Video Remarks: Inside the State Department

Press Conference

By:  John Kerry
Date: March 1, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

German YouthConnect Town Hall Berlin moderator: We are here about to start our first town hall meeting. So, Mr. Secretary, how do you feel?
SECRETARY KERRY: (in German) Sehr gut, danke. (Very good, thank you.)

[Laughter and cheers]

VO: It's been a busy week for Secretary of State John Kerry, as he embarked on his first international trip since taking office. On the first week of this 11-day, 9-nation trip, the Secretary has been meeting with European allies to review the wider transatlantic relationship and to discuss issues of global concern, including Iran and Syria.

SECRETARY KERRY: I am proud to announce that the United States of America will be providing an additional $60 million immediately in nonlethal assistance to support the coalition in its operational needs day to day as it continues to organize and work for the political transition that we all want to see.

VO: Secretary Kerry has already made stops in London, Berlin, Paris, and Rome.

VO: Arriving in London early Monday morning, Secretary Kerry met with Prime Minister David Cameron for a productive working breakfast.

VO: Later, Secretary Kerry joined U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague for a joint press conference in which they discussed upcoming talks on a new transatlantic trade and investment partnership.

SECRETARY KERRY: We discussed our agreement, I think an historic agreement in its beginnings, and hopefully historic when we accomplish it, and that is to start the work on a U.S.-EU transatlantic trade and investment partnership to grow prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

VO: On Tuesday, Secretary Kerry arrived in Berlin where he held a town hall-style forum with young people.

SECRETARY KERRY: My job is not just to talk to leaders from the world; but it's to talk to you who are the future, and to talk to you about this journey we are all on together.

VO: After speaking with Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Guido Westerwelle, Secretary Kerry concluded his stay in Germany with a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

VO: On Wednesday, Secretary Kerry met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris and then proceeded to a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Lauent Fabius.

SECRETARY KERRY: (In French) Thank you very much for your very warm welcome today. It's a very great pleasure for me to be in the company of the Foreign Minister, Mr. Fabius. (In English) The talks were useful, and we look to Iran to carefully review the credible confidence-building steps that the P5+1 have put on the table. If Iran engages seriously, and we hope they will, then these could pave the way for negotiations that lead towards a longer-term and comprehensive agreement.

VO: The whirlwind multi-nation trip continued as Secretary Kerry then traveled to Rome where he met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

VO: On Thursday, Secretary Kerry met with Leaders of the Syrian Opposition Council, and partner nations to discuss the crisis in Syria and announce the additional measures of nonlethal support to the Syrian Opposition Coalition.

SECRETARY KERRY: The stakes are really high and we can't risk letting this country, the heart of the Middle East, be destroyed by vicious autocrats or be hijacked by extremists. In supporting the Syrian Opposition Coalition and the Free Syrian Army, we reject both of those choices, and we stand with those Syrians fighting for the right to choose dignity and democracy and justice.

VO: Stay tuned for updates from the Secretary's stops in Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Doha.