Remarks With Vice President Joe Biden and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 30, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the State Department. It’s my distinct privilege to welcome the President of Chile Michelle Bachelet – as President Obama said a few moments ago, his second favorite Michelle in the world. And we’re delighted to have her here, and she is very, very familiar with this area. She lived here in the Embassy with her father. She went to school in Maryland. And from that time until today, she has really lived the journey of Chile, and frankly, during some of its most difficult, difficult periods. She is currently embarked on a process of strengthening the economy of her country, building a relationship with the United States that is even stronger than our partnership that is now entering its third century. And we are really delighted to welcome her here to Washington.

We just had an excellent meeting. I want to particularly thank her for the tremendous participation and leadership of Chile in the Ocean Conference we had here a few weeks ago. And Chile has agreed to take on the follow-on conference next year which is an enormous step, and we’re grateful for her leadership and many other issues we work on together.

But let me turn now to my friend of many, many years, and the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’ll be very brief. Welcome, I hope the hospitality we’re showing you is just a portion of the hospitality you showed me. Twice I visited you at your inauguration. And let me just say Chile is more than a partner. They are a leader. They’re a leader in all of this hemisphere and I think, working together, that we can have a hemisphere that is democratic and middle class and secure, in large part because we have great leaders in the Southern Hemisphere like the president.

And so it’s been great working with her. We’re looking forward to actually getting her some lunch. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT BACHELET: Thank you. Thank you, Secretary of State. Thank you, Vice President. We’re very pleased to be here at the State Department again as president of the republic, and we’re looking forward to continuing our conversations of many issues, bilateral issues. We’re going to sign some MOUs afterwards, but also, since we are sitting at the Security Council in the UN together with you, a lot of other regional and global issues. Thank you very much.