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Diplomacy in Action

Remarks With EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
London, United Kingdom
June 13, 2014


SECRETARY KERRY: I’m really happy to be meeting with Lady Cathy Ashton because we have been working together on almost every issue of concern right now – Ukraine, Syria, Middle East – and most importantly, Cathy is marshaling the P5+1 and the Iran talks that we are deeply involved in right now. We’re a critical six, seven weeks in those Iran talks, so it’s very important that we sit down, take stock, prepare notes as our teams are working, and think about how we’re going to move in these next weeks. And I’m very, very happy to be here with her.

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE ASHTON: And I’ll just reciprocate. We meet at an extraordinary time in world events. We think about what’s happening in Iraq right now. I know that you have been here, as indeed I have, to talk about the issues of sexual violence in conflict in the conference which has been so important, and I pay tribute to William Hague and Angelina Jolie for the work they’ve done on that. But as later, when we meet, I think one of our main focal points is to talk about the ongoing negotiations for Iran. I will leave for Vienna on Sunday, and continue with the work ahead. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you all.

QUESTION: Are you now talking to the Iranians about what – during the P5+1 talks or on the sidelines about what might be done in Iraq, about what kind of help they might be able to bring in Iraq?

SECRETARY KERRY: The talks are focused carefully and with discipline on the nuclear topic, and whatever dialogue may or may not be taking place would take place on the sideline or outside of the mainstream of the nuclear talks. We don’t want that linked and mixed.

QUESTION: Why not?

STAFF: We’ve got to go. Thank you.

PARTICIPANT: Thank you. Thanks.

HIGH REPRESENTATIVE ASHTON: By mandate from the Security Council for the talks only.



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