Remarks With United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Hague
Secretary of State
United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office
London, United Kingdom
September 9, 2013
FOREIGN SECRETARY HAGUE: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a great pleasure to host my great friend and colleague, John Kerry, here in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office once again.
Of course, we have spent most of our time discussing the crisis in Syria. But I want to begin by paying tribute to Secretary Kerry for his work on the Middle East peace process, which has now led to the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a reminder, amidst all the difficulties of the whole Middle Eastern region, of the progress that effective diplomacy can offer. And I will meet President Abbas here in London later today.
The UK will do all it can to provide support to this process. And I will remain in close touch, as we always do, with Secretary Kerry on this in the coming weeks. Achieving a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very, very high priority in foreign affairs, and John Kerry has placed it there and given enormous energy to this in the last few months.
SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you, William. …
The relationship – well, let me just say also last night I had dinner and a long meeting with President Abbas, whom the Secretary will be meeting with shortly. And it was a very productive and informative session as part of our ongoing efforts in the Middle East peace process. The negotiators are negotiating. We have said we’re not going to discuss the substance on an ongoing basis, and we’re not. But I am encouraged that even though there have been difficulties along the way on both sides in their countries – in their territory and in the country – nevertheless, they are staying at it, and they are not allowing what historically have been disruptions that might have interrupted them from doing so at this time. That encourages me, in terms of the determination and purpose. And so we will continue this process thoughtfully and, hopefully, quietly over the course of the next weeks and months.