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French Foreign Minister Visiting Chicago and Washington

Publié le May 14, 2014
Remarks between Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Before their Meeting
Washington, DC, May 13, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. This is, indeed, a pleasure. Laurent Fabius, the foreign minister of France, has welcomed me to France more times than I can count. He’s been an exceptional host, and most importantly, a great partner as we have worked together on issue after issue since I’ve become Secretary. 

Second time we’ve been pleased to have him here at the State Department; he was here with President Hollande not so long ago.
 
But today, we have much to talk about in the context of our partnership and work together. France has been really one of the most steady partners in almost every single endeavor that we are engaged in, particularly on the challenge of reaching an agreement with Iran with respect to Iran’s nuclear program; with respect to Syria, where we have worked from day one on our efforts to hold the Assad regime accountable and provide support to the moderate opposition; with respect to Libya, Mali, Chad, the Maghreb, the entire Middle East peace process, Afghanistan. I mean, there really is not an issue where we are not able to find a path to be partners.

 In addition to that, we share major responsibilities of the P5. The P5+1 initiative on Iran is a significant one. We work very closely together in Geneva and in Paris and elsewhere in our efforts to advance those negotiations. 

 So I’m happy to welcome Laurent here today. He’s now working with an expanded portfolio in the French Government in dealing with economic issues. I’ve said from day one foreign policy is economic policy, and economic policy is foreign policy. So we find ourselves working in concert on those issues too – on the health of our economies and the effort to provide jobs for our people. So it’s a great pleasure to welcome you here. Thank you, Laurent.

 FOREIGN MINISTER FABIUS: Merci. (In French.)

Je suis très heureux d’être ici. Je remercie beaucoup John Kerry de m’accueillir. C’est vrai que je n’étais pas venu ici, sauf pour la visite d’Etat du président Hollande, mais si je ne suis pas venu ici, c’est que toi, tu n’y es jamais ! John Kerry est à travers le monde, c’est notre cas à tous, et nous travaillons étroitement ensemble. Il n’y a pas de semaine sans que, soit nous nous voyons, soit nous nous passons un coup de fil. C’est vrai que les sujets à traiter sont très nombreux.
L’Iran, puisque les négociations recommencent aujourd’hui, les questions qui touchent la Syrie, et nous aurons jeudi prochain à Londres, une réunion des Amis de la Syrie ensemble, les questions qui touchent bien sûr l’Ukraine, et puis nos relations bilatérales qui sont très bonnes. Et il y a un point que je veux aborder avec John Kerry, c’est la question du climat, puisque, vous le savez sans doute, l’an prochain la France va accueillir la COP 21, la grande conférence sur le climat, et nous avons en fait 500 jours pour éviter un chaos sur le climat. La situation est très difficile, et très importante aussi, et c’est seulement par l’effort de tous, les Américains, les Chinois, les autres nations -il se trouve que la France présidera cette conférence- que l’on peut arriver à un résultat qui est déterminant pour l’avenir de l’humanité. Je sais que le président Obama et John Kerry sont personnellement très engagés dans cette tâche, et nous allons donc travailler étroitement ensemble sur ce sujet comme sur les autres.

I’m very happy to be with John, there is no week without a phone call or visit between John and myself. We have an agenda, many (inaudible), many issues, Iran, because negotiations are resuming today, the question of Syria on which we meet next Thursday in London together. Ukraine as well, and the very important issue of climate change, climate chaos, and we have, I said, 500 days to avoid the climate chaos, and I know that President Obama and John Kerry himself are committed on this subject, and I am sure that them with a lot of other friends, we should be able to reach the success of this very important matter. It’s always a pleasure to meet with John, we are working closely together, we speak either French of English, but the most important point, whatever the language is, is to agree. And that’s the case. Merci.

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