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RealClearPolitics - Articles - Hillary Clinton

Last Build Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 20:02:35 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2009

Secretary Clinton on the Antarctic Treaty

Mon, 06 Apr 2009 20:02:35 -0600

In 1959, representatives from 12 countries came together in Washington to sign the Antarctic Treaty, which is sometimes referred to as the first arms control agreement of the Cold War. Today, 47 nations have signed it. And as a result, Antarctica is one of the few places on earth where there has never been war. Other than occasional arguments among scientists and those stationed there over weighty matters having to do with sports, entertainment, and science, there has been very little conflict. It is a land where science is the universal language and the highest priority and where people from different regions, races, and religions live and work together in one of the planet's most remote, beautiful, and dangerous places. The genius of the Antarctic Treaty lies in its relevance today. It was written to meet the challenges of an earlier time, but it and its related instruments remain a key tool in our efforts to address an urgent threat of this time, climate change, which has already destabilized communities on every continent, endangered plant and animal species, and jeopardized critical food and water sources. Climate change is shaping the future of our planets and - our planet in ways we are still striving to understand. But the research made possible within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty has shown us that catastrophic consequences await if we don't take action soon. The framers of the treaty may not have foreseen exactly the shape of climate change, but their agreement allowed scientists to model its effects, including glaciologists studying the dynamics of ice, biologists exploring the effects of harsh temperatures on living organisms, geophysicists like those who discovered the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica that prompted the ban embodied in the 1987 Montreal Protocol. Today, the hole above the Antarctica is starting to close, thanks to the world's response to this discovery. So the treaty is a blueprint for the kind of international cooperation that will be needed more and more to address the challenges of the 21st century, and it is an example of smart power at its best. Governments coming together around a common interest and citizens, scientists, and institutions from different countries joined in scientific collaboration to advance peace and understanding. I know there are scientists here today who have conducted research in Antarctica, and I thank you for your commitment and your courage. The United States military has something called the Antarctica Service Award, which it issues to any Americans, military or civilian, who have been members of expeditions to the Antarctica, have served in its waters, or worked in the stations there. And there's a special bar called the Wintered Over bar that goes to those people who stay for a full year. That gives an indication of how tough it can be down there and how determined you have to be to see your work through. But it is important for humanity's understanding of our planet and our ability to anticipate and mitigate the changes caused by global warming. And with the collapse of an ice bridge that holds in place the Wilkins Ice Shelf, we are reminded that global warming has already had enormous effects on our planet, and we have no time to lose in tackling this crisis. I'm very pleased that the Obama Administration has made it clear that we are committed to working with you and leading in our efforts, advancing toward Copenhagen to take united action on behalf of our response to global climate change. We need to increase our attention not only to the Antarctic but to the Arctic as well. As a senator, I traveled to the Arctic region, both in Norway and Alaska. I saw for myself the challenging issues that the region is facing today, especially those caused by climate change. This too provides an opportunity for nations to come together in the 21st century, as we did 50 years ago in the 20th century. We should be looking to strengthen peace and security, and support sustainable economic development, and protect the environment. The warming of the [...]

Secretary Clinton's Speech at the Intl. Conference on Afghanistan

Tue, 31 Mar 2009 16:02:20 -0600

We are here to help the people of Afghanistan prevail against a ruthless enemy who poses a common threat to us all. Afghanistan has always been a crossroads of civilization, and today we find our fate converging in those plains and mountains that are so far and yet so near in this interconnected world to all of us. Thanks to the efforts of the international community, the perpetrators of the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11 - attacks which killed citizens from more than 90 countries - were driven from Afghanistan, and the Afghan people made a promising start toward a more secure future. But since those first hopeful moments, our collective inability to implement a clear and sustained strategy has allowed violent extremists to regain a foothold in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, and to make the area a nerve center for efforts to spread violence from London to Mumbai. The range of countries and institutions represented here is a universal recognition that what happens in Afghanistan matters to us all. Our failure to bring peace and progress would be a setback not only to the people of Afghanistan, but to the entire enterprise of collective action in the interest of collective security. Our success, on the other hand, will not only benefit Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region, but also the blueprint for a new diplomacy powered by partnership and premised on shared interests. So as we recommit ourselves to meet our common challenge with a new strategy, new energy, and new resources, let us be guided by an ancient Afghan proverb, "patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." The plan I outline today is the product of intensive consultations with nations that have donated troops and support; Afghanistan's neighbors and international institutions that play a vital role in Afghanistan's future. The results of these consultations are clear: Our strategy must address the challenge in Afghanistan and Pakistan; it must integrate military and civilian activities and support them with vigorous international diplomacy; and it must rest on the simple premise that while we can and will help, Afghanistan's future ultimately rests with the Afghan people and their elected government. Security is the essential first step; without it, all else fails. Afghanistan's army and police will have to take the lead, supported by the International Security Assistance Force. President Obama has announced that the United States will deploy 17,000 more soldiers and 4,000 additional military trainers to help build up Afghan security forces. The international community will also have to help. We should provide every army and police unit in Afghanistan with an international partner that can provide training and help build capacity. Our collective goal should be standing up an army of at least 134,000 soldiers and a police force of at least 82,000 officers by 2011. These steps will provide the people of Afghanistan with an opportunity to fight and win their own battle for their nation's future. We must also help Afghans strengthen their economy and institutions. They know how to rebuild their country, but they need the raw material of progress - roads, public institutions, schools, hospitals, irrigation, and agriculture. The United States is supporting the Government of Afghanistan's National Development Strategy, the National Solidarity Program, and other initiatives that help Afghans improve their lives and strengthen their own communities. In consultation with the Afghan Government, we have also identified agriculture - which comprises 70 percent of Afghanistan's economy - as the key for development. In the 1970s, Afghans exported food to their neighbors. They were often called the garden of Central Asia. Today, this sector lags far behind, and its problems feed the deadly malignancy of the narcotics trade. The United States is focusing its efforts on rural development in provinces near the Afghan-Pakistan border, and we hope that others gathered here will heed the United Nations' and Afghan Government's call for help thro[...]

Clinton's Remarks with Mexico's Foreign Minister

Wed, 25 Mar 2009 20:09:20 -0600

Your presence in Mexico has a special importance, since this is the first trip to Latin America, a little before President Barack Obama will also be visiting Mexico. After a very intense agenda of activities in Mexico City today, Secretary Clinton will be traveling tomorrow to the city of Monterrey, where she -- where I will be having the pleasure of being with her. And I would also like to say that, as you know, today Secretary Clinton has made a courtesy visit to President Calderon, where they discussed multiple topics of the bilateral agendas; for instance, migration, trade, competitiveness, border development, and security. It was truly an extremely fruitful conversation; a very interesting conversation they held, and that's the reason for our being delayed a few minutes. And we would like to thank you for your understanding, and thank you also for being here to be with us in this press conference. In the dialogue we held this morning with Secretary Clinton, we have coincided on the importance of the topic related to migration, and we've also coincided that this is a key issue that unites our two countries. We are going to be working together. We're going to be working together in the following years so that the migration phenomenon may be a phenomenon that will be benefiting both of our nations. In highlighting our full respect for the United States legislation and the sovereign process of that country and the legislative process of that country, I told Secretary Clinton the concern of the Mexican Government due to the situation that our co-nationals are facing in the United States. And I also highlighted the importance that we give the legal framework of migration issues so that it will respond to the migration reality and the need to change the climate that Mexicans now live in the United States. The bilateral agenda between Mexico and the United States is a very broad agenda, and in them, the economic issues have, of course, particular importance, especially today in this context of economic crisis at the international level. We've coincided as well in this environment on the need of concentrating our efforts on being able to have our regional competitiveness increase as a means to promote the well being of our respective countries. Here, I also wanted to highlight the will to work together, to work together so that we can accomplish conditions that will allow for the full compliance, commitment that we have taken upon ourselves in NAFTA, as countries of NAFTA, with certainty in each one of the different provisions, including the topic related to motor transportation. The border has been a key aspect, a key issue in our conversations. We've also expressed our willingness to invest with determination on border infrastructure in short, medium term, so that we can integrate, and thus be able to turn the border into a pull for competitiveness, to increase competitiveness between our two countries. We also talked about the importance of cooperation and the maturity we have been able to get in our fight against organized crime, as well as the convenience and the importance of continuing, and in a more profound manner, the implementation of the Merida Initiative. We have said that the high-ranking level group of the Initiative that met for the first time in Washington last year will be holding this year as well another working session, if possible, if the agenda so allows it, with all the participants here in our country. And the different working groups, the coordination groups that are working on security issues, the groups we've been able to create greatly reflect the bilateral character of our focus based on the principle of co-responsibility. And later on, in a working session with the attendants in this Foreign Ministry and some members of the cabinet in terms of security issues, we're going to go into a greater detailed discussion on this. We also had the opportunity of talking about the world situation and we coincided on the role that our countries are[...]

Clinton's Remarks with Northern Ireland Officials

Tue, 17 Mar 2009 20:04:39 -0600

In addition to the discussion that I just concluded with the first minister and the deputy first minister, I have had excellent conversations with others as well who you have seen starting yesterday and continuing through today. Northern Ireland has made such remarkable progress since the signing of the Good Friday Accord. We've had more than a decade of peace and progress and prosperity for many. Recent acts of violence cannot be allowed to undermine that progress and the progress that is yet to come as these two leaders and those who work with them continue to move into the future. The violence that has occurred with the killing of the two young soldiers and the police officer are an affront to the values of every community, every person who believes in the power of peace and reconciliation. The two men standing on either side of me led Northern Ireland through the last days in a commendable manner. Along with the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom, they have confronted these acts of violence with boldness and statesmanship. And they have responded to actions intended to sow fear and division with unity and courage. So we are here after ten years of peace, and we're committed to looking forward to a future where we, the United States, working with them, can create a better life so that every child growing up in Northern Ireland has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. The State Department and the Obama Administration will be actively engaged in assisting the leadership of Northern Ireland. And this is not a subject of passing interest, but of surpassing interest. During my time as First Lady, during my time as senator from New York, I have been privileged to see the people of Northern Ireland move in a direction that has given so much hope to so many, including those far beyond their own boundaries. So I want to thank the first minister and the deputy first minister, and now let me turn to the first minister for any comments he wishes to make. FIRST MINISTER ROBINSON: Thank you very much. At the very outset, I want to express my appreciation and the appreciation of all of the people of Northern Ireland to Secretary Clinton. Hillary has been a good friend of Northern Ireland, a great friend of the process in which we have been involved. We were delighted to hear in our meeting which has just concluded that that is going to be an ongoing interest. We're looking for excuses to bring her to Northern Ireland, and we're delighted to hear that the Obama Administration is looking to bring an envoy to continue to partner with us, and indeed to have a particular emphasis with someone looking after the issue of the economy. The deputy first minister and I have had a difficult period of time. I think that anybody who has followed recent events will know that there was a single purpose on the part of those who carried out those dreadful acts. They intended to divide us. They intended to drag Northern Ireland back into conflict. Their hopes were that the work of the politicians in the assembly and in the executive would begin to fray and that the institutions would crumble and fall. They have not succeeded, and they will not succeed. There is a massive determination, not just on the part of the deputy first minister and myself, but I was delighted to see it from every single political party. There was no party political bickering on the issue. Every politician stepped up to the line and made it clear their denunciation of the incidents and also their determination that they were not going back. It is that determination not simply not to go back or to stand still, but to drive us forward, to complete the tasks that we have set our hand to, and to bring Northern Ireland to that place where it has a stable political and economic future, where prosperity is a daily diet of our people. It is that hope that drives us forward, and it is that hope that I believe we have the full support of the people of Northern Ireland in[...]

Clinton's Remarks with the Irish Foreign Minister

Mon, 16 Mar 2009 10:04:13 -0600

So I am grateful that the foreign minister could join us here today ahead of the holiday tomorrow to acknowledge both the history and friendship that we share, but also the working relationship that we have enjoyed on a number of important issues that are really significant to both the people of Ireland and to Americans. I told the foreign minister how much we appreciate that strong partnership. And we discussed and had a very productive meeting about a range of issues. Our countries share a vital economic relationship that has created tens of thousands of jobs in Ireland and the United States. We need to coordinate closely to preserve those benefits in the face of global economic challenges. Ireland also makes significant contributions to global security. Over 800 troops, 10 percent of the country's armed forces, are currently deployed overseas on peacekeeping missions in Chad, Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and other countries. And on the subject of conflict prevention, I want to address the recent events in Northern Ireland. As many of you know, this is an issue of great personal concern and commitment to both me and to my husband. It was an honor to work on behalf of peace in Northern Ireland and to do so with the leadership of Senator George Mitchell as our negotiator. I had the privilege of visiting Northern Ireland numerous times to meet with activists from both communities. I spent a lot of time in particular with women, Catholic and Protestant, who were working to build bridges in their own communities, to find common ground as mothers and wives, and to create conditions for peace from the ground up. Thanks to the brave efforts of government leaders and community activists like the women that I was privileged to know, the people of Northern Ireland, with the strong support of the Government of Ireland and the Government of Great Britain, reached a peace agreement, the Good Friday Agreement, that has delivered more than a decade of calm and progress. Now, in recent days, a handful of rejectionists have tried to drag the people of Northern Ireland back into a full cycle of violence and retaliation. The recent attacks which killed two British soldiers and a police officer are an affront to the values of every community, every ethnicity, every religion, and every nation that seeks peace. I want to commend the entire leadership of Northern Ireland as well as the Irish and British governments for their constructive statements and their strong resolve in the face of this attack. I hope that the recent arrests will bring an end to these tragic events and allow the people of Northern Ireland to continue to move forward not only with the important work of reconciliation, but with prosperity and progress that will redound to the benefit of all. The success of the peace process has consequences that go far beyond Northern Ireland. It provides proof to people everywhere that negotiations, dialogue, reconciliation, diplomacy can end conflicts that have tormented generations. The United States stand with the people of Northern Ireland. We will not let criminals destroy the gains that have been achieved through great courage and sacrifice. Now, this issue is, of course, only a small facet of our relationship with Ireland. Whether it is supporting the Middle East peace process; strengthening democratic institutions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Western Balkans; promoting human rights; finding solutions to the global financial crisis and climate change; working together on development, we know Ireland is and will remain a strong and steady partner and leader. We share responsibilities, a common agenda, and a proud history. So Minister Martin, I am grateful for your friendship and for the friendship that you represent on behalf of your country, and I look forward to working with you as we address these and other challenges. FOREIGN MINISTER MARTIN: Thank you very much indeed, Secretary of State, and may I say that i[...]

Clinton on Meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister

Wed, 11 Mar 2009 20:14:48 -0600

The United States and China have a joint responsibility to help ensure that the summit yields tangible progress and concrete action steps toward a coordinated global response to stabilize the world's economy and to begin a recovery. We also covered a range of shared security challenges, including our efforts to achieve a denuclearized North Korea, to promote stability and progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to address the challenges posed by Iran. We talked about how we could work together to address the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and stem the suffering of more than 1.4 million people who have been put at risk by the actions of the Bashir government. On climate change and clean energy, we discussed the upcoming meeting between our special envoy for climate change and his Chinese counterpart. Now, Minister Yang and I also spoke about areas where we do not agree, including human rights and Tibet. The promotion of human rights, as I have said many times before, is an essential aspect of American global foreign policy. It is part of our use and definition of smart power. And it's essential in an era where we are emphasizing diplomacy and development. It has been a core belief of ours that every nation must not only live by, but help shape global rules that will determine whether people enjoy the right to live freely and participate to the fullest in their societies. Indeed, our own country must continually strive to live up to our own ideals. Our bilateral relationships cover a broad range of issues, but we make clear to all nations, including China, that a mutual and collective commitment to human rights is important to bettering our world as our efforts on security, global economics, energy, climate change, and other pressing issues. With that in mind, Foreign Minister Yang and I discussed the resumption of the human rights dialogue between our two countries. While we may disagree on these issues, open discussions will continue to be a key part of our approach. And human rights is part of our comprehensive agenda. I also raised our concerns about the recent incident involving the U.S. Navy ship Impeccable and the PRC vessels in the South China Sea. We both agreed that we should work to ensure that such incidents do not happen again in the future. There is no doubt that world events have given the United States and China a full and formidable agenda. And the United States is committed to pursuing a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China, one that we believe is important for the future peace, progress, and prosperity not only for both of our countries, but indeed for the entire world. And I'll be happy to take some questions. MR. WOOD: First one to Arshad. SECRETARY CLINTON: How are you, Arshad? QUESTION: Good, thanks. Secretary Clinton, on the Impeccable, do you continue to believe that the U.S. ship was in the right, was in international waters, and was harassed by the Chinese vessels? And do you think that with your agreement to try to avoid these things in the future that the case is now closed, or this is going to be a continued irritant in the relationship? And on the G-20 preparations, do you think that China has done enough to stimulate its economy? And how do you answer the view that, given how heavily indebted the United States is, particularly to China, that you don't have that much leverage over them on these matters? SECRETARY CLINTON: Very comprehensive questions. (Laughter.) With respect to the Impeccable, we have each stated our positions. But the important point of agreement coming out of my discussions with Minister Yang is that we must work hard in the future to avoid such incidents, and to avoid this particular incident having consequences that are unforeseen. And I appreciate the agreement that Minister Yang and I hold on this matter. With respect to the G-20, the important outcome of the G-20 is a recognition and agreeme[...]

BBC Interview with Secretary Clinton

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 20:58:28 -0600

I thought the NATO ministerial yesterday resulted in two very important outcomes: the NATO-Russia Council being put back into use for a forum that we can, I hope, take advantage of in our many discussions with Russia about where we disagree and agree, and coming up with a big tent approach to Afghanistan that many of the Europeans have been very supportive of. It was a thrill to be talking to the next generation of young Europeans because after all that's what we all should be thinking about when we do this work. What is it going to mean for the future of these young people who have so much promise and potential? Are we going to make it better for them or are we going to mess it up? I'm going to try to do my part to make it better. QUESTION: And one striking example of the open hand policy is asking Iran to a conference on Afghanistan. Have you had a reply? SECRETARY CLINTON: No because we just floated the idea, which was well-received yesterday at NATO. We don't yet have a time or a place. We're just beginning to put that together. But we are reaching out to nations that are not just in NATO or in ISAF, which is the expanded contributors to the military effort in Afghanistan, but countries that have regional, strategic, transit interests - international donor countries. There are so many other countries who have a stak e in Afghanistan being stable. Iran borders Afghanistan. Iran -- QUESTION: Do you expect them to help? SECRETARY CLINTON: They were helpful early on in our efforts in Afghanistan. There were almost daily contacts, a little known fact, between our Ambassador to Afghanistan and Iran's ambassador to Afghanistan. They literally met practically every day to talk through what they could do together. Remember that the Taliban was viewed as one of Iran's adversaries. We sometimes lose track of the complex relationships that exist. So we will invite them. Whether they come is up to them. QUESTION: Now you're meeting your Russian counterpart later today. Is this the beginning of a new relationship with Russia? Because things have been pretty sticky recently haven't they? SECRETARY CLINTON: We're going to press the reset button, as Vice President Biden famously said at the Munich conference. I will be meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov. We have a long list on both sides of matters that we're going to try to seek some areas of cooperation - our efforts against terrorism, our efforts on behalf of arms control and nonproliferation, discuss areas where we think that we've got to understand each other better and try to eliminate the friction - energy security, climate change, things like that. But there are areas where we just flat out disagree, and we're not going to paper those over. We will not recognize the breakaway areas of Georgia. We do not recognize any sphere of influence on the part of Russia and their having some kind of veto power over who can join the EU or who can join NATO. Yes, we run the gamut of areas where we believe we have the same interests, areas where we are diametrically opposed. We want to move as many of the areas of agreement into action items. We want to try to better understand whether there are ways to deal with the disagreements. QUESTION: But what about the idea of putting missiles on Czech and Polish soil? That's obviously a very big source of disagreement. How can you persuade the Russians of your argument that they are not aimed at them? I mean, missiles don't have labels on them saying "Do not deliver to Russia." SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they are defensive weapons. That's part of what missile defense is all about. And the Russians actually offered to work with the United States on a joint production of missile defense capacity. We feel very strongly that the threat comes toward Europe not from Russia in terms of missiles, but from Iran and maybe networks of terrorists. We're going to make that argument and I t[...]

Clinton's Townhall with Young Europeans

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 20:31:29 -0600

You offer the chance to rebuild American foreign policy and to restore your country's influence and standing around the globe. No task could be more important as we face today's crisis and tomorrow's world. On behalf of all my colleagues in the European Parliament and the young generation represented here in this room, I would like to pay a personal tribute to your remarkable record of public service and your tireless contribution to public life. As First Lady, as senator, as presidential candidate, and now as Secretary of State, you have really shown what public service means. You have been an inspiration and a role model for generations old and new. (Applause.) Madame Secretary, you called your memoir - the first one, how many will follow - Living History. As I think you will agree, we are truly living history today. So there could be no better time than now to bring together so many young people who will live not just history, but the future, a future shaped in part by the difficult decisions we have to take today. To make a success of this future, it is vital that the European Union and the United States work closely together and that we tackle the problems we share in common. The setting for this discussion, the European Parliament, is very appropriate. We are a young institution, but one of real and growing power. We have shown how different traditions and interests can be reconciled and harnessed to solve problems too big for any one European country to address on its own. As the first new nation, you in the United States of America showed how a united and free continent could be much more than the sum of its parts. Two centuries later, we are engaged in an experiment which is just as exciting here in Europe. The European Parliament is at the very heart of this historic project. We are the only democratically elected international institution. We bring together the elected representatives of nearly 500 million Europeans from over 150 national political parties in 27 countries, sitting in seven political groups. In June, we will take our record to the people, in the only transnational elections of their kind anywhere in the world: 375 million citizens will have the right to vote. Madame Secretary, here in the European Parliament, as in the European Union institutions as a whole, we want to work with you on the central challenges of our time, whether it be the defense of our common values, peace in the Middle East, climate change, energy security, or economic governance. There is a huge practical agenda for us to develop together. We are keen to begin work immediately. The Obama Administration committed to a new start in transatlantic relations. Let us work together, as equal partners, to build a better future. There is huge enthusiasm, great excitement, and enormous goodwill in Europe toward you, Madame Secretary, and your new President as you begin work in these stirring times. I think there is a similar sense of anticipation, excitement, and commitment in this room today as I ask you to take the floor to discuss the future with the next generation of Europeans. Ladies and gentlemen, the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.) SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, President Pöttering. It is wonderful to be here, and I also want to thank Secretary General Rømer and the parliamentarians who have joined us. But I am most excited about having the opportunity to engage in a conversation with, as the president said, the next generation of Europeans. I appreciate the kind words that you said in introducing me. I must confess that I wanted to come here on my visit - the first visit to Europe as Secretary of State - because as I have traveled just in the last weeks, I have sought opportunities in Tokyo and in Seoul, here in Europe, to talk with - and most importantly hear from - the young people for whom [...]

Secretary Clinton's Press Conf. with President Abbas

Wed, 04 Mar 2009 20:07:39 -0600

And we have also discussed the Palestinian national dialogue that has been taking place and continues to take place in Cairo, and about the formation of a Palestinian unity that abides by our obligations fully and works towards overseeing presidential and legislative elections in - within - no longer than the 24th of January 2010. I believe that the time has become opportune now to put all the final status issues on the negotiation table, and also to conclude and finalize them and reach a final solution. And I'm talking about Jerusalem, the borders, refugees, water, security, and other issues, as well as the issue of prisoners, that we believe it is very important to release them all at the end of this process. As we have also discussed, the Israeli Government - the new Israeli Government - and we have reiterated that we respect the choice of the Israeli people, and we respect the elections that took place in Israel. But we demand that the Israeli Government also commits itself to the Roadmap plan and the two-state vision and solution, and for the Israeli Government to work towards ending all settlement activities and lifting the checkpoints and end the settlement projects, particularly what is happening these days in E1 area, and the displacement that was decided in C1 area. These are issues that we cannot accept or tolerate. We have also stressed that we are waiting - awaiting from President Obama's Administration and from the Quartet to work to push the two parties towards abiding by these commitments. There's also another important issue that has taken place at Sharm el-Sheikh conference regarding the aid, the assistance that is going to be provided to the Palestinian people. But we have talked with Mrs. Clinton about the need to open the crossing points and the borders, and to lift the siege that is imposed upon our people in Gaza Strip and allow the humanitarian and basic needs to flow into Gaza Strip, because the Palestinian people are suffering a lot. And the time is passing by and people are suffering and in need, and that is not tolerated. We reiterate again that we are committed to the complete and comprehensive and final solution that was described in the Roadmap plan, and we hope that peace can be concluded at all other tracks - the Syrian track and the Lebanese track - so that we have a comprehensive peace and genuine and just peace in the region. We also reiterate here that the Arab Peace Initiative that was endorsed by more than one Arab and Islamic summit would be ready for implementation, but we hope that no longer time passes by before we can implement it. And I - we think that it is a sure opportunity and only opportunity for a peace to be achieved in the Middle East region and in the whole world. Again, I'd like to welcome you, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, and I thank you for your visit. SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, President Abbas. It is a pleasure and an honor to be back here and to have the opportunity to meet with you, a leader of courage and dedication to the Palestinian people. And I am very proud to stand beside President Abbas to deliver a message from my country and our President. The United States supports the Palestinian Authority as the only legitimate government of the Palestinian people. And as a partner on the road to a comprehensive peace, which includes a two-state solution, our support comes with more than words. As I pledged in Sharm el-Sheikh, we will work with President Abbas, Prime Minister Fayyad, and the government of the Palestinian Authority to address critical humanitarian, budgetary, security, and infrastructure needs, both in Gaza and in the West Bank. As I said in Sharm el-Sheikh, a child growing up in Gaza without shelter, healthcare or an education, has the same right to go to school, see a doctor, and live with a roof over her head as a ch[...]

Press Conference with Secretary Clinton and FM Livni

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 20:11:43 -0600

I was privileged to start my day with President Peres, and then to pay a visit to Yad Vashem to once again pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. My visit was a powerful reminder, as it always is, of why we are working so hard to advance the peace and security of the state of Israel. As I said this morning, President Obama and I believe that the bond between the United States and Israel, and our commitment to Israel's security and to its democracy as a Jewish state, remains fundamental, unshakable, and eternally durable. We had a very productive discussion today, and it was broad-ranging. We discussed, among many other things, our common commitment to a two-state solution as part of a comprehensive, secure peace with Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab neighbors. We talked about the steps that the minister has pursued and what could be done when there is a new government in place. The first step right now, not waiting for a new government, is a durable ceasefire. But that can only be achieved if Hamas ceases the rocket attacks. No nation should be expected to sit idly by and allow rockets to assault its people and its territories. These attacks must stop and so must the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. These activities put innocent lives of Israelis and Palestinians at risk and undermine the well-being of the people of Gaza. As we move forward, we will work together - along with the international community - to address the humanitarian needs in Gaza. We believe we can also work together to further the obligations that were entered into by the Palestinian Authority under President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, and help pave the way for a viable Palestinian state that can be independent, accountable, and live at peace. That is the message that I brought to the Gaza donors conference, along with a pledge that the United States will be vigorously engaged in the pursuit of a two-state solution every step of the way. Our Special Envoy Senator Mitchell is here with me today. He will be back soon, once there is a government formed. The road ahead, we acknowledge, is a difficult one but there is no time to waste. The foreign minister and I also discussed Iran. We share Israel's concerns about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its continued financing of terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah. As we conduct our policy review and consider areas where we might be able to productively engage with Iran, we will stay in very close consultation with our friends here in Israel, with the neighbors of Iran in the region and beyond with those countries that understand what a threat Iran poses today, and what a greater threat it would pose were it ever to be successful in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. As I pledge again today, and as President Obama has said, we will do everything necessary to ensure Israel's security now and into the future. I will later today meet with the prime minister-designate, with the defense minister, and with the prime minister, and will be engaging with them on a full range of the issues that we - both of our countries -care so much about. We believe that working together as friends and partners with patient, determined, persevering diplomacy, we can help advance the cause of peace and security here in Israel and throughout the region. So again, Madame Minister, thank you so much for hosting me here today. FOREIGN MINISTER LIVNI: Thank you. It is an honor for us, for all of us, to welcome you to Israel. I mean, Secretary Clinton is a good friend of Israel and has shown this deep understanding of the needs of Israel, the understanding of the nature of the threats that we have here in the region, and shown this kind of friendship and understanding - an understanding in many positions that you had in the past. There are new adm[...]

Secretary Clinton Takes Questions on Israel & Palestine

Mon, 02 Mar 2009 20:33:27 -0600

I announced today that the United States is joining others in responding to the needs of the Palestinian people. We have made a pledge of over $900 million for humanitarian and early recovery assistance. Now, two points clearly emerged from the conference: First, that the international community is committed to providing immediate assistance to meet the humanitarian needs in Gaza and to help the Palestinian Authority's efforts to improve the lives of all the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. Second, that the assistance we are offering is integral to our broader goals of a comprehensive peace and a two-state solution. We are working with our Palestinian partners to help pave the way for a responsible Palestinian state that can be independent, accountable to its people, and live in peace with Israel and its Arab neighbors. President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad both displayed their leadership today as they outlined their objectives in their remarks. And it wasn't only goals. There were very specific requests that I believe helped to create the confidence that led to the very large sum of money that was pledged today. Senator Mitchell, our Special Envoy, joined me throughout the day. And as you have already seen, the United States is prepared to engage in aggressive diplomacy with all sides in pursuit of a comprehensive settlement that brings peace and security to Israel, the Palestinians, and their Arab neighbors. And with that, I'd be glad to answer some questions. QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you called on Israel today to show the Palestinians that there are benefits to negotiating. I guess I'm interested in what you have in mind there. Does it include freezing settlements and opening border crossings? And added to that, your EU colleague, Ms. Ferraro-Waldner, said that you will certainly make the case in Jerusalem on opening border crossings. Will you? SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Israel is in the process of forming a new government, and we will be discussing specific policies with that new government once it is formed. Tomorrow, Senator Mitchell and I will be meeting with all of the major players in Israel. On Wednesday, we will go to Ramallah and meet for a working meeting with President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad. As a general principle, we believe it is important for Israel to work with its responsible Palestinian partners, including President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad, to improve the lives of Palestinians, to expand opportunities for Palestinians, and to strengthen their capacity to govern the Palestinian people and move toward a viable state. As I said in my remarks, to me, this is about what happens to the children in Gaza and the West Bank. I got into politics because I care deeply about what happens to children. I could never have imagined that I'd be sitting here as the United States Secretary of State. My work has always been about how to give children a better chance to live up to their God-given potential. A child in Gaza has the same right as a child anywhere in the world to a good education, to health care, and to a better future. Parents in the West Bank have the same right as parents anywhere in the world to a good job, to housing, to a better opportunity for their children. That is what motivates me, and I believe that will be the basis on which we discuss how best to realize the goal of a two-state solution, a comprehensive peace, and a better future for Israeli and Palestinian children. QUESTION: This is a question from (inaudible) magazine. Will the U.S. try to convince Israel to agree on the ceasefire agreement that Egypt has done a lot to reach it? And the second point: Will you consult with the countries in the region concerning your dialogue - future dialogue with Iran? Thank you. SECRETARY CL[...]

Secretary Clinton Congratulates Kosovo on First Year of Independence

Thu, 26 Feb 2009 20:58:15 -0600

I emphasized that the United States, working with our European partners, will continue to extend strong and substantial support for the world's youngest democracy. I am just absolutely delighted, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, to welcome you to Washington. Mr. President. PRESIDENT SEJDIU: (Via interpreter) Thank you once again, Madame Secretary. I would like to thank you -- SECRETARY CLINTON: Can we just stop one second? Why don't we bring Ms. Osmani out, and she can use a microphone out here, so that when the president finishes we'll have consecutive translation; otherwise, none of the press will be able to hear a word that that the president says. PRESIDENT SEJDIU: Okay, good. SECRETARY CLINTON: So if we could get Ms. Osmani - in fact, Ms. Osmani, come stand - is there a microphone there that'll work? Or here. Come stand with me. This young lady is the chief of staff to the president. She did an excellent job interpreting for us when we had our meeting. So we'll have the president speak, and then we'll have Ms. Osmani speak. MS. OSMANI: Thank you, Madame. PRESIDENT SEJDIU: (Via interpreter) Once again, I would like to thank you, Madame Secretary, for this great opportunity to have discussions with you for the challenges in front of us and for the developments in our country, and to extend the gratitude of the people and the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo for the continuous support that the United States of America have given continuously to the Republic of Kosovo. Without the role of the United States of America, Kosovo and its people would not have achieved this point of very important development and progress, and this has been a constant role of support that was given by all the administrations of the United States of America. Of course, we had a brief discussion about the developments that have happened in Kosovo during the past year. We marked the first anniversary of the independence of Kosovo, the anniversary of the happiness of the children and the people of the Republic of Kosovo. This has been a year of Kosovo's chance to prove itself as a democratic, multiethnic state, a state for all its citizens despite of their ethnicity. And it is a year where Kosovo has proved itself as a good neighbor for all the other countries around and its approach for good, neighborly relations with the countries. We had the chance to express our vision that Kosovo is essentially interested to become a part of the European Union and NATO, and with a special bond and a special friendship that will continue forever with the United States of America. Kosovo has so far been recognized by 55 countries throughout the globe, and we were delighted to get a confirmation from the United States of America that we will continue to get their support in also getting the recognition from other countries, and also the support for a speedy economic development of our country, and the support for our vision to create a country which is democratic and a country for all its citizens. As I always say, God bless America and its people. We truly believe and we have faith in the United States of America, in President Obama and Secretary Clinton and her team, and all the people of the United States. We know that we will never be left alone. Thank you very much. SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. Mr. Prime Minister. PRIME MINISTER THACI: (Via interpreter) Dear Madame Secretary Albright -- (laughter) -- SECRETARY CLINTON: It's all right. I'm still new. PRIME MINISTER THACI: (Via interpreter) Madame Secretary Clinton, the people of Kosovo shall forever remain grateful, and the memories of your support to them will always remain fresh in their minds. They shall always remain grateful for your help, the help of the[...]

Secretary Clinton's Press Conference with the Chinese FM

Sat, 21 Feb 2009 20:34:58 -0600

Both the Secretary and I stated that we attached great importance to China-U.S. relations, and cherish the sincere desire to actively promote China-U.S. relations. China believes that, at a time when the international situation continues to undergo complex and profound changes, China and the United States, as the world's biggest developing country and biggest developed country, have broad, common interests and important common responsibilities on major issues that concern peace and development of mankind. We should develop broader and deeper relations between the two countries in the new era. The two countries should work together and build a cooperative relationship of mutual benefit and win-win progress in a wide range of areas with a view to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, at large. Both sides stressed that close dialogues and exchanges at the top and other levels between China and the United States, playing an irreplaceable role in advancing the bilateral relations. The upcoming meeting between President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama during the G-20 London financial summit in early April will be of great significance. The two sides will make careful preparations for the meeting, and ensure its success. The two sides believed that China and the United States should continue to strengthen dialogues on strategic, overarching, and long-term issues of mutual interest in a political, diplomatic, and economic fields. The two sides reached agreement, in principle, on the establishment of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues mechanism, and will engage in further consultations to make detailed arrangement for the mechanism. I have briefed Secretary Clinton on the recent development of the relations across the Taiwan Strait, and stated China's principled position on the Taiwan question. The Chinese side appreciates the fact that the U.S. side has reaffirmed on many occasions its position that it adheres to the One China policy abides by the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués, and opposes Taiwan independence and Taiwan's membership in any international organization where statehood is required. China hopes that the United States will properly handle the Taiwan question with caution, and support the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. The two sides discussed the ongoing international financial crisis and agreed that, as the crisis is still unfolding and spreading, China and the United States should enhance coordination on macro- economic, and financial policies, jointly work for positive outcomes at the G-20 London financial summit, and reject trade and investment protectionism. The two sides agreed that China and the United States should intensify exchanges in cooperation in economy and trade, law enforcement, science, education, culture, health, and other fields, continue to conduct counter-terrorism and non-proliferation consultations, and military-to-military exchanges, and continue to hold human rights dialogues on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The two sides believed that cooperation in the fields of energy and the environment is playing an increasingly important role in the growth of bilateral relations. China and the United States will enhance such exchanges in cooperation on the basis of the China-U.S. 10-year energy and environment cooperation framework, including exchanges in cooperation in developing and utilizing clean energy, raising energy efficiency, and strengthening environmental protection. The two sides also agreed to step up communication and consultation on climate change, make joint efforts in the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of key low-carbon technologies, and wo[...]

Clinton's Press Conference with the South Korean FM

Fri, 20 Feb 2009 20:59:42 -0600

Secretary Clinton and I also had in-depth discussions on North Korea and the North Korean nuclear issue. We reaffirmed that the Republic of Korea and the United States will not tolerate North Korea's nuclear ambitions under any circumstances. We also reaffirmed our commitment to pursue the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea through the Six-Party Talks on the basis of close coordination between Korea and the U.S. And we agreed to strengthen cooperation with the other participating countries of the Six-Party Talks as well. Secretary Clinton and I concurred that North Korea's recent behavior of refusing inter-Korean dialogue and attempting to heighten tensions is impairing the stability on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian region. We urge North Korea to halt such provocative actions and expeditiously resume inter-Korean talks without any preconditions. Secretary Clinton and I agreed that our two countries should continue to work closely together to overcome the global financial crisis faced by the international community, and also to prevent trade protectionism. In this regard, our two countries will exert joint efforts to ensure the success of the upcoming G-20 Summit meeting in London in April. In addition, with regard to the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, we shared the view that the FTA will strengthen Korea-U.S. ties overall and agreed to work together to move forward on this matter. Furthermore, we agreed to continue our cooperation for the success of the negotiations on climate change. The two of us shared the view that the stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan are crucial for the global peace and stability and agree to continue to work together to this end. In this regard, our side explained our intentions for additional contributions to Afghanistan and the joint assistant projects being pursued by Korea and Japan. The U.S. side welcomed and expressed its appreciation for Korea's continued participation in the combined efforts of the international community. In addition, our side explained plans to dispatch a Navy vessel to the waters of Somalia where it will take part in the international efforts to ensure maritime safety and to counter terrorism. Secretary Clinton and I are of the view that it would be desirable to hold a bilateral summit meeting at an early date in order to strengthen our cooperation on further developing our alliance and on major global issues such as the global financial crisis, and we agreed to work together on this. This Foreign Ministers' meeting has been a very meaningful occasion, where Korea and the U.S. have further strengthened our policy coordination and cooperation through wide-ranging discussions on major issues and matters of interest. Thank you. MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Next, Secretary Clinton. SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Yu, for your hospitality and for such a productive meeting today. I am very pleased to be back in the Republic of Korea on my first overseas visit as Secretary of State. I have very fond memories of the time I spent here as First Lady, and I hold great hopes for the future of our partnership. Because it is more than just a regional partnership; it is becoming a global strategic alliance that rests upon shared commitments and common values - democracy, human rights, market economies, and the pursuit of peace. And it concerns more than simply the dealings between our two nations. Our partnership has already begun to look outward at the wide array of challenges and opportunities we face around the world, and will do so increasingly in the years to come. Let me begin with one of the most pressing of those challenges, the global financial cri[...]

Secretary Clinton on Engaging North Korea

Thu, 19 Feb 2009 20:32:57 -0600

So we start from the premise that the Six-Party Talks are a good forum, and we will be appointing a successor envoy to Secretary Hill and engaging as broadly as we possibly can while trying to speak directly to the North Korean people and to the others in the government who are jockeying for position that there are benefits that they would obtain if they began to cooperate. QUESTION: How do you put that - the human rights issues in this context, in this approach, then? SECRETARY CLINTON: I believe that the agenda for the Six-Party Talks is a comprehensive one, denuclearizing in a verifiable and complete way, dealing with their missiles, and the human rights agenda, which includes the abductees. QUESTION: I see. On China, there have been various concerns about China's military buildup in the region, and particularly the nuclear buildup. Since you have started to talk about, you know, the initiation - re-initiation of START and also desired ratification CTBT, how do you put that - China's nuclear buildup in this context? SECRETARY CLINTON: That's an excellent question, and it is one of the issues I intend to discuss with the Chinese about the possibility of their becoming more involved in nonproliferation and arms control, as the Russians historically have been. China has a role that is important for them to play, and I hope that there will be an opportunity for us to begin negotiating on some of those issues. QUESTION: I see. So you are trying to initiate a bilateral negotiation? Is the process to discuss about this issue between the U.S. and China in the coming months and years? SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. It will be a discussion that can very well lead to some process. QUESTION: I see. The U.S.-China-Japan - there have - some voices arguing for starting that new process among those three countries because, particularly on the global issues, there have emerged so much overlapping interests and concerns. And perhaps it is the right time for those three countries to get together to at least consult each other with those mutual interests and concerns. Do you agree to that? SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that's an idea worth exploring. Certainly, Japan and China and the United States have a lot of concerns in common. As you know, China and Japan both have historically exported a lot of goods to the United States. In this economic crisis, they're both confronting some difficult decisions. The United States has a great desire in creating a cooperative relationship among China, Japan, and ourselves. So we will be asking both countries if there are such opportunities for a trilateral dialogue that we could perhaps look forward to. QUESTION: Would it possibly include trilateral summits? SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is one of these ideas that is just being born, so I think we have to see whether we can create a format that is acceptable to all three countries. QUESTION: Specifically, in what way do you think that those three countries really should promote mutual understanding and explore the common approach with regard to the global warming, climate change issue? SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that's a perfect example. Japan is further advanced than the United States and China in energy efficiency and clean energy technology. So creating a partnership among the three of us would benefit China and the United States, and economically benefit Japan. I think that helping China understand ways that it can lower emissions without undermining their economic growth, which is their big fear - you know, they look at Japan, how advanced Japan is. They look at the United States and they say, well, you know, we have a right to develop and give our people a hig[...]