US Secretary of State Praises South Africa and Says
US Secretary of State Praises South Africa and Says "We Are All In This Together" Photo: Reuters video keyframe

The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, today (Tues 30 Nov) praised South Africa for identifying the new variant, Omicron, and the way in which the country shared the news with the world.

Blinken said: “I really want to applaud and express gratitude to South Africa and its government for its extraordinary transparency and also the very important work it did in detecting this new variant (of coronavirus) and making it known to the world.

“That’s exactly, I think, a model of responsibility that South Africa has exhibited that we would hope everyone in the world would show because we are all in this together.”

Blinken took the opportunity to announce his gratitude to South Africa during a news conference with Latvian Foreign Minister, Edgars Rinkevics.

His comments come in sharp contrast to those of Texas governor Greg Abbott who has complained that “50 illegal immigrants from South Africa and other South African countries under the Biden travel ban have been apprehended by CBP this year, with 18 being apprehended this month alone.” Abbott is on a mission to prove “Biden’s open border policies must end”.

During the conference Blinken warned Russia of “serious consequences” if it renewed its “aggression” with the Ukraine. Blinken said: “We are very concerned about the movements we’ve seen along Ukraine’s border. We know that Russia often combines those efforts with internal efforts to destabilise a country. That’s part of the playbook and we’re looking at it very closely.” He said “any escalatory actions by Russia would be of great concern to the United States as they would to Latvia. And any renewed aggression would trigger serious consequences.”