Remarks Before Meeting With German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Secretary of State
October 22, 2015
PRIME FOREIGN MINISTER STEINMEIER: (In German.)
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, (inaudible) danke, my friend. How are you? (Laughter.) You will hear that I have (inaudible) my voice (inaudible) too much talking (inaudible). Let me say to start with that I really appreciate the friendship and the leadership offered by Germany, by Chancellor Merkel, and by my friend Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is relentless in his own diplomacy. And I appreciate his cooperation enormously.
I listened carefully to what Frank just said, and I come directly from several hours of conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I would characterize that conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that could be, in the next couple of days, put on the table which would have an impact, I hope, on the perceptions of everybody engaged that there is a way to defuse the situation and begin to find a way forward. I don’t want to be excessive in stating that, but I am cautiously encouraged that we discussed a number of different things that now need to be discussed with King Abdullah, with President Abbas, with others in the region.
But if parties want to try, and I believe they do want to move to a de-escalation, I think there is – there are a set of choices that are available. And I hope that that can happen because it is critical to create some space here in order to be able to obviously get to a place where we can deal with underlying critical issues that have been there for a long time. If anything, what is happening now is a urgent call to all with any responsibility – and there are many countries that bear responsibilities with respect to this region – to help to try to resolve these age-old differences in a frozen conflict.
So I’m not going to say more about that particular component right now except that I look forward to meeting with King Abdullah on Saturday and with President Abbas, and hope that the aspirations of the people will be felt in a way by everybody that we can seize this moment and pull back from the precipice, end the incitement, end the violence, and commence a road that people can really understand is a road that takes people somewhere.