Remarks With Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 17, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m really pleased to be able to meet now one-on-one with Minister Baird. And he’s just informed me that he’s literally taking off from here to go over to the Middle East, where Canada has been a very important partner and supporter of the Middle East peace process. And I’m very grateful to Canada for their support and interventions.

We also will be talking in a few minutes about the leaders’ meeting that will take place in February. The Prime Minister and President Obama and President Pena Nieto – they will meet in order to follow up with the agenda that we’re laying out here today, which obviously is really focused on the economic relationship, the ability to grow more jobs, and the ability to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that we’re all working on.

We’re celebrating 20 years of NAFTA. It’s an extraordinary story, a great accomplishment, and we believe we still have growth in this relationship in North America. So the relationship between Canada, the United States, and Mexico is on the cusp of a lot of new initiatives, and we think we all benefit. Our citizens get more jobs and they get more security, and that’s what our goal is.

FOREIGN MINISTER BAIRD: Thank you for taking the time. We’re obviously focused on job creation, economic growth, long-term prosperity. I look forward to chatting about Keystone. I look forward to chatting about what Canada can do to support your courageous leadership in finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about the upcoming Geneva II and what we can do to try and bring an end to the war against the Syrian people.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, any word on the Syrian opposition?

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much.

No, we haven’t heard yet. Thank you.