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Issues That Affect Germany, the United States and the International Community February 03, 2009, Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State Remarks With German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier After Their Meeting Washington, DC.
SECRETARY CLINTON: ...
We also discussed Iran. The United States and Germany must work together to ensure that Iran fulfills its obligations to the international community. President Obama has signaled his intention to support tough and direct diplomacy with Iran, but if Tehran does not comply with United Nations Security Council and IAEA mandates, there must be consequences. The United States, Germany, and our EU partners must coordinate closely to obtain the best possible outcomes.
We also discussed the situation in the Middle East and the importance of coordination between our countries to ensure that the ceasefire that is being worked toward in Gaza is sustainable.
We discussed a broad range of issues, including what we see as the need to work constructively and develop a common approach with Russia in the coming months on issues like Afghanistan, Iran, Georgia, and others.
FOREIGN MINISTER STEINMEIER: ...
And after the news that has been communicated yesterday by the satellite launch in Iran, we also have to understand now that we are facing there in that country technical capabilities that really urgently require an intensified dialogue between us in the weeks and months to come. On the topic of Iran, therefore, it is very important that we work together, be it in the E-3+3 format or the 5+1 format - something that our staff will continue to work on instantly.
It is with particular pleasure, Hillary, that I note that one theme has returned to the transatlantic agenda, and that is the issue that has been banned quite for unjustified reasons in the past, namely disarmament and arms control, especially given the current situation around arms control treaties like START or the Conventional Forces in Europe. I think we as foreign ministers have to engage in a dialogue in order to make disarmament and arms control a reality, rather than letting it erode. And it's a particular pleasure that in the form of the new American administration, I now see a very good interlocutor in those efforts.
QUESTION: Nicholas Kralev of Washington Times. Madame Secretary, do you have a comment on the Iranian missile launch today? And are you concerned about reports that Russia might have pressured Kyrgyzstan not to allow the United States to use the base in Kyrgyzstan for operations in Afghanistan? Thanks.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are obviously concerned about Iranian behavior on a very broad base. It's not limited to any one event or activity. And as you know, we're undergoing a comprehensive review of how best to approach Iran and how to influence its behavior going forward.
And I think you'll find that there is increasing commonality among the United States, our European allies, friends in the Gulf and the Middle East that we need a more effective and united approach toward Iran. And I think that's - that's our goal. And I was very pleased in the conversation with the Foreign Minister to hear some of his thoughts about how that could be achieved.
Source: US Department of State, www.state.gov.
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