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State Dining Room

12:25 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much everyone.  I’m honored to be joined by Secretary Tillerson, Ambassador Haley, General Kelly, and General McMaster to host a very distinguished group of United Nations Security Council ambassadors from all around the world.

Today, we will discuss our cooperation on a range of security challenges, including the denuking of North Korea, very importantly; countering Iran’s destabilization activities in the Middle East; ending the Syrian conflict; and confronting terrorism.

The success of the United Nations depends on the independent strength of its members.  And these are very strong members; some of them are new to the Council.

We’re leading on the global stage to renew this founding principle of sovereignty.  The United States has done a lot over the last year.  I appreciate all of the congratulations.  But on an economic front, a financial front, it’s been incredible what’s happened.  It’s like a whole different place.  It’s booming, and it’s going to continue because we have a long way to go.  But it’s been doing really well.

So we appreciate — I think we’re taking the world along with us.  We’re helping the world.  That’s why some of the countries, or the many other countries throughout the world are doing much better because of what we’re doing.

So my administration is proud to work with you.  We’ve already done a tremendous number of coalition-building, and the United Nations Security Council, in particular, is very important to us.  The power and the respect that it has all over the world is very, very excellent.

But there’s much work that we have to, together, do.  And earlier today, the ambassadors viewed a display of Iranian missiles and arms that the regime has transferred to its militant allies in Yemen.  And later today, they’re going to view Syria atrocities exhibited at the Holocaust Museum.  So they’ve seen the missiles from Iran, and they’re looking at some of the atrocities taking place in Syria.

We’ll also discuss what more we can do to defeat the Taliban.  I don’t see any talking taking place.  I don’t think we’re prepared to talk right now.  It’s a whole different fight over there.  They’re killing people left and right.  Innocent people are being killed left and right.  Bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families — bombing, killing all over Afghanistan.

So we don’t want to talk with the Taliban.  There may be a time, but it’s going to be a long time.  We’re all out, and that’s taking place right now, and it’s a whole new front.  And it’s a whole new set of principles that we’re being governed by.

When we see what they’re doing and the atrocities that they’re committing, and killing their own people, and those people are women and children — many, many women and children that are totally innocent — it is horrible.

So there’s no talking to the Taliban.  We don’t want to talk to the Taliban.  We’re going to finish what we have to finish.  What nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do it.

So thank you all very much, we appreciate it.  And we’re going to have a tremendous discussion about that and other subjects.  Thank you all for being here.  We appreciate it.  Thank you.


12:29 P.M. EST