Archive for September, 2010

The pictures are  from Mme. Secretary’s visit to Ecuador on June 8 of this year.  She got along well with President Correa.  Tonight, CNN reported thay he had been tear-gassed, brought to a hospital, and thought he was kidnapped because the police would not let him leave the hospital.

Events in Ecuador

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

We are closely following events in Ecuador. The United States deplores violence and lawlessness and we express our full support for President Rafael Correa, and the institutions of democratic government in that country.

We urge all Ecuadorians to come together and to work within the framework of Ecuador’s democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of order.

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Remarks With Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is a great pleasure to welcome the vice president and foreign minister from Panama here today. I’ve had the opportunity of already working with him. We last met in Lima during the OAS Assembly there, and I’m looking forward to having an in-depth discussion about all of the issues we face.

VICE PRESIDENT VARELA: Thank you, Secretary of State. I’m very happy to be here in Washington today in this meeting with Secretary of State Clinton. The United States is a key partner for Panama, and we can work very closely in the region to make a more secure region. I’m looking forward to – for future agreements to be ratified with Congress in the future, to strengthen our relationship, and make sure that we keep working together to make this a more secure effort for all the people that live here. So, I’m very happy to be here and I’m looking forward to the meeting too.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Juan Carlos.

VICE PRESIDENT VARELA: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Senator John Kerry on the Hill

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Senator Kerry, and thank you for your strong leadership that produced the 14-4 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I’m very grateful that Chairman Kerry and Ranking Member Lugar were at the forefront of making the case why the treaty is so much in America’s national security interests.
I also applaud the continuous resolution that included money that will be spent in order to modernize our nuclear facilities and begin the process of updating not only our technology, but training of personnel that are necessary in order to ensure that we are providing good stewardship of America’s nuclear programs.
This vote that was in the Committee demonstrates unequivocally that national security is a bipartisan commitment. As we have seen with every arms control agreement, going back to the original START 1 treaty that was passed, ratified by the Senate 18 years ago tomorrow, this is an obligation and responsibility that senators addressed without regard for the day-to-day politics. In fact, that last treaty, as John will know by doing the arithmetic, occurred in another election year, but that does not in any way undermine the bipartisan acknowledgment of the importance of continuing this critical work.
We have had excellent conversations with senators on both sides of the aisle and we will continue to answer questions and work with the Senate broadly beyond the committee in preparation for the vote that we are hoping will occur in the lame duck session, because we ran out of time here during the Senate before it went out prior to the election.
But the support for new START by our entire military leadership, our intelligence community, six former secretaries of state, five former secretaries of defense, three former national security advisors, and seven former commanders of U.S. Strategic Command is an extraordinary endorsement of why this treaty needs to be passed, and passed in the lame duck session.
So again, I thank the chairman for his leadership, for the great vote that we got from the committee, and I look forward to the vote in the lame duck session that will once again demonstrate the Senate joining all of its predecessors in years past to continue to support arms control treaty.
Thank you.

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Public Schedule for September 30, 2010

Washington, DC
September 30, 2010

9:15 a.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries of the Regional Bureaus, at the Department of State.

11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Senator John Kerry, on Capitol Hill.

12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Senator Chuck Schumer, on Capitol Hill.

12:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius hold refugee consultations with Members of the House of Representatives, on Capitol Hill.

3:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Panamanian Vice President and Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Varela at the Department of State.

4:15 p.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, at the Department of State.

6:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton attends a reception and dinner to recognize the Meridian International Center’s 50th Anniversary, at the Department of State.

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Remarks With Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is a great honor to welcome President Funes to the Department of State today. I was honored to represent President Obama and the United States at his inauguration. And I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss many matters of importance to El Salvador and the United States with the President.

The United States is committed to assisting El Salvador to deal with the challenges it faces in terms of security and economic growth. As part of that commitment, last week at the United Nations, Foreign Minister Martinez represented El Salvador as we launched the BRIDGE initiative, which stands for Building Remittance Investment for Development, Growth and Entrepreneurship.

And Mr. President, we are very pleased that our ambassador has finally arrived in El Salvador so that we can get to work on all of the issues that we have discussed today. And I look forward to deepening and broadening our partnership in the months ahead.

PRESIDENT FUNES: (Via interpreter) Thank you, friends of the media, Madam Secretary, officers of my government, we are pleased of being here in sharing the issues that are common to all of us, but also sharing the solutions to those issues. Since the beginning of my government 16 months ago, I said that the problems of my country are shared with Central America and we are going to be able to overcome them only with the support of the U.S. Government. That is why we have identified two strategies. One is to reduce the actions of organized crime and the other one is to reduce poverty.

So I am pleased that with the meeting, after listening to Madam Secretary, that we’re going to put together a task force together with all the Central American countries and start a work plan to attack these two issues.

And I’d also like to thank personally Madam Secretary and the support of Mr. Obama’s Administration for the – 18 months more of the TPS that is going to promote all the 200,000 Salvadorans that live and work in the United States. And I’ve also – I also want to thank the support with this special fund that is going to bring fresh sources for investors from money coming from the remittances that are sent to our country.

And of course, we are also pleased of the appointment of (inaudible) Mari Carmen Aponte that finally arrived to our country as an Ambassador of the United States.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.

Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Treaty Room of the State Department. I am delighted to welcome the foreign minister back to Washington. He and I have gotten to know each other over the course of the last year since his appointment, and I very much appreciate the chance to work with him. We talked a lot over lunch about the many issues that Germany and the United States are concerned about and how we can together strengthen security and foster prosperity, not only in our own countries but throughout Europe and the world.

The partnership between Germany and the United States is very strong. It’s vital and it is essential to our respective citizens. We see that in Europe where Germany has led the effort to sustain and strengthen European integration, including the expansion of NATO and the European Union. And I congratulate the foreign minister and Chancellor Merkel and the people of Germany on the upcoming commemoration of unification.

In Afghanistan, Germany has shown a continued commitment to the international mission and the future of the Afghan people. Whether it is in the wake of an earthquake in Haiti or a devastating flood in Pakistan, Germany is there with support to assist the people who are so devastated by these natural disasters. We see so much evidence every day of Germany’s leadership and the critical role that the German-American partnership plays in the world to promote peace, defeat common threats, further economic growth, reduce poverty, and defend democracy and human rights.

Today, the foreign minister and I discussed several priorities, including the Middle East peace process, ensuring that Iran meets its international obligations, the upcoming NATO and U.S.-EU summits in Lisbon. It is always a great pleasure to work with the foreign minister.

And on Sunday, October 3rd, the world will be reminded of all that Germany has accomplished in the last two decades to heal its wounds and to reconcile its people. German unification is a remarkable story. It is testament to the vision of Germany’s leaders and the strength of the German people. I often talk about it, Minister, with others who are not yet able to overcome past differences in order to build a better shared future. But Germany has shown the world that walls can be torn down, that communities can be stitched back together, that lasting peace is possible even after long periods of division and discord, and that cooperation is the best way to achieve peace, progress, and prosperity.

So on behalf of the American people, let me extend congratulations to the people of Germany on this upcoming anniversary, thank you for your many years of friendship and partnership, and pledge that the United States will continue to look for ways to deepen and broaden the work we do together. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, Hillary, it is a great pleasure to be back in Washington. Thank you very much for your warm hospitality. We had a very good conversation, intensive dialogue, and it was very good to exchange our ideas and our perspectives, of course.

Please allow me, first of all, a few words to a very special occasion. On Sunday we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of German unity, and it is something what you mentioned, and you expressed your appreciation what the German people did in those days. But I, by myself, I would like to thank you. I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of the United States of America, but also to the people of the United States of America for their great support over so long years. You stand with us in the painful time when we have been divided as a country. You worked with us for our unification, and the German unification was also the European reunification.

And I really want to express our gratitude to the people of America. We really are very grateful about your support and we are now in a very, very close friendship like we saw in our meeting here. Once again, without your unconditional support, our freedom and our unity would not have been possible, and this is something the German people will never forget to the American people.

Thank you very much, first of all, to this. And now I would like to change for some short remarks into my native language.

(Via interpreter) I would like to repeat in my very own language too that I want to express my heartfelt and strong gratitude towards the American people for having cooperated with their government to contribute to German reunification. That is something that Germany, that the German people, and the German Government will never forget, especially as we are looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of that very date of reunification.

We are facing important foreign policy decisions this autumn. Our intention is to use the NATO summit on 19th and 20th November this year to pass a new Strategic Concept of NATO. Secretary General Rasmussen has circulated a draft that we believe provides a good basis for further discussions and that takes up many of the suggestions that we have made in the process of preparing this new Strategic Concept.

The very important topic of Afghanistan too will be a point where the Lisbon summit will provide an important milestone. Our intention is to prepare the ground to throw the switches, so to speak, to prepare the ground for a step-by-step handover of the security responsibility, the responsibility for the security into Afghan hands. We want that to begin next year.

We also talked about the Mideast, and I assured my colleague once again of the very strong support that we intend to show and that we have shown for the American effort in the peace process.

(In English) I told Secretary Clinton that we wholeheartedly support the American efforts to take the Middle East peace process forward. The renewed direct talks are a historic change that must not be missed, and therefore we welcome the engagement of the American Government, of Secretary Clinton, of the President Obama. We think this is very important. The strong leadership in this process is so important and it is in our common interest that we bring this peace process to a successful and peaceful end, and therefore I also welcome the engagement of our High Representative of the European Union, of Cathy Ashton, and I think it is very, very supportable and very – we appreciate really her visit now to the region in the Middle East which she will start tomorrow.

(In German.) (Laughter.)

INTERPRETER: He was saying I don’t have – there’s no need for interpretation.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Yeah, I really waited for the translation. I’m sorry. (Laughter.)

Finally, we discussed also the relations with Turkey. The relationship clearly has a strategic dimension for both of us. Turkey is not only a NATO ally; it is also an important player in the region. We want to cooperate closely and it is in our own interest that the perspective of Turkey remains European and Western.

Thank you very much for your (inaudible) and thank you very much once again for your hospitality.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Guido. Thank you very much.

MR. TONER: We have time for just two questions. Kim.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, I have two questions for you, if I may. The first one is on Iran. You met Mrs. Ashton this morning. She has offered to meet with the Iranians. I was wondering whether you have any sense yet – whether she has any sense yet of what the Iranian response is going to be, and how are you going to take this forward?

My second question is about one of your former counterparts. The former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that he’s leaving frontline politics. You worked very closely with him when he was still in office. I was wondering if you had any reactions. And he’s going to be looking for a job. I wonder if you have any advice for him. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Cathy Ashton has consistently conveyed to Iran the readiness of the P-5+1 to meet with Iran over its nuclear program. And that is a standing invitation. Guido and I were in New York together last week. Lady Ashton held a meeting for the P-5+1 foreign ministers, and we all agreed that we wanted to see the diplomatic process begin again but the ball was in the Iranian court, that they had thus far not officially confirmed to Lady Ashton their willingness to meet in the P-5+1 or offered any dates for such a meeting. So we continue to hope that we will be able to see that meeting occur.

And I have no advice for anyone in politics. (Laughter.) I’m out of politics. I obviously wish him well and I am very intrigued by the interesting political dynamics that are occurring inside the United Kingdom. But we are very, very pleased that our relationship with the current government of Prime Minister Cameron is very strong and focused on all of the important issues that we are working on together.

QUESTION: And a few words about (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I enjoyed working with him and I wish him well.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: I agree. (Laughter.) So once again, an excellent (inaudible) for American-German friendship.


FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: No, we will miss him, of course. He was an excellent colleague and the last year I could work with him together, and we really appreciated his work, but one door was closed and other doors will get opened.

QUESTION: My name is Christian Wilp. I’m with N-TV, RTL German Television. I have a question for both Madam Secretary and (inaudible) minister. How would you describe the current terror threats in the United States and in Europe, and are you especially concerned about terrorists with a German passport?

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) Relations between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany are excellent, and I think that is also important to mention because we are standing together in combating terrorism. We exchanged views and we also exchange intelligence where available. And we do so in order to better coordinate our actions in fighting terrorism. We’ve done so in the past and our intention is to continue that practice into the future, which is to say, in other words, that the cooperation between both our countries is to the benefit of the citizens of both our countries, which is to say that we’re providing for their very own security, that we’re protecting them against terrorist threats, against the use of violence. And our intention is to continue that excellent cooperation.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I can only say I agree. (Laughter.) It’s a very important part of our cooperation. We don’t comment on any specific threats or specific intelligence, but there is a very positive level of exchange of information that goes on constantly. And we are very grateful for that strong partnership.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t comment on any specific threats or any specific question about intelligence.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: And once again, we agree. (Laughter.)

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Briefing With Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

MR. TONER: Good afternoon. Welcome to the State Department. It’s our great pleasure to have the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury here. They’ll make brief remarks and then take a few questions.
Go ahead, Madam Secretary.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mark, and I’m delighted to have Secretary Geithner here at the State Department for this important announcement.
Yesterday, President Obama signed an Executive Order targeting eight Iranian officials responsible for serious and sustained human rights abuses since the disputed election of June 2009. On these officials’ watch or under their command, Iranian citizens have been arbitrarily arrested, beaten, tortured, raped, blackmailed, and killed. Yet the Iranian Government has ignored repeated calls from the international community to end these abuses, to hold to account those responsible and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens. And Iran has failed to meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The steady deterioration in human rights conditions in Iran has obliged the United States to speak out time and time again. And today, we are announcing specific actions that correspond to our deep concern. The mounting evidence of repression against anyone who questions Iranian Government decisions or advocates for transparency or even attempts to defend political prisoners is very troubling.
This week, Iranian authorities banned two reformist political parties and shut down two more newspapers. This follows a series of convictions and harsh sentences for a number of political prisoners. Two internationally recognized human rights defenders were sentenced to six-year prison terms. A student leader was given an eight and a half year sentence for insulting the president. Human rights lawyers, bloggers, journalists and activists for women’s rights have all been jailed and many have fallen ill due to mistreatment in prison.
Now, these actions obviously contradict recent claims made at the United Nations that Iranians enjoy the right of free expression and that no one is imprisoned for political reasons. In signing this Executive Order, the President sends the message that the United States stands up for the universal rights of all people. And as President Obama said at the United Nations last week, we will call out those who suppress ideas. We will serve as a voice for the voiceless. And we will hold abuse of governments and individuals accountable for their actions.
This is the first time the United States has imposed sanctions against Iran based on human rights abuses. We would like to be able to tell you that it might be the last, but we fear not. We now have at our disposal a new tool that allows us to designate individual Iranians, officials responsible for or complicit in serious human rights violations, and do so in a way that does not in any way impact on the well-being of the Iranian people themselves.
The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 permits us to impose financial sanctions and deny U.S. visas to specific Iranian officials where there is credible evidence against them. In doing so today, we declare our solidarity with their victims and with all Iranians who wish for a government that respects their human rights and their dignity and their freedom. By doing so, we convey our strong support for the rule of law, and we speak out for those unable to speak for themselves because they are jailed or frightened or fear retribution against themselves or their families.
Today, again, we call for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran and around the world, and we call on the Iranian Government to take actions to end these abuses and respect the universal rights and freedoms of its own citizens.
Secretary Geithner.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. I want to thank you and I want to compliment my colleague, Stuart Levey, and his counterparts at the State Department for working so closely together in designing these significant financial actions.
Just a few words on how these measures work and why they are effective: Rather than relying on the traditional approach of broad-based sanctions on the entire country of Iran, we have tried to focus on specific actors, institutions, and actions that threaten our interests as a whole. And we have found that when we single out individuals and expose their conduct, banks, businesses, and governments around the world respond by cutting off their economic and financial dealings with these individuals, these institutions, these businesses.
And this strategy can be very effective. We’ve seen a growing number of companies and financial institutions in countries around the world cut or substantially curtail their financial ties with Iran. They have decided – they have looked at, they have assessed the risks of continuing to do business with these entities, and they have decided that those risks are too great. And we already have indications that Iran’s leadership is concerned about the implications about the impact of this trend.
We have made important progress, and I want to emphasize, as the Secretary of State did, that our goal is not to hurt the Iranian people; our goal is to enact strong, effective measures that will pressure the leadership of Iran to abandon their dangerous course. And we will continue to find ways to target illicit conduct in all areas that threaten our interests.

Thank you.
MR. TONER: Go ahead, Matt.
QUESTION: Yeah. To both secretaries, just on the efficiency and the effectiveness of these sanctions, I mean, given the fact that thus far the rather broad sanctions that have been imposed on the IRGC and others trying to bring them back to the nuclear table haven’t seemed to work, it doesn’t – I’d just like to know what indications you have that those are working and why you think these, which are targeted at specific human rights abusers or alleged specific human rights abusers, will make any difference in their behavior.
And then Secretary Clinton, just separately, have you had any word back from the Omani delegation that is in Iran now talking about the possible release of the two remaining hikers? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Matt, first we do believe that the sanctions in place that were achieved through effort in the United Nations and then the additional sanctions imposed by our Congress and Administration along with the EU, Japan, and others, are having an impact. Stuart Levey gave a speech in New York – last week, Stuart?
SECRETARY CLINTON: — outlining the evidence that we have that these sanctions are beginning to be viewed as quite serious within the Iranian political, clerical, and business communities. So from our perspective, the diplomatic effort we engaged in over the course of the last year and a half has made very clear the unity of the international community with respect to Iran’s nuclear program, and we are engaged in discussions with our colleagues in the P-5+1 about an eventual return to the diplomatic table by the Iranians.
This is a different approach, as both Tim and I have said. We are using this new tool that the Congress has just given us to basically publicize and connect to the human rights abuses that are ongoing in Iran those officials about whom we have credible evidence who are responsible for either ordering or implementing these abuses, because we’ve always said that we not only cared about the nuclear program in Iran, we cared about the people of Iran and we cared about their conditions in their country, and we became quite concerned following the disputed elections.
So this is a – both a practical announcement in that there are financial and travel restrictions that will be imposed, but it is a statement of our values. And it is not only about the people of Iran who are suffering, but it expresses solidarity with victims of these kinds of actions around the world.
SECRETARY GEITHNER: When we found that when you focus on specific institutions, individuals, entities, and you focus on specific activities they are undertaking to demonstrate, it’s easier both to get broad-based support for financial – economic consequence, and that’s the basic rationale for the strategy.
Now, how do we know it’s working? We can see and we can see every week how hard it is for the Iranian Government to evade, get around, these things. It’s become much harder for them, the cost of doing it much more difficult, and that is having a big, visible impact in awareness among the leadership of Iran that the actions they’re taking have acute, severe, significant, economic and financial consequences.
QUESTION: On the Omanis?
SECRETARY CLINTON: And I have nothing to add to (inaudible).
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I understand what you say about the fact that this new legislation gives you additional tools, but what took so long for the U.S. to name and shame these officials that were involved in the crackdown? You’ve been talking about how concerned you were about the human rights situation since the crackdown when it was at its most bloodiest right after the election. The opposition has been virtually kind of completely repressed and oppressed since then, and perhaps some kind of naming and shaming earlier might have given them a little bit more hope and encouragement. So was it more about making the legal case, about having the tools? Why did it take so long?
And also, do you think that – this week, you’ve been talking with the Iranians about getting back to the table. Do you think this move is going to cause the Iranians to pull back?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, embedded in your question is the kind of evaluation that we have been engaged in consistently since the Administration came into office. We have a number of important goals in dealing with Iran. Obviously, the nuclear program and its potential to create a nuclear weaponized Iran is something that has grave consequences for the region and the balance among the countries there as well as the rest of the world. So we’ve been very clear, consistent, and achieved the goals that we set out in terms of the international sanctions, at the same time, offering both a diplomatic engagement as well as the pressure track.
We were very clear on criticizing the Iranian Government for their crackdown on peaceful demonstrations, on opposition, on the manipulation of the election. But we also were very mindful of the messages we were getting from Iranians both inside Iran and outside Iran that we had to be careful that this indigenous opposition that we certainly had nothing to do with that was attempting to stand up for the rights of the Iranian people was not somehow seen as a U.S. enterprise, because it wasn’t.
And so walking that line and trying to be both encouraging, forthright, and strong in our support of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Iranian people, at the same time not giving any reason for the Iranians to claim that this reaction from within was somehow either motivated or directed or connected with us, required a balancing act.
So that is what we’ve been doing, but we’ve been very consistent and persistent in pointing out the human rights abuses. And we did, with the accumulation of credible evidence, find ourselves, once the tools were in place, to be able to use them, which is what we’re announcing today.
MR. TONER: Last question, Bloomberg.
QUESTION: Thank you. Can you give us a sense with respect to these new sanctions of the size or scope of the holdings these eight individuals have in the States?
SECRETARY GEITHNER: No, but I can tell you again, as I said before, you need to measure the impact by what it does to the incentives, businesses, and institutions around the world have for continuing to engage in economic commercial actions with Iran. The best way to measure the impact, as you’ve seen across a range of measures, is the direct economic financial costs to the regime of continuing on this path. And again, we have been effective, remarkably effective, in substantially raising the price of these actions, made it much harder for the government to get around them, much more costly to get around them, and we can see the impact in how they’re behaving.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I would only add, and it kind of takes the last question as well as this one and combines them, we in the United States are clearly not alone in calling attention to ongoing human rights abuses and violations inside Iran. And in doing what we’ve done today, we are moving not just from criticizing the government, but beginning to call out individuals who are decision makers within that government and who we believe we can trace decisions to abuses in a manner that makes our case very strong.
So this is an ongoing effort with our partners around the world to affect the behavior of the Iranian Government and to send a very clear message that, as those of you who have traveled with me have heard me say before, that the original intentions of the Islamic Republic of Iran to have a franchise that was respected, to have a hybrid government of the elected and the clerical leadership appears to us to be undergoing severe distortion. And it really is ultimately up to the people of Iran themselves to speak out.
But of course, they are facing tremendous repression in the face of their advocacy for a much clearer sense of their citizenship role in Iran. And we’re not naïve. We know that thus far, this government has been impervious to our pleas and the pleas of many others. But we think it’s essential that we continue to make the case and today, we are adding in very specific terms with specific names to that case. Thank you.
MR. TONER: Thank you very much.

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Remarks With EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s a very great pleasure for me to welcome Lady Ashton back to the State Department. Over the last year, we have had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time together as we’ve traveled around the world. And I very much appreciate her leadership and the ability to discuss and work on a number of common concerns.
The post-Lisbon EU is expanding its role in world affairs, and the United States values our growing partnership with the EU and we see it as a cornerstone of global peace and security. It goes to the point of being self-evident that our ties with Europe are broad and deep, rooted in our common values and our shared history. And we have to look for opportunities to make the past not just a glorious time of close transatlantic cooperation, but as the prelude to a very smart, sustained involvement globally on the new threats and opportunities that confront us.
The United States and the EU are working together already in many important arenas. We are partners in the Quartet and we share a strong interest in direct negotiations continuing between the Israelis and Palestinians. And I want to thank Lady Ashton and the EU for the strong support that has been given to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to build institutions and lay the foundation for a future state. We are working to continue these talks. Senator Mitchell is in the region today and will be meeting with Lady Ashton upon her arrival tomorrow.
We also discussed our continuing concerns about Iran’s nuclear programs and reaffirmed our commitment to seek a diplomatic solution. Of course, it requires Iran responding to the standing invitation that the High Representative has extended for the resumption of the P-5+1 discussions. And I want to also thank you for the many contributions to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is very impressive that the EU has recently committed to increase Pakistan’s access to EU markets.
We discussed at some length the Balkans, where we both remain fully engaged and committed to helping all the countries of the region realize their aspirations for full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. The United States welcomes the European Union’s efforts to help Serbia and Kosovo resolve the practical issues between them, and I will be going to the region in about ten days. And we discussed at some length how we will enhance our cooperation not only at this level but on the ground.
We are very much looking forward to the U.S.-EU summit – that’s what we call it, she calls it the EU-U.S. summit – (laughter) – in November in Lisbon, because we are stronger when we work together. And so, again, let me thank you for your leadership and partnership.
HIGH REPRESENTATIVE ASHTON: Thank you very much. It’s a great privilege to be back. And as you describe, we’ve spent a lot of time over these last months talking with each other and our teams talking, sometimes on an hourly basis, about all of the different issues that we face. For me, my focus for the rest of today and tomorrow is going to turn to the Middle East, Having been in discussion with the Secretary and with Senator Mitchell, I will travel overnight through Europe to the Middle East to have meetings with Senator Mitchell, President Abbas, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Prime Minister Fayyad to see what we can do to support the efforts to keep the talks moving.
More than anything, we would like to see, of course, the moratorium on settlement building continue, but we are very keen to see the opportunity for President Abbas to stay in the talks and for them to move forward to a successful conclusion. So we’ll be doing what we can to do our part in that, and also talking about the work we’ve been doing to support the building of the Palestinian state, which is an imperative if we’re going to see success as the outcome of the talks.
As the Secretary says, we’ve talked about a number of different issues – Iran, very important to the moment, we have sent our messages very clearly that we are ready for dialogue with the aim of seeking a resolution to this. We await Iran formally coming back to us to say they would wish to start that dialogue, and we’re ready when they say so to do that. Everyone here knows how important it is to find a resolution to that problem, and I hope that we will see some movement as quickly as possible.
And too, of course, in the Balkans, a number of issues that concern us. We want to see the movement forward with Serbia and Kosovo, the importance of what President Tadic did with the resolution and what Prime Minister Thaci did to support that is well recognized by the USA and by the EU, and that’s very significant as a way through for the future. But more than anything, an opportunity for us to carry on collaborating to think about the big challenges of the future, of which Pakistan and a comprehensive approach to its problems will be perhaps one of the big focal points for both of us in the coming weeks and months.
MR. TONER: We have time for just a couple questions. Jill.
QUESTION: Thank you. Secretary Clinton, on the Mideast, a couple of things. There is – there are some reports coming out of Israel right now that President Obama is offering new assurances on upgraded weapons systems should there be a final solution. Could you just enlighten us; is that correct?
But in a broader sense, when the President was at the United Nations, he really put a lot of political capital on the line, making a major speech and urging Benjamin Netanyahu to extend that moratorium. It didn’t happen. In fact, you could say that Mr. Netanyahu blatantly disregarded what the President wanted. Will there be consequences for that?
And then in another sense, was it the wrong strategy to try to push him into the corner? It doesn’t seem to be working at this point. And with George Mitchell, now you have Mr. Netanyahu saying that there will be restraint in the settlements. What does that mean? Was that enough to keep people at the table?
And if I could, because you know we always like to add one other thing —
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m up to four or five now. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: I know, I know. But this is the fifth, only the fifth.
QUESTION: Intelligence services reportedly disrupted plans for a Pakistan militants’ attack on London, France, and Germany. Are those reports credible? Are those threats credible?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first as to the multiple questions about the Middle East and the peace process, we are committed to working with the parties so that they will remain in negotiations. We think that is in the best interests not only of the Israelis and the Palestinians, but indeed of the region and beyond, including the national security interests of the United States. There is a great deal of intense discussions occurring between here and Israel and in Israel, as well as with our Palestinian and Arab partners.
I’m not going to comment on any specifics. I think that as the President eloquently said at the United Nations, the United States believes in a two-state solution, and the only way that that can be achieved is through negotiations. Therefore, we are committed to negotiations. We understand the difficulty and the obstacles that this path holds for us, but for the same reason that Lady Ashton will get on a plane and make a long journey to meet with the leadership of the Israelis and the Palestinians, the United States will continue to push forward on a return to the negotiations and, more importantly, within those negotiations, the substantive discussion and resolution of the core issues.
Now with regard to the intelligence reports of threats, we are not going to comment on specific intelligence, as doing so threatens to undermine intelligence operations that are critical in protecting the United States and our allies. As we have repeatedly said, we know that al-Qaida and its network of terrorists wishes to attack both European and U.S. targets. We continue to work very closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism, including the role that al-Qaida continues to play. And information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, strengthen our defenses against potential threats.
This is, as you might very well conclude, one of the principal objectives and certainly one of the most time-consuming efforts that any of us in this Administration are engaged in on an hourly basis. And I want Americans to know how focused we all are in the government and how committed we are not only in protecting our own country, but in protecting our friends and allies.
MR. TONER: (Off-mike.)
QUESTION: Yes, (inaudible). My question is for both of you. Have you agreed on the EU and the U.S. role in the forthcoming talks between Belgrade and Pristina? And Secretary Clinton, what’s the main agenda for your just-announced visit to the region to Belgrade and Sarajevo?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m going to let Lady Ashton start and then I will finish.
HIGH REPRESENTATIVE ASHTON: It’s incredibly important in moving forward with Belgrade and Pristina that we are working together, and that is a message that we have said to President Tadic, Prime Minister Thaci, when I met with them last week, that we need to all engage in this process and to be, as we are, constructive in our dialogue to try and find the way forward, which, as you know, I believe for both, is a European future.
SECRETARY CLINTON: We support that completely. The U.S. and the EU have worked together and we will continue to do so. I am very much looking forward to my visit to both Belgrade and Pristina and the opportunity not only to speak with leaders, but also with citizens, because it’s important that we keep the goal of that future in the minds of both Serbs and Kosovars, because there are difficult issues that they will have to resolve. The European Union and the United States stand ready to assist and facilitate, to support and cajole that the parties do reach these agreements with each other. But ultimately, it is up to the leaders and the people that will have to come to a decision about their future.
I personally am very hopeful and even excited about the possibilities that would come to the people that are out there just waiting to be realized if these obstacles can be overcome.
Thank you all.

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Historical Conference on the American Experience in Southeast Asia

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
East Auditorium, George C. Marshall Conference Center
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

Thank you very much, Ambassador, and it’s a great pleasure and privilege for me to welcome all of you to the Department of State. I know we have in this audience scholars and historians, diplomats, and those who have great personal knowledge of and experience with the important issue that will be discussed throughout the day. A lot of history has been made in the State Department and continues to be made every day. And some of the people who are working here and who have worked here previously know that very well.

I want, personally, to welcome Secretary Henry Kissinger back to the State Department, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, and all of my colleagues who are engaged in the art of diplomacy in the 21st century. I also want to offer a special word of welcome to our guests from the Republic of Vietnam: Ambassador Tran Van Tung and Dr. Nguyen Manh Ha. Thank you all for being here and thank you for participating in this important dialogue. I see former Deputy Secretary John Negroponte. Thank you for being here as well.

I want to acknowledge all of the hard work of the historians here at the State Department who have completed an exhaustive record of United States policy regarding Southeast Asia from 1946 until 1975. They have compiled more than 24,000 pages of official documents, many thousands of messages, memoranda, intelligence reports, military assessments, and transcripts of meetings and telephone conversations among key policymakers. They did not, at least, have to sort through millions of emails. (Laughter.) I’m afraid we’re going to have to quadruple the size of the Historian’s Office for future assessments. (Laughter.) This collection will be a resource for students and scholars, for families and citizens in both of our countries who remain keenly interested in this chapter of our shared history.

For Americans of my generation, the war in Vietnam shaped the way we view the world and our country. Like everyone in those days, I had friends who enlisted – male friends who enlisted – were drafted, resisted, or became conscientious objectors; many long, painful, anguished conversations. And yet, the lessons of that era continue to inform the decisions we make. And for Vietnamese of the same generation who saw their country torn apart by war and who shared also the anguish, the loss of loved ones, friends, and family members as so many Americans did, the memories are also vivid and, for many, still painful.

People do not easily shake off the weight of history. All over the world, we see the bitter legacy of old conflicts and enmities. It is a source of many of our most persistent challenges. I see it every day as I work with governments on very intractable conflicts that are difficult to even imagine resolving because of the accumulated history of mistrust, of violence that has joined peoples together over time. But how remarkable it is that the American and Vietnamese people have decided to leave behind a history they could not change and embrace a future that we can shape together.

I was recently in Hanoi. I will be returning to Hanoi at the end of next month. My first visit when I went with my husband when he was President, 10 years ago, was extraordinarily moving. We met our counterparts at that time in the Government of Vietnam. We walked the streets of the cities. There are many stores in Hanoi with our picture where we helped the economy dramatically. (Laughter.)

But the most moving experience was our visit to a site where Vietnamese and American archeologists, along with American and Vietnamese soldiers, were searching together for the remains of a missing United States pilot who had crashed 33 years before, Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Evert. Bill and I stood there watching this work with Lieutenant Colonel Evert’s children, now grown beside us. We watched the workers carefully sift through the mud. Knee deep, they painstakingly excavated the fragments of Colonel Evert’s F-105 fighter plane and the tatters of his uniform. It was a sacred site and both sides were joined in that work. The Vietnamese Government had sent engineers to help, villagers had come forward with artifacts and information, and eventually the Everts were able to take their father home.

On this last trip to Hanoi, I stood on the tarmac of the airport while a military process that accompanies the return of the remains of every American lost in Vietnam occurred, and I again was struck by the solemnity and the sacredness of the work. Thanks to the unprecedented cooperation between our governments and our peoples, as well as the tireless efforts of leaders such as Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerry, and former Ambassador Pete Peterson, many families like the Everts in both countries have been able to find some measure of peace.

The image of that dig 10 years ago has stayed with me. Americans and Vietnamese covered in mud, searching together for traces of a shared and painful past, not because they sought to relive it nor to open old wounds, but because together we recognized we have to face our past if we’re going to make peace with it.

And that is what history, your work, this conference, and the many volumes that have been published, is all about. Historians are excavating, sifting, and straining, helping us know our history more fully so that we can put the past behind us and move forward together.

The progress between Vietnam and the United States has been breathtaking. When I was in Hanoi to help commemorate the 15th anniversary of the normalization of relations, I addressed a large group of American and Vietnamese businesses that are working together. Our trade agreement has created jobs and spurred growth on both sides of the Pacific. Our friendship has become an anchor of security and stability in the region. An entire generation of young people has grown up knowing only peace between Vietnam and America, and the relationships that they are forming through educational and cultural exchanges, through new businesses and social networks are drawing us even closer together.

Vietnam is home to an ancient and proud civilization. This year, Hanoi will celebrate its 1,000th birthday. But it is also a dynamic and growing nation with a young and vibrant population. I met so many young people working at the conference center, young Vietnamese, who came up and asked me if there could be more educational exchanges, more scholarships, more cooperation between the young people of both our countries. I think there is an enormous amount that still lies ahead of what we can do together as we deepen and broaden our relationship. And I am confident that the next 15 years will bring the United States and Vietnam closer together.

I also hope that our commitment to a shared future, despite our shared history, can serve as an inspiration and even a model to others, because there are so many countries who are being held back because they cannot overcome their past, who refuse to search for common ground because the ground behind them is littered with the bodies and the blood of previous generations. In today’s world, it is more imperative than ever that we seek to end conflict and to look for ways that we can connect based on our common humanity. We will not agree on everything. We will have different political systems. But we have to look for a way to find that common ground and to work toward common aspirations that fulfill the potential for peace, progress, and prosperity.

So I thank you for being here for this conference. I am looking forward to hearing reports of the day’s events. I have looked at the program. It is quite international. We have experts not just from Vietnam and the United States, but from universities around the world. And we appreciate greatly the efforts that everyone has made led by our historians here in the State Department, not only to put on this conference, but to help us come to terms with our own history.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Public Schedule for September 29, 2010

Washington, DC
September 29, 2010


9:45 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers welcoming remarks to the Historical Conference on the American Experience on Southeast Asia, at the Department of State.

10:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with EU High Representative Lady Catherine Ashton, at the Department of State.

1:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, at the Department of State.

2:30 p.m.
Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, at the Department of State.

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