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14 February 2013
Secretary-General's remarks at press encounter with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
Washington, D.C., 14 February 2013
SG: Thank you, Secretary Kerry, ladies and gentlemen. Let me begin by thanking Secretary of State Kerry for welcoming me to the State Department. The Secretary of State is a long standing friend of the United Nations, and I am especially glad to visit him at this early stage of his tenure. Secretary Kerry, my heartfelt congratulations again on your appointment [as] Secretary of State of the United States. We have been working very closely on many regional political security issues and also global issues including climate change. I know that you will fill this important role – your role – with great knowledge and vision and passion that have been the hallmarks of your career.
I have come to Washington at this time as part of my ongoing reach-out to the American Government and people. We need the strong United States leadership in addressing many regional and global challenges. I had yesterday productive discussions with members of both Senate and House of Representatives. Secretary of State Kerry and I have many issues to discuss today and in the future.
Let me just state out a few issues of most concern. ...
On the Middle East, I welcome the plans of President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry’s visit to the region. I know that the Secretary of State has travelled extensively in the past, has good relationships with many leaders in the region, and knows the importance of the issue. We all need to make special efforts to forge a two-state solution before the window of opportunity closes. It is important that the right of Israel to exist should be respected and also the viable Palestinian authorities, in terms of political and financial situation, be supported so that both can live side by side in peace and security. That is a two-state solution.