Remarks With German Chancellor Angela Merkel Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
The Chancellery
Berlin, Germany
February 26, 2013

The video below is available with
closed captioning on YouTube.


SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Chancellor. It’s a great privilege for me to be here with you. I bring you the greetings of President Obama, who could not be more grateful for his very warm and close relationship with you. He really appreciates your cooperation, as do all of us. And if I can say, it is a great privilege for me to be back not only in Germany but in Berlin particularly.

As you mentioned a moment ago, I did have the privilege of spending a few youthful years here a long time ago. I can remember bicycling right out here and going past the Reichstag, which was then in a state of destruction. And what you have done for this city and for the country is nothing short of remarkable. This is one of the great cities of the world, and it’s a privilege for me to be able to visit it today.

President Obama and the American people would really like to thank you for what is unquestionably one of our strongest most vibrant alliances in the world. Our alliance extends not only to the economic issues in which we work together, but obviously to the other things you just mentioned globally – the Mideast peace process, Afghanistan, counterterrorism, Iran. You have been a leader on every single one of those, and you’re helping us all to make a difference.

I look forward to the opportunity to talk with you about a number of those issues today. But most importantly, I think the President – President Obama believes there is a really unique opportunity looking at us now, and that is with the transatlantic partnership investment and trade agreement. We think this is something that can help lift the economy of Europe, strengthen our economy, create jobs for Americans, for Germans, for all Europeans, and create one of the largest allied markets in the world. It will help raise standards, it will help break down barriers, and we believe it is good for all of us.

So we have a huge vision to work on, and we also have some current crises to try to deal with. And we thank you again for Germany’s exemplary leadership, and it’s a privilege for me to be here. Thank you.


PRN: 2013/ T01-05