Arquivos de tags: Blinken

Blinken to cut short Asia trip and return to DC over reporter’s Covid diagnosis

Blinken to cut short Asia trip and return to DC over reporter's Covid diagnosis
Blinken will miss meetings with Thai officials in Bangkok

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blink, announced on Wednesday that he was cutting short a diplomatic trip to Southeast Asia and returning to the US out of an “abundance of caution” after a reporter in his entourage tested positive for Covid-19.

Mr Blinken was traveling in the region to meet with officials in Indonesia, Malásia, and Thailand, but decided to end the trip instead of meeting with officials in Thailand; a statement from the secretary’s spokesperson indicated that as a result, Mr Blinken had invited the Thai foreign minister to Washington.

The secretary extended an invitation for the foreign minister to visit Washington, D.C. at the earliest opportunity and noted that he looked forward to traveling to Thailand as soon as possible,” Ned Price said. “They affirmed that they would use the upcoming engagements to further deepen the US-Thai alliance.

The unnamed journalist whose positive Covid-19 diagnosis ended Mr Blinken’s southeast Asia swing will remain in isolation in Kuala Lumpur, Malásia, until their symptoms subside according to the State Department.

As part of his trip, Mr Blinken was set to discuss with Thai officials how the US and Thailand can work towards “post-pandemic economic recovery, and addressing the climate crisis”. He previously met with officials in Malaysia, Indonésia, and attended the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in the UK.

The issue of the ongoing political strife in Myanmar, where the country’s military has seized power from a civilian government, was also on the list of issues to be discussed with officials from all three countries.

A separate statement from the agency earlier in the morning confirmed that Mr Blinken and his accompanying aides had all tested negative.

“We learned this morning, through our routine PCR testing, that a member of our traveling press pool tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur. The individual had last tested negative in Jakarta, our previous stop. The individual who tested positive will remain in isolation, and we will continue to adhere to and go beyond CDC guidance, including with our rigorous testing protocol, for the remaining traveling party,” read the statement.

“The Secretary and his senior staff were also tested upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, and all tested negative,” it continued.