Remarks After Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Hangzhou International Expo Center
Hangzhou, China
September 4, 2016


SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good afternoon, all, and thank you for your patience. I gather you’ve been waiting for a little bit. When our teams met – (inaudible) – when our teams met in Geneva, we left Geneva with documents that went back to both capitals to review. And Minister Lavrov and I scheduled time to meet today, which we did; we just met for a couple of hours and to review the review. And I think it’s fair to say that everybody knows from the President’s comments earlier today, which I thought were very much on point, how complicated this issue is because of how many different forces there are – different players, stakeholders, entities, and so forth.

And so we’ve been working very hard over these past months to see, if we can get something, that we get it right and that what we get is sufficiently pinned down that we both understand where we’re going. It’s fair to say that out of the review I think there are a couple of tough issues that we talked about today that he will go back and review, I will go back and review, and we’ve agreed to meet tomorrow morning and see whether or not it is possible to bridge the gap, come to conclusion on those couple of issues. And if not, we’re determined to do what I’ve said all along, which is take the time to make sure that we’re doing this in a way that gives it the best chance of success.

So we will meet in the morning. We’re going to review some ideas tonight, a couple things on these couple of tough issues, and come back together and see where we are. And I think that’s a wise and important thing to do. I’ve said all along we’re not going to rush and we’re not going to do something that we think has less than what we believe is a legitimate opportunity to be able to try to get the job done.

So my thanks to you for following it today, for being interested in it. We will meet tomorrow morning and we’ll give you a sense of where we are at that point in time. An awful lot of technical things have been worked out, a lot of things are clear, but there still remain, as I say, a couple of tough issues. We’ve got to figure out how to make certain both of us can be comfortable with the resolution to those issues, so that’s what we’re working on. Thank you all very much.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

QUESTION: Secretary, can you say what some of those tough issues are?

SECRETARY KERRY: I can’t. No, I want to keep faith with what I’ve said all along, which is not – because everything’s interconnected, and so we’ll let – we’ll give you a sense. Let’s see where we are tomorrow.

QUESTION: Do you think that (inaudible) this deal?

STAFF: Thanks, everybody. Sir, we’ve got to go meet the President. Thanks, everybody.

QUESTION: Is there any resistance to --

SECRETARY KERRY: Everybody’s signed off on what we talking about just now. We’re just trying to figure out how to solve a couple of problems. Thanks.