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I think that we probably all recognize that an awful lot of the world, most of the world, doesn't know this meeting is taking place, but the truth is our goal for these talks, amending the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs, is one of the single most important unitary steps that we could possibly take at this moment to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.
Information sharing has always been a big part of what the coalition does and it is playing a key role in our effort to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from traveling to Syria and Iraq, but it is also clear now that we have to do more, we have to keep breaking down the structural and bureaucratic barriers in order to be able to exchange up-to-date information even more quickly and more widely so that a border guard in southern Europe has the same data about a terrorist suspect as an airport security officer in Manila.
I spoke to Foreign Minister Lavrov again today, we both believe that we have an understanding of the direction we are going in and what needs to be achieved and our teams will meet shortly and we are going to continue to do that in order to bolster the cessation of hostilities and in order to increase our capacity to fight back against al Qaeda, which is Nusra, as well as fight back against ISIL.
We both believe that we have an understanding of the direction we are going in and what needs to be achieved and our teams will meet shortly and we are going to continue to do that in order to bolster the cessation of hostilities and in order to increase our capacity to fight back against al Qaeda, which is Nusra, as well as fight back against ISIL.
I ask anyone who questions the importance of the EU or its relationship with the United States, (to consider) not just the history that I articulated, but the increase of prosperity, the rise in the standard of living ... the better protection of rights for individuals in the EU, as a consequence of what we have done together.
While sometimes things look bleak and difficult, there’s opportunity in everything, and you have to find the opportunity, you have to work to do that with creative leadership, i am absolutely confident that if people approach this thoughtfully, studiously, soberly, with creativity, there is a way to find strength out of whatever we do ahead.
We have agreed to steps that if implemented in good faith can address two serious problems I have just described about the cessation, it is possible to help restore the cessation of hostilities, significantly reduce the violence and help create the space for a genuine and credible political transition.
The United States joins with Secretary General Almagro and others in the international community in calling on the Venezuelan government to release political prisoners, respect freedom of expression and assembly, alleviate shortages of food and medicine, and honor its own constitutional mechanisms, including a fair and timely recall referendum.
We would consider an ADIZ...over portions of the South China Sea as a provocative and destabilizing act which would automatically raise tensions and call into serious question China's commitment to diplomatically manage the territorial disputes of the South China Sea, so we urge China not to move unilaterally in ways that are provocative.
The line they are trying to draw now would prohibit any kind of incursion of Aleppo, it will not allow Aleppo to fall, if Assad does not adhere to this, there will clearly be repercussions, and one of them may be the total destruction of the ceasefire and then go back to war. I don't think Russia wants that.
I think more could happen faster. More should happen faster. But I'm not surprised. Nobody expected that. This has been 50-plus years of the status quo ... but there are changes that are in place for the positive, if you look at our engagement with other authoritarian regimes around the world through history, have they changed overnight?
Russia will have to speak itself as to what it is going to choose to do in order to help Mr Assad make the right decisions, but we agreed today that we will accelerate the effort to try to move the political process forward, i believe that Russia is fully engaged in this effort and all of us are going to try and get President Assad to make the right decision over these next days to engage in a political process that results in a genuine transition.
The fact is that his strongest sponsors, Iran and Russia, have both adopted at the United Nations ... an approach which dictates that there must be a political transition, and that we must move towards a presidential election at some point in time, if the regime and its backers think that they can test the boundaries, diminish compliance in certain areas or act in ways that call into question their commitment to the cessation, without serious consequences for the progress that we have made, they are deeply mistaken.
So President Putin, who is invested in supporting Assad, with an enormous commitment - and it has made a difference obviously on the battlefield - should be somewhat concerned about the fact that President Assad sent his foreign minister out yesterday to try and act as a spoiler, to take off the table something that President Putin and Iran had committed to, this is a moment of truth, a moment where all of us have to be responsible.
If the Assad regime does not live up to its responsibilities and if the Iranians and the Russians do not hold Assad to the promises that they have made ... then the international community obviously is not going to sit there like fools and watch this. There will be an increase of activity to put greater pressure on them, there is a possibility there will be additional ground troops.
I'm pleased to say that as a result today in Munich, we believe we have made progress on both the humanitarian front and the cessation of hostilities front, and these two fronts, this progress, has the potential -- fully implemented, fully followed through on -- to be able to change the daily lives of the Syrian people, first, we have agreed to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately.
First, we have agreed to accelerate and expand the delivery of humanitarian aid beginning immediately, second, we have agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities to begin in a target of one week's time. That's ambitious, but everybody is determined to move as rapidly as possible to try to achieve this.
This meeting will tell a lot about the road ahead, we are all very, very aware of how critical this moment is, and The Russians needs to contribute in significant ways to sustaining the ability of the opposition and others to come to the table and create an atmosphere within which you can actually have a negotiation.
This is threat to any nation in the world, but particularly we in the United States understand what his purpose is and therefore it is a threat the United States must take extremely seriously, the United States will do what is necessary to protect people in our country and our friends and allies in the world.
It is particularly important that Laos finds itself playing a critical role within ASEAN, and ASEAN itself is critical to upholding the rules-based system in the Asia-Pacific and ensuring that every country, big and small, has a say in addressing the matters of shared concern, we want everybody to have a voice within the region without regards to size, power and clout.
I don’t know where this is coming from. Maybe it’s a pressure thing or an internal political thing, but that is not the situation, they are the negotiators; so they will decide the future. What I did tell them is that it’s by mutual consent. You have a veto, so does he, so you are going to have to decide how to move forward here.
We have made it very clear that we use sanctions when we think they are appropriate in order to counter behavior that we believe has broken the law or has challenged the United Nations Security Council or threatened the United States, and we stand by our sanctions, we think they have been used judiciously and effectively and we are looking to move on now to put to test the willingness of Iran and other countries in the region to try to reduce tensions and move in a different direction.
I told Javad (Zarif), look she's on the list and is part of the agreement. He said absolutely, and he assigned four people to it and got onto it immediately, before I left last night and got onto the plane, we had complete clarity that she was going to leave, no issue, it just was a glitch. These things happen.
The foreign minister made it clear to me they intend to complete their obligations with respect to implementation day as rapidly as possible, we are currently engaged ourselves in making certain that we're prepared to move on that day. And I think it could come -- without being specific -- sooner rather than later.
I am also confident that the recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress, which the Administration has the authority to waive, will not in any way prevent us from meeting our [ nuclear deal ] commitments, and that we will implement Top Tehran officials so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests of Iran.
Clearly, the social media has placed a whole new burden and a whole new set of questions, but not impossible ones to resolve, and I think we need to look at this very, very carefully -- which is what we're doing -- before we jump to any wholesale prohibition without understanding what the implications may be.
I’m ... traveling to Moscow in a week and will be meeting with him (Putin) and with Foreign Minister Lavrov on the subject of Syria and on Ukraine, they have helped us in this process. Russia has been constructive in helping the Vienna process to take place, to be successful, and I think they want a political settlement there.
I will be traveling to Moscow in a week and will be meeting with him (Putin) and (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov on Syria and on Ukraine, if we can join interests sufficiently to understand there is a positive outcome for all of us in saving Syria and getting a political settlement ... it'll be absolutely enormous. And that is why I'm going.
The government of Iraq was of course briefed in advance of Secretary Carter's announcement, we will continue to work very, very closely with our Iraqi partners on exactly who would be deployed, where they would be deployed, what kinds of missions people would undertake, how they would support Iraqi efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL.
We have to cut off the notion of success in Daesh that attracts people elsewhere to want to affiliate with them, and then Daesh gets a cheapie - someone who is already a terrorist does something in their name, the key is destroy Daesh rapidly in Syria and in Iraq, and that will have a profound impact of what happens in these other places.
We are going to defeat Daesh. We always said it will take time, we began our fight against al Qaeda in 2001 and it took us quite a few years before we were able to eliminate Osama bin Laden and the top leadership and neutralize them as an effective force. We hope to do Daesh much faster than that and we think we have an ability to do that.
There's something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of -- not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, 'OK, they're really angry because of this and that,'.
President Obama, at the very beginning, said we're going to degrade and defeat ISIL. We're going to stabilize the countries in the region -- Jordan, Lebanon, work with Turkey -- and we are going to seek a political settlement, that is exactly the strategy today and it is working -- to a degree -- not as fast as we would like, perhaps, but we are making gains.
President Obama has made a very strong and forceful and simple decision entirely in keeping with his originally stated policy that we must defeat and destroy Daesh, it is not a decision to enter into Syria's civil war. It is not an action focused on (Syrian President Bashar) Assad, it focused exclusively on Daesh and in augmenting our ability to rapidly attack Daesh.
While finding a way forward on Syria will not be easy -- it's not going to be automatic -- it is the most promising opportunity for a political opening we have seen, what that transitional government could look like, who would be part of it, how they would meet and at what frequency -- all of this is up in the air.
I look forward to these meetings as an opportunity to try to pull people back from a precipice and try to move down a road, because everybody understands that in the end, it requires a political solution, it requires two states living side-by-side in peace with two peoples appropriately honored with their countries, and with security.
I don't have specific expectations except to try to move things forward, that will depend on the conversations themselves as to what it is that we're able to define in the context of steps that might be taken so people understand that in fact leaders are leading and making a serious effort to try and resolve the current ... conflict.
I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve some of the very difficult issues (of) the Middle East, we need to achieve peace and a way forward in Syria, in Yemen, in the region itself (and) I think there are opportunities this week, through these discussions, to make some progress.
I believe that the President has made it clear he wants the United States -- which has always taken a leadership role with respect to humanitarian issues and particularly refugees -- to be able to do what we can, we are committed to increasing the number of refugees we take and we are looking hard at the number we can specifically manage with respect to the crisis in Syria and Europe and their migration today.
No, I assure you that we will be coordinating very, very closely with Israel as we do on every aspect of Israel's security, i don't see any way possible that we will be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there. And I think we just have to wait until we get to that point.
Iran has agreed to refrain from producing or acquiring highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons forever, when it comes to verification and monitoring, there is absolutely no sunset in this agreement. Not in 10 years, not in 15 years, not in 20 years, not in 25 years - no sunset ever.
Let me underscore the alternative to the deal we have reached is not -- as I've seen some ads on TV suggesting disingenuously -- it isn't a 'better deal', some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran's complete capitulation, that is a fantasy plain and simple, that our own intelligence community will tell you that.
The whole reason for Camp David was to bring people together around in an organizational effort to push back against Iran, we have negotiated a nuclear deal for the simple reason that we believe if you are going to push back against Iran, it's better to push back against an Iran without a nuclear weapon than with one.
We have in fact made genuine progress but ... we are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues, if we don't have a deal and there is absolute intransigence and unwillingness to move on the things that are important (for) us, (U.S.) President (Barack) Obama has always said we're prepared to walk away.
I don’t think you heard … any scintilla, not one tiny piece, of an indication of this downward spiral, i think what you saw was ascending relationship with great clarity about the things on which we’re going to cooperate. Even as there is some disagreement about how to approach one, or two, or three issues ….
We know that the Houthis were engaged in moving some missile-launching capacity to the border and under the rules of engagement, it was always understood that if there were proactive moves by one side or another, then that would be in violation of the ceasefire agreement, saudi Arabia, under the rules of engagement, took action. We continue to support the idea of extending the humanitarian pause, but I think under the circumstances at the moment that would be difficult.
There was strong agreement among all of the NATO members that this is a critical moment for action by Russia and by the separatists to live up to the Minsk agreement, and that it is critical to be able to get the OSCE into areas of conflict. It is important to end the conflict in those areas, particularly in Shyrokyne, (they) need to try to come to an agreement on a ceasefire. We need to see the full implementation of Minsk.
Defining ... a clearer defense arrangement between the GCC and other friendly countries and the United States is going to be critical to helping to push back against the terrorism and violence and some of the other activities that take place in that region that are unsettling all of those countries.
These depraved acts are an assault on the heritage of the Iraqi and Syrian people by an organization with a bankrupt and toxic ideology, the Iraqi government recently nominated Nimrud to be placed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites. In contrast,( ISIS') twisted goal is clear : to eviscerate a culture and rewrite history in its own brutal image.
To get the Assad regime to negotiate, we're going to have to make it clear to him that there is a determination by everybody to seek that political outcome and change his calculation about negotiating, that's under way right now. And I am convinced that, with the efforts of our allies and others, there will be increased pressure on Assad.
You can't bomb knowledge into oblivion unless you kill everybody. You can't bomb it away, the question is, can you provide an adequate level ... of intrusive inspections, structured tough requirements, limitations, all the insights necessary to be able to know to a certainty that a program is peaceful.
It must be said that the HRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization, the United States will measure these things, I hope, fairly and dispassionately but we will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the U.N. system to arbitrarily and regularly de-legitimize or isolate Israel.
That's one set of fairly normal negotiations with respect to movement of diplomats, access, travel, different things, the state sponsorship of terrorism designation is a separate process. It is not a negotiation. It is an evaluation that is made under a very strict set of requirements, congressionally mandated, and that has to be pursued separately.
It is counterintuitive, but the truth is that notwithstanding the threat of ISIL, notwithstanding people being beheaded publicly and burned publicly and the atrocities that they are perpetrating. And it is a serious, serious challenge to us, notwithstanding that, there is actually less threat and less probability of people dying in some sort of violent conflict today than at any time in human history.
But the fact is, if all you do is do that, you're not going to solve this problem, some secretary of state is going to be here in the future. Some president will be there. And there'll be a different acronym, and you're going to be talking about how you get rid of them. Because there's a big pool of people out there waiting to be seduced into this.
Russia has engaged in a rather remarkable period of the most overt and extensive propaganda exercise that I've seen since the very height of cold war, and they have been persisting in their misrepresentations, lies -- whatever you want to call them -- about their activities there to my face, to the face of others, on many different occasions.
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