Praising its global leadership on important foreign-policy issues like democracy and anti-Semitism, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by video to the American Jewish Committee’s annual Global Forum on Monday.

Blinken praised the committee’s advocacy in favor of Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, noting that AJC was the first Jewish organization outside of Ukraine to call on former President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to recognize its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union.

“I’d like to thank AJC’s leadership in standing up for democracy and human rights around the globe, as we see in the recent solidarity with, and support for, the people of Ukraine, as they defend their nation against the Russian government’s war of brutal aggression,” he said.

Blinken said the need to combat anti-Semitism is a priority not just for the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt but for the entire U.S. State Department.

“History has shown that hatred of Jews often goes hand in hand with hatred of other groups,” he noted. “And in places where anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial spread, repression and democracy backsliding are often not far behind.”

Blinken promised the attendees of the forum in New York that America’s commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad, and that it was working with Israeli officials to make sure that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon while working to increase cooperation between Israel and its Arab allies from the Abraham Accords.

He added that the administration is “working tirelessly to expand the normalization” agreements.

According to Blinken, much of the work of the State Department mirrors that of AJC, bringing governments and religious leaders from across the world together to counter intolerance, hatred and anti-Semitism.

The secretary of state also praised outgoing CEO David Harris and welcomed incoming CEO, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), calling him a friend.

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