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HIGH REPRESENTATIVE MOGHERINI: John, thank you for your visit here. We had a first bilateral in my new capacity, and I’m particularly happy this takes place in Brussels, so thank you for visiting and thank you for having a bilateral meeting here. I’m looking forward to come and visit you in Washington if we find you in Washington sometime, which might be a challenge.
We’ve had a good discussion as always on all issues open on the agenda, which are many. And we are concentrating more on the area around Europe, Ukraine, although we have discussed the further measures that European Union has decided to take in the last weeks, and also the way forward to push for full implementation of the Minsk agreement.
And we discussed a lot also this morning in a very good session with other states, other nations, our situation in Syria and in Iraq, the fight against Daesh and the common effort against terrorists in the area, and to stabilize the region.
And we also had a discussion on the Middle East peace process, where we are looking forward to work together. All the work that John has done in the last months needs to be resumed, and the European Union is more than ready to support the continuation of this work. We know that your dedication personally we appreciate very much, and we are ready to support your efforts.
We also discussed Libya – extremely worrying situation where we also will cooperate.
And we will now unfortunately leave you soon without questions because we are starting a EU-U.S. Energy Council, which is also going to be important for our cooperation not only on the energy policies and security but also on climate. This is also something we owe you a lot. The link between energy and climate and all the efforts that foreign ministers and the foreign policy community can do on energy and climate in view of the Paris conference next year and the Lima conference that is taking place in these days. We know that U.S. leadership on that is something we owe you and your inspiration very much, and we appreciate very much your (inaudible). I think no other moment in history where on this particular issue the EU and U.S. have exactly the same position, and I think we should build on it.
Other point we talked and reviewed, TTIP. We are ready to work closely together and hard to make the negotiations proceed. It’s going to be a strategic goal, not only an economic one but also political, and so we are ready to work together for that.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, thank you. Well, let me say that for me it’s a great pleasure to be here and to meet bilaterally with the new EU High Representative, and I’m delighted to be working with Federica. We began to build a strong foreign minister-to-foreign minister relationship when she represented Italy, and now we have a chance to work with her as the EU High Rep taking on a much larger role representing all 28 countries that are part of the EU.
It is safe to say that the U.S.-EU transatlantic partnership is as important a relationship as there is. We work so closely on all of the issues of concern that we face today. Federica just ran through a list of them. But obviously, at the top of the list right now is the challenge of dealing with Ukraine and the question of upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The EU has played a critical role in that. My original meetings in Geneva really were U.S., EU, Russia, and Ukraine, and now we have to try to see the Minsk agreement enforced and we have very, very strong energy-related, trade-related, security-related interests with respect to the outcome of that conflict.
We did have a very serious discussion this morning about Libya. We agree that Libya is at a particular moment of challenge for all of us, and we are very much seized by the issue and focused on it. We are supportive of Bernadino Leon’s initiative, but beyond that we are looking at other alternatives so that there’s not just one plan on the table. And I think we agreed today on a number of things that we can do and will do in order to try to minimize the violence, to end the violence, and find a constitutional process that will produce a government that has an ability to represent the people and can be sustainable.
In addition to that, we talked about ISIL/Daesh. Obviously, that was a large part of our conversation this morning in the session that we had, and we have significant interests there.
We also talked about the Mideast peace process, which may at this particular moment be a misnomer but nevertheless something that we are deeply committed to, and we will work on it. The United States believes that any solution that is ultimately going to be achieved, if there can be one, is going to achieved on a multilateral basis; it needs the support of the EU, it needs the support of the Arab community, it needs the support of the global community in order to take effect. And we will continue to work, and I will continue to consult with and work closely with Federica with respect to that.
There are many other issues, obviously. Federica mentioned the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, and I just want to say a quick word about that. There is a misunderstanding to some degree which we need to address, and we will address in the coming months, that this somehow is a challenge to European standards or Europeans’ regulatory structure. And it is anything but. This is an agreement which seeks to raise practices in trade to the highest common denominator, not the lowest. And we have great respect for the integrity of the European regulatory system. We are confident of the ability of this agreement to be done in a way which doesn’t pull down any standard or any expectation that Europeans have, but rather raises everybody to a common standard but opens up new opportunities for trade, investment, and for job creation. And we’re convinced that over the course of time we will be able to show people that the positive benefits are enormous.
So let me just summarize by saying that I am absolutely confident that given the nature of the challenges we face with Bosnia to Serbia to Ukraine to Egypt, throughout the Horn of Africa, the Maghreb, the Sahel, the Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, we all have interests that are shared. And the EU-U.S. relationship began strong and it’s going to get stronger in the days ahead as we work together. And I’m delighted that Federica has been willing to take on this important responsibility. We wish her well.
Thank you. Thank you very much.