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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: United States of America
4 April 2014

Joint Press Availability With Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar

Press Availablity
John Kerry
Secretary of State

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Rabat, Morocco
April 4, 2014


QUESTION: A question for Secretary Kerry, and then the foreign minister. Mr. Secretary, you’ve taken about a dozen trips to the Middle East and have invested enormous time and energy into attempts to breathe some life into the Middle East peace process. But after nine months, the two sides can’t even agree whether to continue talking.

President Abbas, it seems, did not do you the courtesy of notifying you in advance that he was giving his Tuesday night speech in which he announced the Palestinians would sign the 15 international conventions and treaties, and the Israelis did not appear to have notified you in advance of their decision to formally cancel the release of the fourth batch of prisoners. Meanwhile, the U.S. has a challenging array of foreign policy problems.

You’ve often said it’s up to the leaders on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to make peace. Are they wasting your time? Are they wasting President Obama’s time? When is it time to say enough is enough and adjust the Administration’s foreign policy priorities? And what will be the Obama Administration’s criteria for making that decision?

And for the foreign minister, a respected Moroccan journalist is being tried under the antiterrorist law. How does this square with Morocco’s promise to improve press freedom and human rights? Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Michael, regrettably in the last few days, both sides have taken steps that are not helpful, and that’s evident to everybody. So we are going to evaluate very carefully exactly where this is and where it might possibly be able to go. I will – as you know, I’m going back to Washington today or going back to the region today. I will be having conversations with the Administration today, including the President, and we are going to evaluate exactly what is possible and what is not possible.

I said yesterday the leaders have to make these decisions. Clearly, President Obama, the United States of America, and as Secretary of State, we have an enormous amount on the plate and we’re currently engaged in discussions with the Russians with respect to Ukraine, challenges in Iran, Syria, and other parts of the world. So your question is entirely appropriate. There are limits to the amount of time and effort that the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward.

So we intend to evaluate. They say they want to continue. Both parties say they want to continue. Neither party has said that they’ve called it off. But we’re not going to sit there indefinitely. This is not an open-ended effort, never has been, and the President said that from the beginning and I’ve said that many times, including in the last few days. So it’s reality check time, and we intend to evaluate precisely what the next steps will be.


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