Kerry speaks on Brexit ahead of visit to Brussels and London

Kerry speaks on Brexit ahead of visit to Brussels and London
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about the Ukraine crisis after his meetings with other foreign ministers in Paris, March 5, 2014. Kerry spoke to reporters at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Paris. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (FRANCE - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke out about the ‘Brexit’ on Sunday (June 26) in Rome ahead of his planned visits to Brussels and London and said that his country would continue to have “a very close and special relationship with Great Britain”.

“One of the things that I want to emphasise in coming here today to Europe is how important the relationship of Europe, the EU is to the United States and to the world. One country has made a decision, obviously it is a decision that the United States had hoped would go the other way. But it didn’t, and so we begin with a fundamental respect for voters. In a democracy when the voters speak, it is the job of leaders to listen and then to make sure that they are moving in a way that is responsible to address the concerns,” Kerry said in Rome during a press briefing with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

“I am absolutely convinced, President Obama is absolutely convinced that we will be able to work through this (Brexit) in a sensible, thoughtful way that takes the best strengths of the EU, the best strengths of the market place, the best interests of our national security and international security and works to keep them moving in the right direction for our countries,” Kerry said.

“I have no doubt about our ability to be able to do that and so we will continue, the United States, to have a very close and special relationship with Great Britain, we value that relationship, that does not change because of this vote. On the other hand obviously there are steps that Europe needs to take to respond to the expression of voters and to the concerns of people in other countries,” he added.

Kerry will meet European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels and British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond in London on Monday (June 27), a senior State Department official said.

He said he was looking forward to meeting with Brussels and London to determine “what they are thinking about the transition and process ahead”.

“The most important thing is that all of us as leaders, work together to provide as much continuity, as much stability, as much certainty as possible in order for the market place to understand that there are ways to minimise disruption, there are ways to smartly move ahead in order to protect the values and interests that we share in common,” Kerry added

The trip comes as European Union and UK officials weigh the political and economic fallout from Friday’s shock British referendum vote in favour of leaving the 28-nation bloc.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Rome to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Syria’s civil war and a new 10-year U.S. aid package for Israel.

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