Remarks With German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Lubeck, Germany
April 15, 2015

FOREIGN MINISTER STEINMEIER: A very special welcome to our friend, John Kerry, who came a long way after his hearings in the Congress yesterday evening. It’s sunny weather in Lubeck, but that shouldn’t irritate us because the weather in international politics is quite stormy. The conflict in the eastern Ukraine is only two hours away from here, and we are discussing the situation in Ukraine, the Ukrainian conflict later on. And we are starting today with the stand on our negotiations with Iran. We have to discuss the situation in the Middle East with ISIS, about Iraq and Syria, and new reporting nearly every day about the changing situation in Yemen. We are quite satisfied that the United Nations Security Council yesterday decided about the resolution against arms delivery to the Houthis in Yemen. This is a little bit progress, but we are far away from a situation in which we are able to calm the situation to de-escalate or to find a political solution. We will discuss about the consequences of climate change for foreign policy and the stability of states and international relations, and we will discuss about maritime security here in a city in which we have a great tradition in which the Hanseatic League was founded and in which there is a (inaudible) experience on a regular base international order, and how to deal with situation in which this order is broken by somebody.

So I think it’s a splendid environment for our discussions today. And again, not only a good morning, but welcome here in Lubeck.

Some words?

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, we’re – first of all, let me say what a tremendous pleasure it is to be here in this world heritage city of Lubeck, which, as Frank Steinmeier just said, was the heart of the Hanseatic League and an important precursor to the rule of law. And we’re very, very privileged to be here with the G7, which has a critical voice right now on the major challenges that we face – ISIS, Yemen, the Middle East, Syria, Ukraine, Libya. The voices of every single country here are critical to the resolution of each of these conflicts. And I’m particularly grateful – and I think the other ministers join me in saying a profound thank you to Germany – for Germany’s great leadership. And Germany, together with France, have been absolutely critical to working through the challenge of Ukraine. We look to their leadership, and they’ve provided it.

So we have a lot to talk about today. And of course, looming large is the challenge of finishing the negotiation with Iran over the course of the next two and a half months. Yesterday, there was a compromise reached in Washington regarding congressional input. We are confident about our ability for the President to negotiate an agreement, and to do so with the ability to make the world safer. And again, every partner here has been absolutely critical to our ability to be able to get where we are today. So I’m grateful to be here to be part of this discussion for the period of time I can be, and I’m really grateful to each and every colleague here for the incredible partnership that is represented by the G7 at this point in time. And it’s wonderful particularly to be here in this historic city. Thank you.