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Rice With South Korean FM Ban Ki-Moon

Remarks With South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon Before Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
The Secretary of State's Outer Office
Washington, DC
February 14, 2005


(11:00 a.m. EST)

SECRETARY RICE: Well, we've had a very good relationship in the past, and I know that we're going to continue to be able to work. We have a lot of issues ahead of us, but a very strong alliance and friendship on which to --

FOREIGN MINISTER BAN: It's a source of great satisfaction for us, too, that we have been able to maintain such an excellent bilateral alliance relationship, but during the few years, we have been able to manage a very small piece to our mutual satisfaction on this important bilateral engagement and I'm really looking forward to your great leadership and cooperation and friendship as we work together in the future.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, thank you. And I should just welcome the Minister. We have met before. I think the last time that we sat together; I was actually in the Republic of Korea, in your office.

FOREIGN MINISTER BAN: Yes.

SECRETARY RICE: And I very much welcome you here. I look forward to discussions of the many issues before us. But as we were just saying, it's a very, very strong friendship and alliance with the Republic of Korea and the United States. We have many mutual interests and we share common values. We look forward to working on the many challenges that we have in the region, and we'll have a full discussion of regional issues, we'll have a full discussion of bilateral issues. And again, welcome.

QUESTION: Do you have any reaction to Hariri's death?

QUESTION: Can we have a handshake?

SECRETARY RICE: That we can do.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you have any reaction to Prime Minister -- former Prime Minister Hariri's death?

MR. BOUCHER: Okay, I think that's it for now. We'll have to go.

SECRETARY RICE: We'll get you a reaction on that in a little bit. I'll get back to you shortly. 2005/186

Released on February 14, 2005


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