Remarks With Portuguese Minister of State and Foreign Affairs Rui Machete

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 21, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. Bom dia. It’s my pleasure to welcome Foreign Minister Machete here back to Washington, and I’m delighted to be able to have a chance to talk with him about important issues between our countries.

Portugal, as everybody knows, is an old and firm ally of the United States, a NATO ally. And we’re particularly grateful for Portugal’s many efforts of global responsibility, not the least of which now are their support in the coalition against ISIL, their commitment to counterterrorism, their support for sanctions with respect to the Russian activities in Ukraine and our efforts to try to implement the Minsk agreement, which we all believe will help to quiet things down and stabilize the region and be good for everybody. We also are grateful for their support for our efforts in Iraq. And there is a very significant effort by Portugal to exercise responsibility towards the environment, towards the oceans, particularly the Gulf of Guinea.

So we appreciate it – that leadership – very much. And I know recently Portugal, like other countries in Europe, has been making difficult economic choices. And I want to congratulate Portugal on the fact that it is growing. We want to see that continue. We have high hopes, but we welcome you here. So thank you very much. We’re happy to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER MACHETE: Thank you very much. For me, it’s a great pleasure to come back to Washington and to see John Kerry again. We will have to talk about important international issues such as terrorism, Iran and the nuclear negotiations, and to congratulate John Kerry by the results and the negotiable – strong-willed stand in which – with which he led the negotiations, with of course the problems of the Middle East and terrorism.

And we have to talk about the bilateral problems we have on agenda. We have some difficulties to settle, but they are not – this is natural among allies. So we expect to have a good conversation. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you. Welcome. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.