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Remarks With Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen After Their Meeting

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Remarks With Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen After Their Meeting
Treaty Room, Department of State, Washington, DC
June 5, 2008

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SECRETARY RICE: I would just like to take this opportunity to welcome my colleague, Minister Verhagen, from the Netherlands. We’ve had a very excellent discussion of wide-ranging issues. We will see each other again in Paris and then in Berlin, and so we’ve spent a good deal of time talking about Afghanistan and about the Middle East. I always very much value your counsel and your kinship and friendship with us, and also the very tough work that we’re doing together around the world, but I think work that is ultimately successful in spreading values and prosperity.

FOREIGN MINISTER VERHAGEN: Thank you very much. Yes, I really appreciated the meeting we had together. We have very close ties and good relationships between United States and the Netherlands. I think that we can work for the shared goals on a common base, shared goals of human rights, respect for human rights, democracy and freedom, and especially on those issues where we discussed on the Middle East, on Afghanistan, but also the need to fight terrorism, including respect for human rights.

We had very good discussions and I think that on this basis, it was also a good start to prepare the conference in Paris on Afghanistan, but also the conference in Berlin, which will take place soon on the security – strengthening the security in the Palestinian territories. So those issues were intense. We had intense discussions on these. So it was a very good basis for these conferences that are coming up.

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER VERHAGEN: Thank you, a great pleasure. Thank you.

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