SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, thank you very much, Foreign Minister Le Drian, and I want to thank the foreign minister for his very warm welcome to France, my first visit as Secretary of State, certainly not my first visit. We just had a lovely luncheon and I appreciated the opportunity to enjoy some fine French food while I was here as well.

As the foreign minister indicated, this meeting's a continuation of many, many discussions he and I have had together, and we will meet yet again before the end of the year. Also, I think it's important to reflect on the very warm relationship that exists between President Trump and President Macron. They speak often. And I think, as the foreign minister described, the relationship that the United States and France has is one of an alliance that is so strong, so deep and steadfast.

So we're two centuries long now of shared values that we are able to be very frank and open with one another. And on almost all things, we agree, but on those that we don't, we are very open to express those disagreements, and I think both of us benefit from the richness of those discussions. And I know President Trump values very much President Macron's views on issues and that's why they speak often as well.

As the foreign minister indicated, and I won't take a lot of time repeating what he said, on so many issues we are very well aligned dealing with the threat of the nuclear weapons program in North Korea. We appreciate France's steadfast support. We appreciate the strong support that we share in the war to defeat ISIS and to contain terrorism wherever it shows itself, certainly in our joint efforts in the Sahel, and we appreciate France's leadership in the Sahel to counter terrorism and to contain ISIS showing its face in that part of the world as well.

I think, again, on many issues we agree, and on those we don't, we have very open discussions and we value the relationship. And I'm going to stop there because I don't need to repeat the issues that the foreign minister addressed, because I know we want to have time for your questions.

MODERATOR: (In French.)

QUESTION: Greg Viscusi from Bloomberg News. For the Secretary of State, I just want to know, what steps and when are you taking to comply with the President's moving of the Israeli capital to Jerusalem? Can you move the embassy on your own or do you have to make a request to Congress for the funding? And finally, would you be open to stating or accepting that part of Jerusalem remains � or not remains, but falls under Palestinian control?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, the President has directed in his statement that he made that he has asked State Department to begin the process of making the move of the embassy to Jerusalem. This will take some time. We have to acquire a site, we have to develop building plans, construction plans � as you point out, ensure we get the authorizations, although I do not anticipate any difficulties getting those authorizations, and then actually build an embassy. So this is not something that's going to happen this year, probably not next year, but the President does want us to move in a very concrete and steadfast way to ensure the embassy is located in Jerusalem when we are able to do so at the earliest possible time.

I think with respect to the rest of Jerusalem, the President indicated in his statement that his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his direction to the State Department to begin the process of moving the embassy did not indicate any final status for Jerusalem. And in fact, he was, I think, very clear that the final status of Jerusalem is a matter that would be left � including the borders, would be left to the parties to negotiate and decide.

MODERATOR: Dave Clark of AFP.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Mr. Minister and thank you very much, Secretary of State. (Inaudible.) What clarity did you gain today about the chain of events that led Prime Minister Hariri to resign in Saudi Arabia, fly here to France, and later to un-resign? What was accomplished in today's summit? And when you call for preserving Lebanon's sovereignty and preventing foreign interference, does that warning apply to Riyadh as well?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: I think what was important about today's meeting with Prime Minister Hariri is that he affirmed that he had rescinded that resignation and his full intention to remain as prime minister and continue to work with the Government of Lebanon to move Lebanon forward in terms of its journey towards a stronger coalition government, prepare for elections next year, strengthen their security, and through the decision to call for disassociation to have Hizballah end its involvement in Yemen as well. So there were a number of important issues that we discussed, all of which I think are positive when it comes to Lebanon's future.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) News. (In French.)

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Is that to me, or � I didn't catch the first part of the question.


SECRETARY TILLERSON: The U.S. position I think is � mirrors that of France's as well in terms of the � as I just indicated the importance of the decision of disassociation to affirm what Hizballah's role should be and what Hizballah's role should not be. I think the U.S. also recognizes that the Lebanese Armed Forces are the sole protecting force for Lebanon, and it's important that that role, I think, be strengthened and be affirmed in order to protect Lebanon's sovereignty.

QUESTION: Thank you both for doing this. Mr. Secretary, you've been placing a big emphasis on limiting Iran's interference in Lebanon. But I want to ask you about Saudi Arabia in particular. The Kingdom has energetically asserted its influence over Lebanon, over Qatar, over Yemen, where your administration is now pleading with the Kingdom to end its blockade. What do you make of Saudi Arabia's recent aggressive moves, both inside and outside of the Kingdom? And is Iran the only aggressor in the region?

And Mr. Foreign Minister, if I may? Between its recent moves to decertify the Iran deal, pull out of the Paris climate deal, and recognize Jerusalem, what kind of an ally is the U.S. these days?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, the U.S. strongly supports the reforms that are being undertaken in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We think they're important to the future of Saudi Arabia, in terms of not just its stability but also its prosperity for the future. I think with respect to Saudi Arabia's engagement with Qatar, how they're handling the Yemen war that they're engaged in, the Lebanon situation, I think we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions, to I think fully consider the consequences.

I think we've been clear when it comes to Yemen we have called for, and President Trump himself called for this week, a complete end to the blockade of Yemen, a reopening of all the ports to not just humanitarian assistance but commercial delivery as well, because about 80 percent of the food comes in on commercial shipments. We are asking that Saudi Arabia allow that access.

I think as to Lebanon, things have worked out in a very positive way, perhaps even more positive than before, because there have been very strong statements of affirmation about the future of Lebanon, which can only be helpful.


QUESTION: It's about the combination of the Paris pullout, the decertification of the Iran deal, and this Jerusalem decision, and whether you still see the U.S. as an ally rowing in the same direction as France.


Source: U.S Department of State

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