Remarks With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
December 13, 2013

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Good morning. Do you mind if I say a few words in Hebrew, then in English?

SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah, please.


John, would you like to say a few words? This is the first time we spoke about --

SECRETARY KERRY: I figured (inaudible.)

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Jerusalem was under siege once in antiquity. We’re celebrating – we’re commemorating that today. It’s under a snow siege today, but we’ve always weathered these storms. And we’ve sought to reach better times, and this is our purpose here, too. I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance our goals of peace and security.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, Bibi. Well, I’ve heard of making your guests welcome and feeling at home. This is about as far as I’ve ever seen anybody go, giving me a nice New England snow storm. We took about I don’t know how many hours to come back from Ramallah last night, but we’re very appreciative to the police forces of Israel and to the Palestinian efforts, because the roads were very tough and we were very fortunate to be able to get back.

I’m delighted to be here. I’m on my way to Asia, heading to Vietnam and the Philippines, which is a long-promised trip. But I wanted to come through here in an effort to try to continue our important discussions. And it’s been constructive. It’s always complicated, but I look forward to having some good talks this morning after meeting with President Abbas last night. We have a lot to talk about, and we will continue this process.

Thank you, sir.

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Good to see you in snowy Jerusalem.

SECRETARY KERRY: (Laughter.) (Inaudible.)

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Well, we always say Jerusalem of Gold; this is Jerusalem of snow. We have that, too.

SECRETARY KERRY: Very beautiful. Anyway, thank you all.

PRN: 2013/ T20-01