti-Semitism and even other forms of hatred” and push back against them.  Defeating Islamic State will be the focus of another conference co-hosted by Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio as Blinken visits Rome on a later stop during his European trip. Blinken is also due to take part in a ministerial meeting in Italy concerning Syria and the humanitarian needs in that country.  The European trip also takes Blinken to France to meet with President Emmanuel Macron, following up on U.S. President Joe Biden’s recent meetings with allies in the region to boost trans-Atlantic relations.  “This is really an opportunity for Secretary Blinken to reiterate the President’s message and speak with our oldest ally about areas of cooperation, including global security, again, the pandemic’s — recovery from the pandemic, and repairing and modernizing our alliances,” Acting Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker told reporters Monday.    Blinken is also scheduled to visit the Vatican, where Reeker said the agenda for meetings includes combatting climate change and human trafficking. 

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