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Archive for October, 2010

The busy day previewed in yesterday’s press briefing (see prior post) has yielded a plethora of images. There are too many to tag for specifics, and until now there are not statements or remarks released to accompany any of them. Nevertheless, these images say a great deal. First of all there are new foreign ministers and prime ministers from some countries (like Japan’s Maehara whom she met in Hawaii, and Australia’s Julia Gillard). She is no longer the “new kid in school.” For perhaps the first time in my memory of her SOS tenure and in my photo archives of summits, conferences, conventions, and the like, she is NOT front and center and NOT dressed in a bright color in the class picture. She is near the end at the left, in black and looking tiny – but she usually does look tiny. I especially love the pictures of her waving. Those big blue eyes, that bright smile, and her always positive attitude look so reassuring to me. I hope our friends and allies find them so as well.

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Thanks to P.J. Crowley in today’s Daily Press Briefing, we get to see a little preview of Mme. Secretary’s schedule for tomorrow!  Here is what he outlined.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
October 29, 2010

Tomorrow, she will have a breakfast meeting with counterparts from the Lower Mekong Initiative Countries of Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia; discuss regional challenges in health, education, and the environment. She’ll have a couple of bilaterals as well, I believe, including the president of Korea, as well as her counterpart, Foreign Minister Lavrov. I’m going to have full clarity on her schedule tomorrow.And then she will, having attended the dinner of the East Asia Summit this evening, she’ll also represent President Obama tomorrow as a guest of the chair and the first-ever participation in the East Asia Summit. And comprehensive discussions will also follow with her Vietnamese counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Khiem. And there, we expect to get into expanded discussion and that will include the human rights situation in Vietnam.

Busy, busy, busy as a pretty little bee!

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Earlier today I posted some lovely images of Secretary Clinton arriving in Hanoi wearing this fabulous gold silk jacket. In case you wondered where she went from there, the story unfolds thus.

Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak, she walked past an honor guard at the airport and was transported to an ASEAN Summit dinner party.

There, as expected, she encountered Indian PM Singh.

She posed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his wife Tran Thanh Kiem.

And greeted Australian PM Julia Gillard.

She always seems to have some little secret to whisper to South Korea’s President Lee.

 

I know I am shamelessly biased, but it looks to me like she was the Belle of the Ball!

She also participated in a conference with PM Nguyen.

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Check back later for an update if you, like me, would love to see a video of this. Hillary is always so natural and adorable with the troops … something so  … um … Commander-in-Chiefish about her.

Meeting with U.S. Armed Forces

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam
October 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. Please sit down, those of you who have a place to sit. It is wonderful to be here and to be back in Guam and to thank you in person for what you’re doing every single day for our country. I just flew in from Honolulu and I could see out the window of the plane the vastness of the Pacific and I felt all the better that you were here in Guam standing watch and providing defense, not only for Guam and the United States, but for so many of our friends and allies in this region.

 

I want to thank Governor Felix Camacho for being here today and thank him for his service to the people of Guam. And I’m grateful for the leadership of Rear Admiral Paul Bushong, Commander of Naval Forces Marianas and Brigade General John Doucette, Commander of the 36th Wing, and I think that’s a Global Hawk sitting there. So I see the signs, welcome to Global Hawk country. And I just saw some of the imagery and I think I recognized my cousin on the street.

We have men and women here from the Army, the Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard. So let me ask you: Who’s here from the Army? Whoa, lonely group. (Laughter.) A hardy, brave group in this outpost of everyone else. What about here from the Navy? (Applause.) (Laughter.) Oh, I could barely hear you all. Who’s here from the Navy? (Applause.) All right. What about the Marines? (Laughter.) (Applause.) Well, I don’t think you’ll be lonely for too long. What about the Air Force? (Applause.) Now, I don’t have a noise meter up here, but I think it’s pretty close between the Air Force and the Navy. And how about the Coast Guard? (Applause.) (Laughter.) And I met a National Guardsman, too. How about the National Guard? (Laughter.) Oh, yeah.

Well, I am delighted to see and to hear every single one of you and I know that some of your units have just come back from deployments all over the Pacific from our Medevac detachment unit in Basra, Iraq. Thank you for your service. From Afghanistan, thank you for your service. (Applause.) We are grateful to each and every one of you and we’re also grateful to your families. Because I know that maybe one of you is actually in uniform, but the entire family serves. And so please express my appreciation to them as well.

I’m here on my sixth trip as Secretary of State to the Asia Pacific region, because this is the center of much of the change and many of the challenges of the 21st century. I gave a speech, I guess it was yesterday now in Hawaii, outlining some of those changes and challenges and explaining what we are doing to meet them. We are engaging evermore actively in this region with our allies, our partners, with emerging powers, with institutions that are being built in order to keep the peace, advance prosperity and stability. This is an opportunity for me to come to Guam, the home of 170,000 very loyal American citizens who care deeply about our country and who are part of our extended defense.

I will go from here to Vietnam, a country that we are developing stronger relationships with that were unimaginable even 10 years ago, let alone 40 years ago. And then for me it is on to China for a brief stop to discuss the upcoming trip to the United States of President Hu Jintao, then to Cambodia and Malaysia and then on to Papua New Guinea and then to New Zealand, Australia and my last stop will be American Samoa. In just a few weeks, President Obama will be visiting India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea as well. So you can see we’re paying a lot of attention to what’s going on in the Asia Pacific region, because the United States is both an Atlantic and a Pacific power. And one of our goals coming into office 20 months ago was to reassert the American presence in Asia. And everywhere I travel on your behalf, I hear from leaders and citizens alike that they are glad America is back.

As we step up our engagement, we will depend more than ever on each of you. The men and women of our armed forces are one of the most important assets we have for engaging in the world. And your mission is evolving for the 21st century and no one understands that better than you do. You’re called to provide a wide range of services and activities in a variety of places. For instance, earlier this year, sailors from Guam were part of a five-month humanitarian deployment of the USNS Mercy delivering medical and dental care to the people of Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Palau. America’s military might married to our values, our humanitarian compassion is what sets us apart. No one doubts the ferocity of our defensive and offensive ability. But everyone counts on who we are as Americans and how we convey those fundamental connections human being to human being.

And after the devastating earthquake in Haiti last January, the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle that’s based here was used to survey the damage and identify safe landing places for aircraft carrying relief supplies. I know that firsthand, because every day I saw the images and, with a group of us from across the government, tried to plot out how we could most quickly deliver services and figure out how to move people to safety. These humanitarian missions are some of the purest expressions of American generosity and I thank you for showing what is the best about all of us.

More and more you are also called on to cooperate with forces from other countries. And these efforts strengthen our joint security and they show our allies that we remain deeply committed to them. I had a two-hour meeting yesterday in Honolulu with the Japanese foreign minister and we discussed a broad range of matters. But it’s important to Japan, to South Korea, to the Philippines, to Australia, to Thailand, who are our allies with whom we have security agreements that the United States is there. And increasingly, it is important to other nations that we are as well.

I know that today the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 5 is hosting members of the South Korean military for joint training and identifying and implementing a plan to eliminate improvised explosive devices. Those of you who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan know what a scourge those IEDs are and how important it is we do even more to prevent them and to find them and to destroy them before they harm any of our people or innocent civilians. This is the kind of collaboration that saves lives and improves the relationship between us and other countries.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that while there’s an obvious upside to serving in Guam – I was looking out the window of the plane. The last time I was here, it was dark. So I didn’t see those beaches as clearly as I did this time. I know it comes with a downside as well. Many of you miss your families. Although, in today’s world you can communicate instantaneously and virtually with them, it’s not the same. So I’m sure there are times when you feel very, very far away. And I can’t resist saying as a mom, I hope you’re calling and emailing often so that people know that you’re okay out here in the Pacific.

With Veteran’s Day approaching, I want you and your families to know that the American people remain grateful and proud for your service. The dedication and sacrifices of the American military are very obvious in this region. We’ve been there standing sentinel. We’ve been there defending and taking the fight to those who would undermine freedom, our way of life, and the opportunity for millions and millions of others to have a chance to live up to their own God-given potential. It’s a great honor for me to have a chance to come here and personally express the appreciation and gratitude of all of those who may not know your names and may never come to Guam, but because you’re here, they sleep more soundly at night.

I look out at all of you and it makes me very proud to be the Secretary of State of our great country. In fact, everywhere I go and every place I visit being able to say I represent the United States of America never ever ceases to send a chill down my spine. My dad was a World War II Navy vet. And I know from my own growing up how important it is that you’re on duty for me, for my family, for your families, and for all of us and for future generations. Thank you and God bless you.

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Public Schedule for October 29, 2010

Washington, DC
October 29, 2010

 


SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON 

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to the Asia Pacific region, accompanied by Assistant Secretary Campbell. For more information, click

here

8:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Vietnamese Prime Minister Dung, in Hanoi, Vietnam.


(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY) 

8:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a dinner for the East Asia Summit, in Hanoi, Vietnam.


(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY) 

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Secretary Clinton’s October 29-30, 2010 Visit to Vietnam

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 29, 2010

Secretary Clinton returns to Hanoi on October 29 for her second visit to Vietnam in just over three months. In Vietnam, she will attend the East Asia Summit and host a meeting with her counterparts in the Lower Mekong Initiative, reflecting the Obama administration’s commitment to deepening multilateral engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. Secretary Clinton will continue discussions with her Vietnamese hosts on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues. Her return visit underscores the U.S. commitment to sustained engagement in the region and reaffirms our interest in broadening and deepening our relationship with Vietnam, an increasingly close partner and emerging regional leader. 

Enhancing Partnership with Vietnam. The Secretary will highlight expanded cooperation in security, nonproliferation, environment, health, education, and trade during her bilateral meetings with Vietnamese leaders, complementing her discussions with senior Vietnamese officials in Hanoi in July and in the United States over the past year. This progress underscores how far the U.S.-Vietnam relations have come since we normalized diplomatic relations in 1995.

  • Annual two-way trade has gone from just $450 million to nearly $16 billion during the past 15 years. In 2009 – an otherwise difficult year for trade – U.S. exports to Vietnam rose 11 percent, reaching $3.1 billion. Vietnam’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and its status as a “next tier” market in the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) further demonstrate our improving economic ties.
  • Significant advances in our security ties include three annual security dialogues; cooperation on maritime security, search, and rescue; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief; and peacekeeping training. This year alone we have signed an MOU on civil nuclear cooperation and Vietnam joined both the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism and the Megaports Initiative, designed to prevent the spread of nuclear materials. Ship visits are another continuing success story. In just the past three months, Vietnamese officials made an off-shore visit to the USS George Washington; the USS John S. McCain made a port call to Danang; and the hospital ship USNS Mercy made a second visit to Vietnam under the Pacific Partnership program.
  • The number of Vietnamese students studying in the United States has more than doubled in the last three years, making Vietnam the ninth-largest source of foreign students.

Speaking out for Human Rights and Religious Freedom: Advancing our relations with Vietnam allows the United States to promote its core values and discuss our differences on human rights and religious freedom more candidly and openly. The United States acknowledges progress when warranted, but continues to urge the national government and local officials to bring an end to continued abuses. As she did in July, the Secretary again will raise the arrests and convictions of peaceful dissenters; restrictions on the internet, including blocks on Facebook; and attacks on religious groups. She will continue to encourage political reform in Vietnam.

Building Multilateral Cooperation with Southeast Asia. This has been an important year for U.S. multilateral engagement in the region, starting with the Secretary’s participation in the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in July, followed by President Obama’s hosting of the 2nd ASEAN-U.S. Leaders Meeting in New York in September, and Secretary Gates’ attendance at the inaugural ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus in Hanoi earlier this month. Building on those successes, the Secretary will meet for the first time on October 30 with the leaders participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS), which is an increasingly important forum on regional political and security issues. President Obama plans to attend the EAS in Jakarta next year, and the United States will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2011. Growing U.S. engagement with and contributions to the work of these emerging institutions is a priority of the Obama Administration and reaffirms our leadership role in the region as an Asia-Pacific nation.

Strengthening Engagement with the Lower Mekong Countries: On October 30, the Secretary will meet with her counterparts from Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia for the third time since July 2009 to discuss regional cooperation on capacity-building in health, environment, education, and infrastructure. At the meeting the ministers will discuss plans to explore permanent and sustainable operating structures for the Lower Mekong Initiative, an important vehicle for bolstering regional capacity to address some of the most pressing challenges confronting the region.

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Wow! That is all I can say! This is how the Secretary of State landed in Viet Nam today. I KNOW this impressed the Viet Namese people the way her beautiful embroidered coat impressed the Afghan people.


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