Remarks With German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
July 21, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, is one of our closest partners, one of my closest colleagues and friends. And we have worked together extremely closely on any number of subjects.

Let me first begin by thanking Germany for a very significant contribution yesterday, first as co-host of a pledging conference that pulled together $2.1 billion for the immediate urgent needs of Iraq, but Germany’s individual contribution of 160 million is significant and we appreciate the leadership very, very much, Frank.

We’re also working on so many issues, frankly. Germany is a key leader in the anti-Daesh/ISIL coalition. We look forward to their leadership and thoughts today about how we continue to put pressure not only on Daesh but on all terrorism, and we are committed to that. We’re making progress against Daesh. We remain resolute against all terrorism.

We are also working very closely on the full implementation of the Minsk agreement, where Germany and France have been our lead negotiating teams who have pressed the Minsk agreement itself. We’re trying to work as a group to make sure this is fully implemented in order to restore Ukraine to the full sovereignty that it so desperately deserves and needs. And we are also deeply focused on Libya, on Yemen, on Syria, and on Middle East peace process, so – and Afghanistan, where Germany has been a significant and continued contributor to Operation Resolute.

So we are linked as never before. We just met in Brussels, we just met in London, and we are, both of us, firmly committed to a strong EU and to a very strong NATO and continued forceful engagement with respect to all of the issues that we confront.

So there’s a lot to talk about today. We have trade interests – obviously, we are interested in trying to further the discussion of TTIP. We’ll have some discussion about that today, but Frank, welcome to Washington. Glad to have you --


SECRETARY KERRY: -- as part of this effort today and thanks for your leadership.

FOREIGN MINISTER STEINMEIER: No, thank you. Thank you, John, for your kind words. This is indeed the fourth day of the week and we are meeting for the first – for the fourth time this week, so this is an impressive frequency in which we are meeting. And in addition to that, I wanted to say I think regarding the last decades, the relations between the two foreign ministries and the two foreign ministers were never closer than in these days.

And I want to thank you for your kind invitation to these very important two conferences yesterday and today. I should also congratulate you because I think there are not enough people around the world which – who are aware that we have to create living conditions in the liberated areas in which the people are able and willing to return. And so therefore, we need engagement, but for this engagement, we need some money. And this 2 billion yesterday, I think this is a really good and necessary fundament which gives us the opportunity to create attractive living conditions, so as we did that in Tikrit, for instance – 90 percent of the population has returned. We have to do the same in Fallujah. And hopefully, this will be the main issue today. Hopefully, we will be in a situation to think about the future of Mosul and the population of Mosul.

You were mentioning the other conflicts and crises we are dealing with. We have close cooperation, as you said, on Ukraine. We are trying to find some way out of the sphere of escalation in Syria, looking for a political solution. We are cooperating in Libya and I think we’re needing each other. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir.


SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you very much.