Remarks With Foreign Minister of Brazil Antonio de Aguiar Patriota Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 20, 2013

The video is available with closed captioning on YouTube.

SECRETARY KERRY: My wife is not here to speak Portuguese, but it’s her native tongue, and she wishes the Foreign Minister, as I do, a very, very warm welcome to Washington. We’re very happy to hook up. We’ve been talking about this for a while.

Our relationship with Brazil is an extremely important one, growing in its significance. And that is evident by the fact that President Rousseff will be here in October visiting with the President, and we look forward to that. The Vice President of the United States will be visiting Brazil towards the end of the month. And I am looking forward to getting there before long, and we’ve talked about that. And I very much look forward to that visit.

We want to strengthen the Global Partnership Dialogue that we share, and there’s a lot that we work on together, particularly trying to take best practices with respect to food security, law enforcement, science, technology, other climate, environment – try to take those best practices to places like Honduras and Mozambique. And in addition to that, Brazil has been very, very important and committed to important global challenges – Haiti, played a very, very strong role, and also making important pledges to the humanitarian crisis of Syria.

So we have a lot to talk about and a lot to build on. One of the things we hope will happen as a result of this Global Dialogue, Partnership Dialogue, is that more people will travel from America to Brazil and Brazil to America and strengthen our ties. And I think there’s a great deal to be gained by both. Brazil – I’ve been there before; I love it. It’s a fascinating country, enormously diverse and huge economic energy, huge life energy. One of the things I certainly look forward to – I’m a major football, as they call it there, soccer fan here. And the World Cup fascinates all of us. I’m going to find some way to be there during that.

But Mr. Foreign Minister, it’s a real pleasure to have you here. We appreciate your country’s engagement in the world and particularly the friendship with us.

FOREIGN MINISTER PATRIOTA: Well, thank you so much. I’m very pleased to be here in Washington for our first face-to-face meeting. We’ve been speaking on the phone on and off since Secretary Kerry has assumed his position. Of course, he’s been involved in international affairs for a long time. We know that he has ascribes great importance to the relations with Brazil.

As he mentioned, this meeting, well, it is lined up with several important events that will be taking place in the next weeks and months, the visit by Vice President Biden to Brazil before the end of May, and then visit by President Dilma Rousseff in October. So we want to resume our direct dialogue, very eager to do that, and look at the entire scope of the agenda. There is economic and trade issues, investment issues. We had a very successful meeting of the CEO forum earlier this year in March. There are energy issues where the United States has developed extraordinary technology for shale gas, for example, and where we would like to work together. Science and technology, innovation, a large number of Brazilian students studying in the U.S. now in the Science Without Borders program, and we’re very grateful for the welcome that they’ve received.

We also want to look at the global agenda, as Secretary Kerry was mentioning. I know he is a very committed – well, politician, and now the Secretary of State – when it comes to climate change, sustainable development. And having been the host of Rio+20 last year, we’d like to give specific and great importance to the follow-up to that whole agenda. There is the entire peace and security agenda. Of course, we’ll be very interested in hearing about Secretary’s Kerry’s latest initiatives regarding Israel-Palestine, regarding Syria. We wish to contribute to a peaceful, diplomatic solution to all these issues. We’re very inspired by the State of the Union Address that President Obama, when he says a decade of war is over, we need to talk more about diplomacy.

So these are some of the topics we will be discussing, and look forward to your visit to Brazil very soon, Mr. Secretary of State. I know you were in Brazil for the first conference on the environment and development – where it appears you may have met your wife?

SECRETARY KERRY: That’s right.

FOREIGN MINISTER PATRIOTA: Is that correct? So we would like to invite you to come back --

SECRETARY KERRY: Not a small connection.

FOREIGN MINISTER PATRIOTA: Not a small connection. And maybe come back with her very soon.



SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Mr. Minister. Appreciate it. Welcome.

PRN: 2013/0609