Remarks With UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
July 23, 2014

SECRETARY KERRY: Secretary-General, do you want to – we’re working hard, and I’m not going to get into the characterizing, but we have certainly made some steps forward and there’s still work to be done. But I’m very appreciative that the secretary-general is making great efforts. The UN is wholeheartedly in this effort to try to see if we can advance not just a cease-fire but a sustainable process of going forward, which is very important.

Let me just say – I want to say a word of profound gratitude to the people of Israel for the extraordinary turnout today for Max Steinberg’s funeral. Thirty thousand people, maybe more, spontaneously came out. He doesn’t have family here. But it’s a remarkable statement, and we’re very grateful.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary-General, do you think it’s appropriate for Qatar to be paying for your flight here, given their support for Hamas?

SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN: No – ladies and gentlemen, this is the 15th day since the crisis began. We do not have much time to wait and lose.

I really appreciate the – Secretary Kerry’s very intensive, very dynamic engagement with the world leaders. As I have been doing together, we are now joining our forces and strength to make a cease-fire as soon as possible, but for us still some detailed way which we have to wait. That is why I am meeting Secretary Kerry for the second time, but we’re going to continue to discuss this matter.

I just spoke with the Prime Minister Netanyahu and I am also working with the – all the parties concerned who would have some influence in helping our joint efforts as well as working together to bring an end to this crisis as soon as possible.