Secretary Clinton and Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn on Ethiopia, Egypt, and Syria

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a pleasure to welcome the Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg here. I have the opportunity to work with him on a number of important issues in NATO and in other fora, where we are committed to advancing our shared values and interests. And I’m looking forward to the opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues. So welcome, Jean. We’re so happy you’re here.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ASSELBORN: Thank you, Hillary. First, I am grateful and it’s an honor for me to be here. It’s the sixth time that I have been in this house as Foreign Minister. I saw three different colleagues, three highly appreciated personalities, and I want to thank you, Hillary, in the name of Luxembourg for the very, very great job you are doing since now.


DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ASSELBORN: Let me – a little bit on Europe and United States. I think that we are facing unprecedented challenges on the economic future (inaudible) in our region. But I think that we have to put our energies together. We cannot face them, I think, alone. We will not manage it to face and to find solutions. So I think that more than ever, today we have to pray together and to put really our energies in the same basket.

I just want to mention maybe three topics very briefly that I think that we have to work together. The first is Sahara*. I was in Africa in the last two weeks, in Addis Ababa and also in Mozambique. And in the Sahara* region, there is a humanitarian crisis and a security crisis that is unfolding out of our very eyes. And we have to cooperate, I think, with the Western African organizations and West African Union to avoid (inaudible) of this region.

The second point, of course, is Syria. I think that the only aim of the United States and the European Union is to make – to increase the pressure on the regime that the killings and the violence stop. And therefore we need to cooperate with all the diplomatic means that we have our – at our disposal.
And the last point, I think, on Northern Africa, there is a lot of hope, I think, and in Egypt – you have been there – in Libya, but also in Tunisia. The core challenge is to accept the results of democratic elections and to safeguard, if I can say, the fundamental human rights fixed in the UN Charter and to support – and that’s very important for Europe to support the countries to restart the economy and to give social hope to these countries.

So I think only three points that – for us as Europeans. I am the longest serving foreign minister in the European Union, but now more than ever, I think we can share, and we have to share, our values and cooperate very strongly together. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we certainly agree with that.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, all, very much.

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