Remarks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Rome, Italy
December 14, 2014

FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: Sorry for Sunday evening, guys. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thanks everybody. We’re delighted to be here. We have a number of critical issues to talk about, and I’m very appreciative of Foreign Minister Lavrov changing his schedule and traveling on short notice to be here. I look forward to our conversations. I’m delighted to welcome him here to the American Embassy Residence in Rome. Thank you, Sergey.

FOREIGN MINISTER LAVROV: Thank you, John. I believe the Middle East issue is crucial for making sure that we don’t allow the situation to degrade further. And I would be very much interested in discussing what we can do together to avoid this.

SECRETARY KERRY: Good. I appreciate that. Thank you all.


QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all. We’re just going to go to work.