Remarks With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
The London NYC
New York City
September 23, 2016

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: John, Secretary of State Kerry, friend, it’s good to see you again. We had, I thought, an excellent meeting with President Obama. I look forward to continuing our conversation, which I have to divulge we do every other day by phone, sometimes every day. But it’s always important and productive to talk directly about how we can advance peace and stability with our neighbors in the region, and that’s something I look forward to doing with you now. So welcome.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, sir. Well, let me say the meeting with the President was, as the prime minister says, a very constructive meeting. And I think the size and structure of the memorandum of understanding which provides for a long-term commitment of security between the United States and Israel is a remarkable statement about the relationship between our countries. I don’t think any secretary of state in history has talked with the prime minister of Israel as many times, as frequently, or visited as frequently as I have. And while our term is coming to an end, my affection for Israel, my commitment to Israel, will last well beyond my tenure as Secretary of State, and I look forward to continuing to have this conversation.

There are things we believe we could achieve in the next months, and there are serious concerns that we all have about the security of the region, the need for stability, the need to protect the two-state solution. And our hope is obviously that we can find a way to utilize the friendship of our countries to advance, what we believe is not only in the highest priority for Israel to provide for its long-term security, but also to create a new relationship within the region that can be powerful in reinforcing that long-term security interest.

So we have a lot to talk about, a lot to build on, I might add too, because we are friends and we have a common interest. So I’m happy to be here. Thank you.