Remarks by John Kerry – Secretary of State
Palais Coburg – Vienna, Austria
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good evening, everybody, and let me start by thanking all of you for your remarkable patience. I know – in fact, all of us involved in this know – that this has been a very difficult couple of weeks for the many journalists who are here in Vienna with us. But let me assure you we would not be here continuing to negotiate just for the sake of negotiating. We’re here because we believe we are making real progress toward a comprehensive deal. But as I have said many times and as I discussed with President Obama last night, we are not going to sit at the negotiating table forever.
We also recognize that we shouldn’t get up and leave simply because the clock strikes midnight. And I emphasize, given that the work here is incredibly technical and that the stakes are very, very high, we will not rush and we will not be rushed, and we won’t let ourselves be rushed through any aspect of this. All that we are focused on is the quality of the agreement, and that is what will continue to define our work.
If, in the end, we are able to reach a deal, it has to be one that can withstand the test of time. It is not a test of a matter of days or weeks or months. It’s a test for decades. That’s our goal here. And the simple fact is that despite all of the progress that we have made – and it’s real – some of the tough issues remain unresolved. We know that difficult decisions don’t become easier over time, and one way or the other those decisions must be taken very soon.
That is precisely why all of our delegations remain hard at work here in Vienna, and it’s why a number of my counterparts returned last night and are here now so that we can continue to push through on the tough issues and ultimately see whether or not the good deal that we have been working for so hard is possible to achieve. That’s what we’re working on and that’s what we’ll continue to work on.
Thank you all very much.
QUESTION: And how long are you willing to stay, Mr. Secretary?
SECRETARY KERRY: I’ve just said this is not open-ended. President Obama made it very clear to me last night we can’t wait forever for the decisions to be made. We know that. If the tough decisions don’t get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this process.
Thank you all very, very much. Thank you. Thank you.