Mitchell Reports | February 22, 2013
>>> secretary kerry 's first foreign tour as secretary of state is going to begin in london . why shouldn't it? sunday night with a world of crisis on the agenda, including the war in syria, iran's nuclear program , and a host of other issues. joining us to set the table british ambassador to the united states sir peter. thank you for being with us. secretary kerry is going to see the prime minister. obviously meetings with the forch secretary front and center i though kerry 's mind could be the meetings he is going to have the syrian opposition groups coming up in rome.
>> thanks for having me on the show again. such a pleasure to see you. i think there's lots for them to talk about. first of all, we're very pleased that he is beginning this first tour in london , and that feels to us kind of right. i would say that, wouldn't i? i think it is important. there's an awful lot of things for them to talk about. of course, william hayward was in washington yesterday to say good-bye to hillary clinton , and he saw a certain amount of john kerry then and other senior members of the foreign and security policy team here in d.c., so this is not first contact. john kerry has been in london not very long ago, but i think front and center on the agenda are bound to be what are we going to do about sear yashgs and there's going to be discussion about the middle east peace process . my guess is they will talk about iran . i think the for the purpose secretary will also want to say how pleased he is that the president has announce thad he wants to get on with the negotiation on what we used to call an e.u.-u.s. free trade agreement , but now he has christenned the trans-atlantic trait trade, which we think is important too.
>> it opens up possibilities in terms of better trade, better investment across the atlantic.
>> more growth, more jobs, all those things.
>> when it comes to iran , ju in the last 24 hours , we've heard from vienna, from the u.n. weapons inspectors that iran is sending mixed signals. they are going to a much more efficient new generation of centrifuges in their main nuclear plant , but it is above ground, and they are not yet operating the centrifuges below ground in the more secret facility that everyone is so worried about. they haven't crossed the red lines yet. does this open up the possibility of more diplomacy, the first meetings will take place in kazakhstan, as you well know, with the six powers.
>> well, we never are quite sure what games the iranians are playing. as long as they do not cross the very clear red lines that have been played out, and then there is time for diplomacy. i think we, the united states deposit, the other members of the e3, the p-5 plus one would like is a political settlement, which we can absolutely trust and verify, which means that iran is not pursuing a military weapons nuclear weapons program . how long have we got for that? well, to some extent it depends what they do, how rapidly they go with enrichment and so ownering but i think that right now what we've got in kazakhstan and who knows one day through bilateral contrasts is to try to solve this problem without having to resort to military action , which is one of the option that is people are still keeping on the table. we would prefer sanctions, diploma as where i, persuasion, commonsense to prevail. we have to keep all the option on the table. let's hope that in the months that are still there, that we can find a diplomatic solution.
>> and, finally, the whole middle east issue has just been really disengaged. many critics have said that the united states has not moved aggressively enough. tony blair and former prime minister, has called for more action. john kerry from everything that he has said really seems very eager to put much more pressure on that israeli-palestinian process. not so much this trip, but m coming trip with the president to jerusalem.
>> i think john kerry has immense experience of the region, of the issues. he knows all the people. i think he is widely respected in many of these different countries. my understanding is that he would like to give this a serious go. we in europe -- not just the british, the french, and others, would like the united states to show -- a fresh effort to deal, first of all, with the israel-palestine issue, but also to work with us on the other very difficult issues, the syrian crisis which we have fwot to address as well, and to see whether we can make some progress. we all, i think, believe that time is running out for both israelis and palestinians for a two-state solution. we would love to see john kerry getting involved with it, and all we're hearing from him and indeed from the white house is that the united states would like to work with us medical record to try to see whether in 2013 we can make real progress .
>> very important time. thank you very much. see you in london . sir peter.