Remarks With Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Before Their Meeting

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

SECRETARY KERRY: It’s my great pleasure to be back here with the prime minister, who has finally arrived. He rushed back from Brussels to get here, and I’m very appreciative personally for his tremendous effort to be able to do that. Thank you very much.

I spoke earlier about the strength of our relationship, Mr. Prime Minister, and the many things we are working on here together. So I’m not going to repeat all of that now, but you know what they are, ranging from Afghanistan to Syria and so forth. And then we also talked about the TTIP and the economic development, which I know is a priority for you.

So why don’t I let you – let me just thank you on behalf of President Obama, our country. We really look forward to continuing the relationship and we wish you well.

PRIME MINISTER RENZI: We wait for President Obama --


PRIME MINISTER RENZI: -- the last days of March 27th --

SECRETARY KERRY: And we’ll be there.

PRIME MINISTER RENZI: -- at the ceremony here. And obviously, I’m really honored for this opportunity of meeting with the Secretary of State John Kerry, my friend John Phillips. I visited the – John Phillips’s house in Washington, D.C. when I was a young supporter and Democrat in 2006, maybe 2006, 2007 – it was ’08, okay, all right.

And here now, as prime minister, obviously I’m really grateful to United States Government for their cooperation, for their collaboration in every field – obviously, the international crisis in this moment, we’re very dedicated, but in general and in the cooperation in cultural, economical, and infrastructural fields.

So thank you so much, John, for your invitation today, and for me it’s – thank you also for the meeting for Libya because now, obviously, the attention is global about the Ukraine crisis. It’s normal, it’s obviously – but I think it’s very important also (inaudible) meetings of today in Libya and a discussion. And so I think we must improve the excellent relation of the United States, and I’m really, really honored by your presence here in Italy and what – we work to organize a very important meeting with President Obama in the last days of March.

SECRETARY KERRY: We look forward to it. I will be here.

PRIME MINISTER RENZI: Excellent. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: I look forward to it. Thank you.


SECRETARY KERRY: All right. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.