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Remarks With Italian Foreign Minister Mogherini

Remarks With Italian Foreign Minister Mogherini Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Villa Taverna
Rome, Italy
March 6, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s my privilege, strangely, in Italy, but because we are at the Embassy residence, to welcome Federica Mogherini, the foreign minister of Italy, to welcome her to Villa Taverna, where tonight we have an opportunity to be able to break bread and have an in-depth discussion about the challenges that Italy and the United States face together. And we will be joined shortly by the prime minister, who is returning from Brussels. So we’ll have a chance to really dig in.

I just want to say that the United States and Italy are cooperating on so many different fronts. We have at this moment really a very strong and important relationship because we are cooperating on some of the most difficult issues facing the world today – Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Libya, and of course, the question of Ukraine, and others, North Korea and so forth.

So the relationship is also special because Italy is host to some American forces, because we have a very strong economic relationship, and obviously, an abiding cultural and historic link which is deep in the United States of America and here. So it’s a pleasure for me to be able to get to know Federica. She had baptism by fire today with a huge number of foreign ministers descending on her in first weeks in office. It was a terrific meeting with respect to Libya, and I congratulate her and Italy for hosting not only a successful meeting but for providing a compact which will be very important to the governance development as we go forward with Libya and develop its democracy.

We also want to talk about the trade relationship. We have a very robust agenda, both of our countries, to try to complete the task of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. And needless to say, everyone in the world is trying to create more investment, more jobs. We believe the TTIP has the ability to put our people back to work – in Italy, in America, in Europe. It’s good for all of us. So we’ll continue to work on that as well as discuss some of the critical foreign policy issues that are confronting both of us.

So I really thank you. Thank you for a great beginning today, and we appreciate everything.

FOREIGN MINISTER MOGHERINI: Thank you very much. And you actually said everything, so I guess that shows how our friendship is deep and real. All the considerations you made, we (inaudible) we were very happy to meet (inaudible) in Rome (inaudible) conference here today on Libya. You said we share a common point of view, a common effort, and I think also some hopes on the most difficult issues around the world – Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon – we were together yesterday in Paris discussing that – Libya.

For us, the main message of today is that we have to take a common responsibility because it’s our common global interest to make sure that the Mediterranean and Middle East doesn’t blow up. It’s a security issue, it’s not just a (inaudible) issue. And I think today we did an excellent job together to (inaudible) a way of concrete measures to support their efforts.

On Ukraine, we were happy today to provide a space for bilateral and multilateral talks. We hope that brings some result in the coming hours. We will discuss that issue tonight as well. So we are proud that Rome has been playing some part of role in an effort to find a diplomatic solution, hopefully, to the crisis in Ukraine.

Also on TTIP, on the (inaudible), we will use our presidency of the European Union starting from July 1st to try and make it move faster and in the right direction. I’m sure that that is a key element for our relation, apart from our bilateral relations, that I’m sure will stay not only very strong but also very friendly, as always.

Thank you very much.



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