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Remarks With French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius After Their Meeting


Location: Paris, France

SECRETARY KERRY: I want to thank Foreign Minister Fabius for France's extraordinary hospitality and helping to provide the venue for a number of meetings today. And Foreign Minister Fabius and I discussed each of the individual many hotspots that we are challenged by today. We particularly agree on Iraq that we want a government formation as rapidly as possible that represents unity for the country. We are also deeply concerned about the challenge of Syria. We talked about that as well as the Iran nuclear talks, which we are deeply involved in and partnering in very significantly.

Ukraine, we are in full agreement that it is critical for Russia to show in the next hours, literally, that they are moving to help disarm the separatists, to encourage them to disarm, to call on them to lay down their weapons and begin to become part of a legitimate political process. And the European Community will be meeting on their component of the sanctions. We all agree that they need to be ready. But our preference is not to have to be into a sanctions mode. We would like to see a cooperative effort between the United States, Europe, and Russia and the Ukrainians. And we are going to try to encourage that as much as we can.


SECRETARY KERRY: Do you want to say anything in English for the American audience?

FOREIGN MINISTER FABIUS: Pidgin English. (Laughter.) And afterwards you say something in French.

We have discussed with Secretary John Kerry, as we are doing very frequently, nearly every day, at least every week, and particularly about Iraq and about Ukraine and Iran as well, and have insisted -- we have insisted on the very, very difficult situation in Iraq where the ISIL group has shown terrible ferocity and brutality, and we are expecting from the Iraqi that it could get united. And it's a necessity not only for Iraq but for the whole region, because it's a menace for Iraq, for the region, for Europe, and for U.S. as well.

And we have discussed about Ukraine. There is some sort -- but we will be very careful -- of a de-escalation. There has been yesterday a long conversation between French president, German chancellor, Russian president, and Ukrainian president as well. There are commitments which have been taken, and we hope that it will be implemented today and in the coming days.

And we have discussed particularly about Iran and nuclear talks, because we are 5+1 and Iran on the other hand, and we want -- we accept perfectly that Iran could have nuclear civil energy, but as sometime I am summarizing very briefly, atomic bomb, no.

Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Merci. Thank you.

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