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Remarks With Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard Before Their Meeting

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Location: Washington, DC

SECRETARY KERRY: Good morning, everybody. My great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister of Denmark, Kingdom of Denmark, Martin Lidegaard. Denmark is a country that is hitting way above its weight in many, many ways. And we're very, very pleased and grateful for the strong relationship that we have -- a NATO partner and ally, but most importantly, Denmark has been leading on the issue of Ukraine, of the importance of standing up for the elections, of providing the people of Ukraine with an opportunity to choose their future. They are tremendous leaders on climate change, environment, environmental standards, our responsibilities. They've also been particularly helpful with respect to the challenge of removing chemical weapons from Syria. There is a combined Norwegian-Danish boat -- ship that is responsible for the collecting and moving. And they've also been extremely helpful on humanitarian issues. So we frankly couldn't ask for a better partner. We're very grateful for the leadership, and I look forward to a good conversation this morning on all of the issues of mutual concern.

Welcome, Martin. I'm happy to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER LIDEGAARD: Thank you very much, John. Thank you very much. The U.S. is one of the closest ally of Denmark. I have been looking very much forward to meet with you and discuss all the areas where we share views and share values. That goes for Ukraine, where I think we (inaudible) the importance of having a united voice from the EU and the U.S. side. I know you met with Chancellor Merkel on that issue. I'm looking forward to discussing it further with you, also when it comes to reassurance of our allies in the NATO, where we also would like to contribute.

That goes for Syria, as you just mentioned, and our common efforts to get the chemical weapons out. That goes for the Arctic issues where we (inaudible) the presidency of the Arctic Council and where Denmark would definitely like to assist, if we can, you in that effort. There are many important issues to take forward there, and that goes definitely also for the climate issues, where I know we share a lot of engagement and share a lot of concerns about our common climate. And I hope that we'll be able to touch upon all these issues and move forward together, and let's go.

SECRETARY KERRY: We will. No, I look forward to it. We will have a good conversation on all of those things. Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER LIDEGAARD: Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Appreciate it. Thank you all very much.


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