Posts Tagged ‘Armenia’

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Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Yerevan, Armenia
June 4, 2012

FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN: Dear Madam Secretary of State, dear Hillary, it’s a great pleasure for me to welcome you again in Armenia. Your last visit to Yerevan coincided with July the 4th, the national day of the United States of America. This visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. The coincidence contains a positive symbolism. Less than two years we have passed since your previous visit to Armenia, but during this period we have had several opportunities to meet in Washington, in different cities, in the frameworks of international conferences. Independent of the months or the year or the place those meetings were held, they were exclusively warm, meaningful, fruitful, containing important and positive messages.

Your visit to Armenia, to the region, testifies to the United States authority special attention to the South Caucasus. The meetings between the Armenian and American leaderships – I would underscore the Washington meeting between Presidents Sargsian and Obama in April 2010 – reflects our strong will to deepen our relations. More than a century-long friendship between our two nations in which the American Armenian community has had a special role was naturally reflected in the two-decades long interstate relations.

Madam Secretary, the mutual trust and understanding existing between our two countries, thanks to our common efforts, thanks to your personal, invaluable input, are the best pillars for expanding our friendly partnership. The bilateral cooperation between the United States and Armenia, which has reached the highest point in its history, concerns such important domains as institutional reforms, deepening of democracy, rule of law, modernization of economy.

We have also close interaction in the international arena, covering regional and international security, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, fight against all forms of terrorism, peacekeeping cooperations from Kosovo to Afghanistan, and other global challenges. The United States, as a co-chair country of OSCE group, has provided its permanent support to the process of the peaceful settlement of the Nargorno-Karabakh conflict. This process has been under the constant attention of the President and the State Secretary of the United States of America. Together, with the two other co-chair countries, the United States deployed intensive efforts and adopted several high-level important joint statements on the settlement of that issue.

Dear State Secretary, more than once we have expressed our common approach on the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. That position has been and remains the normalization of relations without preconditions. You have made an exclusive contribution to this process. Thank you very much. Unfortunately, the ball continues to remain in the Turkish court.

Twenty years ago, Secretary James Baker noted that free, democratic, independent Armenia and the United States of America shares the same values: democracy, liberty, market economy, defense of human rights. During those 20 years, the United States has strongly supported Armenia. Today, humanitarian assistance is gradually turning into development projects and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Dear Secretary, we express our gratitude to the President Obama’s Administration and to you personally for your commitment and remarkable contribution to strengthening of Armenian-American friendly partnership. I hope that the celebration of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations will open new, wider horizons in bilateral relations.

I would like once again to welcome you, State Secretary, and your delegation to Armenia. The floor is yours.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very, very much, Minister Nalbandian. I feel very pleased that I could be back here in Armenia once again, and I am very grateful for the warm and gracious hospitality offered by the president and yourself. And it is fitting that I would be here as we celebrate 20 years of U.S.-Armenia relations. Anniversaries like this provide an opportunity to look back on how far we have come and also to look down the road toward what kind of future we want of our relationship and Armenia’s position in the world 20 years from now. The president, the foreign minister, and I discussed this at length.

Regarding regional and global security, I thanked the president for Armenia’s contributions to our shared mission in Afghanistan and to peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. We also discussed ways to improve Armenia’s ties with its neighbors and increase stability and security throughout the region. To that end, we are committed to seeing Armenia and Turkey normalize relations, because we think this is a path forward to a better future for the citizens of both countries and we strongly support ratification of the Turkey-Armenia protocols without preconditions. We commend Armenia and President Sargsian for the leadership they have shown on this issue.

Twenty years ago, Armenia had just begun its transition to democracy. There have been positive steps, and now we need to take more. We know from experience that democracy must be built over time. It isn’t about just one campaign or even one election. It is an ongoing project. And we are pleased to see Armenia continuing to work to strengthen your democratic institutions to promote transparency, advance the rights of a free press, root out corruption, respect universal rights and freedoms.

Earlier today, I met several Armenian human rights activists who are working with courage and determination to help make reforms possible and to promote the democratic aspirations of the Armenian people. And we stand committed to working with Armenia as you continue the hard work of democratization.

I am very – I was very pleased at the reports from international monitors about Armenia’s parliamentary elections last month being generally competitive and inclusive, where candidates were able to campaign for the most part without interference. There were some electoral problems that were identified, and we hope that Armenia will work with the OSCE and others to ensure that the next election is even better.

Private sector investors are looking for an open business climate with predictable rules; an independent judiciary; transparent regulations, taxes, and customs. And we are pleased at the progress Armenia has made, and we encourage that even more progress occur this year. I am convinced that unleashing the Armenian people’s entrepreneurial energy can transform the economy, and we look forward to being your partner in doing that.

Of course, the president and I had a serious discussion of Nagorno-Karabakh, including the most recent incidents along the front lines. While I had only just learned of these incidents, I am very concerned about the danger of escalation of tensions and the senseless deaths of young soldiers and innocent civilians. The use of force will not resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and therefore force must not be used. And we are calling on everyone to renounce force as well as refraining from violence. I assured the president that I would make these points in Baku when I am there the day after tomorrow.

Now, these incidents underscore the necessity to try to keep making progress on the peace process. As a co-chair of the Minsk Group, the United States is committed to working with all the parties to find a way forward. And I am very committed that there has to be a way forward. And it’s not only the actions of leaders; it must be the actions of citizens as well to try to find a way to enable people of the region to live together in peace and dignity.

So there is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am very pleased to have this opportunity to have come to catch up with my friend and colleague, Eduard, as well as to see the president again to review very broadly regional and global matters as well as our bilateral relations. And I think it’s important that we keep working together, because I believe Armenia has a very positive and bright future ahead.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, you’re visiting three South Caucasus nations at a time of great economic and political change as well as great challenges: Armenia-Azerbaijan, Armenia-Turkey, Azerbaijan-Iran, Georgia-Russia. What does the United States doing to try to open up some of those relationships, especially here in Armenia where there’s trade neither with Turkey nor Azerbaijan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, our greatest interest is to see Armenia and Turkey move together toward normalization. We strongly support the efforts that have been made. We have urged the ratification of the normalization protocols without preconditions. As I said when I was here two years ago, the ball remains in Turkey’s court. And I am encouraged that there is more public discussion in Turkey and Armenia about these issues, because I think honest, open, constructive conversations are important for both sides to move forward.

With respect to Armenia and Azerbaijan, there is no linkage between the protocols process and the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations. Those are separate. But we are equally engaged and pushing hard to try to achieve a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh matter.

So on both of these issues in the region, the United States has been and will remain very actively involved. We believe that these are countries that should have open borders, should work together, should trade, should have people-to-people exchanges, because we think that it would be mutually beneficial to all concerned. And one of the reasons for my visit today is to continue working on these two separate but very important processes.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: (In Armenian.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as I said, I am very concerned by these incidents and have called on all parties, all actors, to refrain from the use or threat of force, because there is no military solution to this conflict. It can only be resolved at the negotiating table. And of course, there is a danger that it could escalate into a much broader conflict that would be very tragic for everyone concerned.

And so the United States, along with the Minsk Group, is committed to doing everything we can. And I discussed some specific ideas with the president and the foreign minister today. I made it clear to the president that the United States believes that a peace settlement must be based upon Helsinki principles, the non-use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples. And you can’t take one out. They have to be an integrated whole in order to arrive at a sustainable solution.

So we will continue with our efforts. Later this month, the foreign ministers will be meeting. And we’re going to be putting ideas forth, because we think it’s in everyone’s interest to focus on achieving a breakthrough solution and avoiding the escalation of violence.



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The picture is not from this event, but, as always, Mme. Secretary met with Embassy personnel and families in Yerevan today before departing Armenia.

Remarks at Meeting With Embassy Yerevan Staff and Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy Yerevan
Yerevan, Armenia
June 4, 2012

Well, it is such a pleasure to be back here in Yerevan. And I want thank all of you for your hard work and commitment. This is a special year as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of U.S.-Armenian relations. And I saw the posters on the wall as I turned into the compound.

In the early days, 20 years ago, there were only six American officers here. They ran the Embassy out of a hotel. When the charge needed to send a cable, he’d open his hotel room window and hold an antenna outside – (laughter) – until he got a good satellite connection. So I think we’re making progress, don’t you?

I really appreciate the ambassador’s efforts Tweeting about what happens here. (Laughter.) And I think it’s fair to say that what you’re doing every single day is helping us – (laughter) – build an even stronger and deeper relationship between our two countries.

I’d also note that you started interviewing Iranian student visa applicants, something this embassy is uniquely positioned to do. We have been, from the very beginning, saying that we wanted better relations with the people of Iran and more student exchanges and other people-to-people contacts, and you are helping us do that.

I’d also like to especially recognize the local staff, who are the backbone of this and every embassy. I am very grateful to all of our Armenian local staffs and thank you for your dedicated service to this important mission.

And I want, finally, to thank the families. I just got to see some very attractive young people and took a picture with them. And I know that many of you are away from your families. I know that in many instances your families are right by your side, helping you every step of the way. But for me, it’s a family that serves. And so I thank all of you for that.

This is an exciting time in the world. It’s unpredictable. There are lots of changes, but I think it’s important for us all to keep working for greater peace, progress, and stability and prosperity in the world, and we’re going to do everything we can to help Armenia continue to develop a vibrant democracy, a strong economy, and better futures for the Armenian people. Thank you very much.

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Remarks at the Universal Rights Award Ceremony


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy Yerevan
Yerevan, Armenia
June 4, 2012

Thank you very much, Ambassador, and it is such a pleasure to be here in Yerevan at the U.S. Embassy. Let me acknowledge some of the partners that the Ambassador was speaking about. Can you hear me? Okay. I want to acknowledge the governments and organizations here: the OSCE, the European Union, the British Embassy, the NGO Counterpart International, all steadfast partners in the effort to promote and protect human rights worldwide.

The men and women we honor here today have toiled and sacrificed to make human rights a reality for the people of Armenia. Their stories show us that solutions to big problems can start with the actions of one or a few people. Change begins with a group of courageous activists who fight to stop environmental degradation so Armenians can live healthier lives, begins with journalists who raise awareness about human rights violations, and a dedicated public servant who pushes the police force to reform.

The United States knows from long experience that if you want to have a stable, prosperous society, you need an accountable, effective government, you need a dynamic, free economy, and you need a civil society that supports the rights and dignity of all people. The United States believes that accountable government and leaders are one of the most important elements of successful societies.

So although we honor these men and women tonight for defending human rights, we also acknowledge them as committed to building a stronger Armenia. The United States will stand with those who defend the rights of men and women, who work toward a future where every person can live up to his or her God-given potential, and for democracy that holds such great promise for Armenia’s future. The United States and I personally believe strongly that Armenia can have a very bright future filled with opportunities for all of your people.

So let us all keep working together to forge the partnerships that carry us toward the goal of a time here in Armenia and around the world where all people are given that chance and where governments protect the rights of their people, look toward the future to determine the best path forward, create peace, prosperity, and progress for all. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) speaks during a ceremony honoring local Armenians with Universal Rights Awards at the US Embassy in Yerevan, Armenia, Monday June 4, 2012. (AP Photo / Saul Loeb, Pool)


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No public schedule has been posted for today, but in these photos we see Mme. Secretary attending a rights award ceremony at the U.S. Embassy Yerevan; meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian prior to a dinner with him; and participating in a press conference with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian prior to her nighttime departure for Batumi, Georgia.

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Here she is arriving in Yerevan and being greeted with beautiful flowers by Armenia’s Foriegn Minister Edward Nalbandian.

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Secretary Clinton To Travel to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 25, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey from May 31-June 7. In Copenhagen, Denmark, Secretary Clinton will hold bilateral meetings with senior Danish officials. She will also participate in the kick-off event for Green Partnerships for Growth, a bilateral initiative to promote green technology through public and private sector partnerships.

On June 1, Secretary Clinton will travel to Oslo, Norway, where she will meet with senior Norwegian officials and give keynote remarks at a global health conference hosted by the Norwegian government titled, “A World in Transition – Charting a New Path in Global Health.” On June 2, the Secretary will be in Tromso, north of the Arctic Circle and home of the Arctic Council Permanent Secretariat, for discussions of U.S.-Norwegian cooperation in the Arctic, including on climate change and the sustainable development of untapped resources.

On June 3, Secretary Clinton will travel to Stockholm, Sweden, for meetings with senior Swedish officials to discuss a range of issues, including green energy, Internet freedom, Afghanistan and the Middle East. In Stockholm she will also participate in a Climate and Clean Air Coalition event on short-lived climate pollutants.

The Secretary will travel to the Caucasus from June 4 to 7. In all these countries, she will discuss important issues of regional security, democracy, economic development and counterterrorism.

In Armenia on June 4, the Secretary will meet with President Sargsian and other senior Armenian officials. She will also meet with Armenian civil society leaders.

On June 5, the Secretary will open the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission plenary session in Batumi, Georgia. She will meet also with President Saakashvili and hold discussions with a broad range of political actors and civil society representatives.

The Secretary will travel on June 6 to Azerbaijan to meet with President Aliyev as well as Azerbaijani civil society leaders.

On June 7, the Secretary will co-chair the Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial in Istanbul, Turkey and consult with senior Turkish officials on a range of foreign policy challenges, including Syria and Iran.

On Wednesday of the past week, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary Clinton emphasized the urgency and importance of U.S. accession to the Law of the Sea Convention. The nature of her first stop in this itinerary underscores remarks she made at the time.  Yes, we do meet and negotiate with members on various oceanic councils, such as the Arctic Council, but our heft in these meetings is negatively affected by our absence at the convention table.  We would come from a position of additional strength were we to ratify the treaty and take our place among member states.

In anticipation to her visits to Georgia and Azerbaijan, the secretary released the following greetings to the people of those countries in celebration of their imminent national days.

Georgia Independence Day

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 25, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Georgia as you celebrate your independence this May 26.

In a few days I will have the chance to visit Batumi to experience the warmth of the Georgian people and reaffirm our commitment to Georgia’s future. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of U.S.-Georgian bilateral relations. Since regaining its independence, Georgia has made impressive progress fighting corruption, developing modern state institutions, and enhancing global security.

The United States is committed to helping Georgia deepen Euro-Atlantic ties and strengthen the institutions of your democracy, and we remain steadfast in support of Georgia’s territorial integrity. We stood with the Georgian people 20 years ago at the dawn of your renewed independence, and we stand with you today.

As you celebrate this special day, we look forward to working with the Georgian government and people to build a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Republic of Azerbaijan’s National Day

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 25, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Azerbaijan as you celebrate Republic Day this May 28th.

I am looking forward to my trip to Baku in a few days where I will have the chance to talk to civil society and government leaders about Azerbaijan’s challenges and opportunities, and how the United States can support a brighter future for both our people. We will discuss new ways to partner together to promote regional security and stability, enhance energy security, and strengthen economic and political reforms.

As you celebrate your national day, know that the United States stands with you. Congratulations and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous year to come.

So as to exclude no one, I include the secretary’s greetings to the people of Ethiopia on their upcoming national day as well.  We have no information regarding upcoming plans for a visit there, however.

Ethiopia’s National Day

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 25, 2012

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Ethiopia as you celebrate your national day this May 28th.

The United States and the people of Ethiopia share a strong history as friends and partners. Together, we are working to enhance food security, improve health services, strengthen education, promote trade, and expand development. The United States applauds Ethiopia’s dedication to maintaining security in the region, including through important and effective peacekeeping missions in Sudan and South Sudan. I hope the coming year will yield a more vibrant civil society and private sector to help shape a brighter future for Ethiopia.

The United States is committed to helping Ethiopia achieve a more peaceful and prosperous future for all its people, and we look forward to continuing to work together toward common goals in Africa and around the world. As you gather with family and friends to celebrate your national day, know that the United States stands with you.

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No public schedule was posted today. Sorry. But we do have this.

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Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 19, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Foreign Minister Nalbandian and I have met many times and it is once again a delight to welcome him to the State Department. The United States and Armenia have many connections and relationships that span politics and go into family and so much else that is very important to us. And we have many, many important issues ahead of us, and I look forward to continuing the important conversation that we’ve been carrying out.

So welcome, Foreign Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN: Thank you. Thank you very much, Madam Secretary, for a very warm welcome. I’m very glad to be in Washington and to meet with you again. The frequency of our meetings proves our commitment to deepen and to strengthen Armenian-American relations. Due to our joint efforts, we elevated our relationship to a qualitatively new level during the last years, and I would like to thank you very much, Madam Secretary, for your contribution, for your efforts, for your engagement. I am sure that this meeting will be another occasion to enhance our friendly partnership between United States and Armenia. Thank you again.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, my friend. Thank you.



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The title is a live link to the video at ABC News. It is not embeddable.

Interview With Jake Tapper of ABC’s This Week

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Washington, DC
March 27, 2011

QUESTION: And joining me now in their first interview since the attacks on Libya began, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Madam and Mr. Secretary, thanks so much for joining us.

I’ll start with you, Secretary Gates. The mission is a no-fly zone and civilian protection, but does not include removing Qadhafi from power, even though regime change is stated U.S. policy. So why not have, as part of the mission, regime change, removing Qadhafi from power?

SECRETARY GATES: Well, first of all, I think you don’t want ever to set a set of goals or a mission – military mission where you can’t be confident of accomplishing your objectives. And as we have seen in the past, regime change is a very complicated business. It sometimes takes a long time. Sometimes it can happen very fast, but it was never part of the military mission.

QUESTION: NATO has assumed command and control for the no-fly zone, or is this weekend, but not yet for the civilian protection. When do we anticipate that happening?

SECRETARY GATES: I think Hillary’s been more engaged with that diplomacy than I have.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we hope, Jake, that NATO, which is making the military planning for the civilian protection mission, will meet in the next few days, make a decision, which we expect to be positive, to include that mission, and then just as the arms embargo and the no-fly zone has been transitioned to NATO command and control, the civilian protection mission will as well.

QUESTION: What do you say to the people in Ivory Coast or Syria who say, “Where’s our no-fly zone? We’re being killed by our government too.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there’s not an aircraft – there’s not an air force being used. There is not the same level of force. The situation is significantly different enough that the world has not come together. However, in Ivory Coast, we have a UN peacekeeping force which we are supporting. We’re beginning to see the world coalesce around the very obvious fact that Mr. Gbagbo no longer is president. Mr. Ouattara is the president.

So each of these situations is different, but in Libya, when a leader says spare nothing, show no mercy and calls out air force attacks on his own people, that crosses a line that people in the world had decided they could not tolerate.

QUESTION: When do we know that the mission is done? The no-fly zone has succeeded, civilian protection has stopped. When do you – when —

SECRETARY GATES: I would say, for all practical purposes, the implementation of the no-fly zone is complete. Now it will need to be sustained, but it can be sustained with a lot less effort than what it took to set it up. As I indicated in my testimony on the Hill, you don’t establish a no-fly zone by just declaring it. You go in and suppress the air defenses, and that mission is largely complete.

I think we have made a lot of progress on the humanitarian side and his ability to move armor, to move toward a Benghazi or a place like that has pretty well been eliminated. Now we’ll have to keep our eye on it because he still has ground forces at his beck and call. But the reality is they’re under a lot of pressure. Their logistics – there are some signs that they’re moving back to the west away from Ajdabiyah and other places.

So I think that we have prevented the large-scale slaughter that was beginning to take place, has taken place in some places. And so I think that we are at a point where the establishment of the no-fly zone and the protection of cities from the kind of wholesale military assault that we have seen, certainly in the east, has been accomplished and now we can move to sustainment.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Jake, I would just add two points to what Secretary Gates said. The United States Senate called for a no-fly zone in a resolution that it passed, I think, on March the 1st, and that mission is on the brink of having been accomplished. And there was a lot of congressional support to do something.

There is no perfect option when one is looking at a situation like this. I think that the President ordered the best available option. The United States worked with the international community to make sure that there was authorization to do what we have helped to accomplish.

But what is quite remarkable here is that NATO assuming the responsibility for the entire mission means that the United States will move to a supporting role. Just as our allies are helping us in Afghanistan where we bear the disproportionate amount of the sacrifice and the cost, we are supporting a mission through NATO that was very much initiated by European requests joined by Arab requests.

I think this is a watershed moment in international decision making. We learned a lot in the 1990s. We saw what happened in Rwanda. It took a long time in the Balkans, in Kosovo to deal with a tyrant. But I think – and what has happened since March 1st – and we’re not even done with the month – demonstrates really remarkable leadership.

SECRETARY GATES: I would just add one other thing, in sort of a concrete manifestation where we are in this, and that is we and the Department of Defense are already beginning to do our planning in terms of beginning to draw down resources, first from support of the no-fly zone and then from the humanitarian mission. Now that may not start in the next day or two, but I certainly expect it to in the very near future.

QUESTION: Well, and I wanted to follow on that. How long are we going to be there in that support role?

SECRETARY GATES: Well, I think the – as I say, we will begin diminishing the level of our engagement, the level of resources we have involved in this, but as long as there is a no-fly zone and we have some unique capabilities to bring to bear – for example, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, some tanking ability – we will continue to have a presence. But a lot of these – a lot of the forces that we will have available other than the ISR – are forces that are already assigned to Europe or have been assigned to Italy or are at sea in the Mediterranean.

QUESTION: I’ve heard NATO say that this – that they anticipate – that some NATO officials say this could be three months, but people in the Pentagon think it could be far longer than that. Do you think we’ll be gone by the end of the year? Will the mission be over by the end of the year?

SECRETARY GATES: I don’t think anybody knows the answer to that.

QUESTION: Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?

SECRETARY GATES: No, no. It was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about – the engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake. There was another piece of this, though, that certainly was a consideration. You’ve had revolutions on both the east and the west of Libya. They’re fragile.

QUESTION: Egypt and Tunisia.

SECRETARY GATES: Egypt and Tunisia. So you had a potentially significantly destabilizing event taking place in Libya that put at risk, potentially, the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt. And that was another consideration I think we took into account.


QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, how does –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Jake, I just want to add too, because I know that there’s been a lot of questions, and those questions deserve to be asked and answered. The President is going to address the nation on Monday night.

Imagine we were sitting here and Benghazi had been overrun, a city of 700,000 people, and tens of thousands of people had been slaughtered, hundreds of thousands had fled and, as Bob said, either with nowhere to go or overwhelming Egypt while it’s in its own difficult transition, and we were sitting here. The cries would be, “Why did the United States not do anything? Why – how could you stand by when France and the United Kingdom and other Europeans and the Arab League and your Arab partners were saying you’ve got to do something?” So every decision that we make is going to have plusses and minuses.

QUESTION: You heard the Secretary of Defense say that Libya did not pose an actual or imminent threat to the nation, and bearing in mind what you just said, I’m still wondering how the Administration reconciles the attack without congressional approval with then-candidate Obama saying in 2007 the President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation and, as a senator, you yourself in 2007 said this about President Bush.

SENATOR CLINTON: If the administration believes that any – any use of force against Iran is necessary, the president must come to Congress to seek that authority.

QUESTION: Why not go to Congress?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we would welcome congressional support, but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama were speaking of several years ago. I think that this had a limited timeframe, a very clearly defined mission, which we are in the process of fulfilling.

QUESTION: I want to get to a couple other topics before you guys go, and one of them is in Yemen. President Saleh, a crucial ally in counterterrorism, seems quite on his way out. Secretary Gates, you said this week we have not done any post-Saleh planning. How dangerous is a post-Saleh world, a post-Saleh Yemen, to the United States?

SECRETARY GATES: Well, I think it is a real concern, because the most active and, at this point, perhaps the most aggressive branch of al-Qaida – al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula – operates out of Yemen. And we have had a lot of counterterrorism cooperation from President Saleh and Yemeni security services. So if that government collapses or is replaced by one that is dramatically more weak, then I think we’ll face some additional challenges out of Yemen. There’s no question about it. It’s a real problem.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, on Pakistan, Pakistan has been trying to block U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the FATA region, it continues to work with terrorists to attack India, it held a U.S. diplomat in its prisons for several weeks, as I don’t need to tell you. Has this relationship gotten worse in the last six months, U.S.-Pakistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jake, it’s a very challenging relationship because there have been some problems. We were very appreciative of getting our diplomat out of Pakistan, and that took cooperation by the Government of Pakistan. We have cooperated very closely together in going after terrorists who pose a threat to both us and to the Pakistanis themselves. But it’s a very difficult relationship because Pakistan is in a hard position trying to figure out how it’s going to contend with its own internal extremist threat. But I think on the other hand, we’ve also developed good lines of communication, good opportunities for cooperation, but it’s something we have to work on every day.

QUESTION: And finally, we’ve talked a bit about the end of this operation, how it ends. I’m wondering if you can envision the United States supporting a plan where Qadhafi is exiled. Would the U.S. be willing to support safe haven, immunity from prosecution, and access to funds as a way to end this conflict?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jake, we are nowhere near that kind of negotiation. I’ll be going to London on Tuesday for a conference that the British Government is hosting. There will be a number of countries, not only those participating in the enforcement of the resolution, but also those who are pursuing political and other interventions. And the United Nations has a special envoy who will also be actively working with Qadhafi and those around him.

We have sent a clear message that it is time for him to transition out of power. The African Union has now called for a democratic transition. We think that there will be developments along that line in the weeks and months ahead, but I can’t, sitting here today, predict to you exactly how it’s going to play out. But we believe that Libya will have a better shot in the future if he departs and leaves power.

QUESTION: All right. Secretary Clinton, Secretary Gates, thank you so much for joining us.


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This was yesterday.  Released today. I found this video clip. It is not from this PA.

Joint Press Availability With Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Yerevan, Armenia
July 4, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDYAN: Dear Madam Secretary of State, dear Hillary (continues via translator) dear colleague, I am glad to welcome you on your first visit to Armenia. It is a particular honor that you are in Yerevan on the Fourth of July, the Independence Day of the United States, on which I cordially congratulate you and all the Americans. The founding fathers of your country, adopting the Declaration of Independence 234 years ago, have proven, by establishing the United States, that nothing can deprive people of their right to independence.
We Armenians have proven it as well, by restoring independent statehood only two decades ago. Since the first days of our independence, the Americans have been by our side. The relations between Armenia and the United States have been continuously deepening. High-level contacts between our two countries in recent years are noticeable, due to their frequency and broadness of content. President Sargsian’s latest visit to Washington, D.C. and meeting with President Barack Obama became an important milestone, in terms of deepening our mutual understanding and developing relations.
The American-Armenian community (inaudible). It is necessary to exert all efforts in order to obtain exclusively peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles of international law, particularly non-use of force or threats of force, equal rights of peoples, self-determination of peoples, and territorial integrity. We share the vision that it is necessary to create an atmosphere of tolerance in the region, instead of belligerent behavior. We share the vision that the Armenian-Turkish relations should be normalized without any preconditions. We share the vision of enhancing economic cooperation in the region. We share the vision of a market economy and development of democratic values.
We believe there is great potential, which should be utilized in order to further develop and expand the Armenian-American cooperation. We have agreed on pursuing further strengthening and deepening of our friendly partnership. During the meeting between the President of the Republic and the Secretary of State, the above-mentioned issues, as well as issues concerning further fostering of our cooperation were discussed. International and regional issues of mutual interest were raised. There was discussion of boosting economic cooperation.
Dear Madam Secretary, we too highly commend your personal contribution in qualitatively raising the Armenian-American relations to a new level. We have had several meetings with you in various formats in different platforms. But hosting you here in Yerevan is a particular pleasure for me. I once again welcome you and the members of your delegation accompanying you. Welcome to Armenia.
And I will — it is my pleasure to pass the floor to you. Please.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister. It is a real pleasure for me to be here in the Republic of Armenia. And I want to thank you and your president and the people of this country for your hospitality and friendship.
When Armenia became independent again in 1991, the United States was cheering you on, and we have been your friend and partner ever since. Today we celebrate the 234th year of the founding of our country and the declaration of our independence. And we know how sacred and precious the gift of independence is.
Armenia is a nation with both a proud history and a promising future. We are grateful in the United States for the many contributions of Armenian Americans to the cultural and economic life of our country. And we believe that a democratic and prosperous Armenia can be a force for progress in the region and beyond. So, the United States is strongly committed to supporting the Armenian people and your aspirations.
Today I discussed with your president how we can work together. We focused on the building blocks of Armenia’s long-term development and security, the importance of advancing democracy at home, and peace and reconciliation with your neighbors. We discussed, in depth, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Minsk Group process that is working to resolve it. As I said earlier today in Baku, the United States remains committed to a peaceful resolution based on the Helsinki Principles of non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of people.
President Obama reaffirmed this commitment in a joint statement with President Medvedev and President Sarkozy at the recent G8 summit in Canada. We stand ready to help both Armenia and Azerbaijan achieve and implement a peace settlement. We know this will not be easy. But we think it is the necessary foundation for a secure and prosperous future.
We also discussed the pursuit of normalization between Armenia and Turkey. I expressed my admiration for the president’s courageous decision to pursue a vision of peace. The United States believes that normalization promises tremendous benefits for both Armenia and Turkey, as well as the wider region. And we are committed to doing everything we can to help the parties move forward.
We also discussed our commitment to strengthening democracy and the rule of law in Armenia. The United States has worked closely with successive Armenian governments for many years to support the country’s democratic development. We have done so openly and honestly, because we see democratization and respect for human rights as vital to Armenia’s long-term security, stability, and prosperity. And, as a friend and a partner who believes in Armenia’s future, we will continue to support Armenia’s civil society and efforts to promote good governance and transparency.
When we look at Armenia, we see a tremendous set of assets residing in the quality, the hard work of the people. And we know that the future of this country, as is the future of every country, is in the hands of the people themselves. And we believe that we can work together to improve the economy, to create greater opportunities, to look to see whether it’s possible to develop independent energy resources, such as shale gas, how we can continue to work with the government and people of Armenia on behalf of that common vision of the kind of tomorrow in which every boy and girl has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.
So, again, let me thank you. Foreign Minister and I have spent many hours together. And I greatly appreciate his interactions and his expertise and experience. And I wish to thank the president for not only a warm welcome and a candid conversation, but an excellent meal that concluded with a large red, white, and blue July 4th cake. It could not have been a warmer experience. And I look forward to continuing to work closely with you in the future.
QUESTION: (Inaudible), AFP. Madam Secretary, you have spent a lot of energy today discussing Nagorno-Karabakh. Having talked to both presidents, are you any more hopeful?
And, Foreign Minister, in Baku the Secretary of State has said that there has been some progress on this issue. Your president met recently President Aliyev in St. Petersburg. So can you be specific about this progress? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is promising that the Minsk Group process is engaged very intensively. And in addition to the statement put out by the three presidents of Russia, the United States, and France last week, who serve as the Minsk Group co-chairs, there is a recognition on the part of both Armenia and Azerbaijan that any settlement must be based on the Helsinki Principles. There have been many very serious consultations between both the President of Armenia and the President of Azerbaijan, most recently two weeks ago in St. Petersburg with President Medvedev. And now, we would hope to see real progress made on the — completing the basic principles to enable the drafting of a final peace settlement.
Everyone knows these are difficult steps to take. But we believe that they are important ones. And we have expressed our concern to both presidents today that the return to violence is unacceptable. We regret the incidents of the last several weeks. And it is in the interest, first and foremost, of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, but certainly of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and the greater region, to work as hard as we can together to come up with an acceptable lasting settlement of this conflict.

FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDYAN: (Via translator) After the St. Petersburg meeting, I stated that yet another important milestone has been reached in the peace talks. The sides have agreed to continue the talks, based on achievements to date. In other words, as of the date of the St. Petersburg summit, the new version of the Madrid proposal was shared with the sides.
You know that several days ago the co-chairs were visiting with us. We discussed with them the continuation of the peace talks based on this very understanding. We have also discussed the potential of a meeting, the possibility of a ministerial meeting on the 16th of July on the sidelines of the unofficial meeting of OSCE foreign affairs ministers. A key milestone in this process — one may even say support to this process — has come from the latest statement by the presidents of the three co-chair countries, which is Obama, Medvedev, and Sarkozy, during the G8 summit. In line with one of these understandings, we ought to carry on our joint efforts with the co-chairs in the near future.
QUESTION: (Via translator) (Inaudible) Media Television. My question is for Madam Clinton.
Azerbaijan, with its arbitrary interpretation, is rejecting two of the three important principles of Madrid. The right to self-determination and the principle of non-use of force or threats of force have been denied by Azerbaijan. One should also be much concerned about the arms race initiated by Azerbaijan, the (inaudible) statements, and destabilizing measures, which are clearly aimed at jeopardizing the peace talks.
During your visit to Baku, did you bring up these issues? Thank you, Madam Secretary.
SECRETARY CLINTON: The United States strongly condemns the use of force or the threat to use force. And we regret the loss of life that results as the use of force is used. These are unacceptable violations of the 1994 cease fire agreement. And it is also contrary to the stated commitments of both sides.
So, we have called upon everyone to refrain from the use of force or the threat of force because we, number one, do not want to see loss of life or injury; we do not want to see further dislocation of individuals or families; and we do not want to see the peace process harmed. So, my message is the same to everyone: the United States condemns the use or threat of use of force.
QUESTION: Yes, Lucian Kim from Bloomberg News. Madam Secretary, even as the reset continues to relax relations between Russia and the U.S., Russia isn’t giving up on its concept of having a sphere of privileged interests, including in the Caucasus region.
You often talk about focusing on areas of mutual concern. But how will you tackle thorny issues like Russia’s presence in its so-called (inaudible), and in particular in Georgia, where two years ago we saw how a frozen conflict turned into a war? Inevitably, there are many people in Moscow who don’t look very approvingly on this trip in the Caucasus region.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have made very clear for the last 18 months that we want to improve our relations with Russia, and I think there is evidence that we have done so with the new START treaty, with the new sanctions against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, with increasing cooperation in the Minsk process, or in Afghanistan. I think there is a lot of evidence that the United States and Russia are actually looking for ways to find common ground.
But that doesn’t mean we’re going to agree on everything. No two nations agree on everything. We do not agree on what happened in Georgia, or the current continuing occupation by Russian forces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And we have said so, and I have said it everywhere, not just in the Caucasus.
But we think it’s possible to pursue a comprehensive common agenda, as we are doing with Russia, without the disagreements freezing our relationship. We think it’s not only in the interest of the United States and Russia, we think it’s in the interest of the world that Russia and the United States continue to try to build confidence and trust between one another.
Obviously, we saw when we were in Ukraine that the new government in Ukraine is trying to balance, trying to have improved relations with Russia while seeking integration into Europe and deepening the Euro-Atlantic alliance with the United States. That is Ukraine’s right to choose. They are a sovereign nation.
I will be in Georgia tomorrow. And Georgia continues to stand up for itself and to make decisions that are in their own interests, as they define it, and we applaud that.
So, it is not at all unusual that we would have common ground, as we do in the Minsk process, where we are co-chairs, trying to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh, and not agree with respect to other concerns like what has happened in Georgia. I think that’s a sign of a very mature, candid relationship. And I think the — not only this part of the world, but across the world, people ought to be relieved that the United States and Russia have developed that kind of ability to engage and go on, despite continuing disagreements.
QUESTION: (Via translator) (Inaudible) Agency. My question is for Madam Secretary of State. Madam Secretary of State, although in one of the recent interviews the President of Armenia said that Turkey’s policy of zero problems with neighbors is yielding zero results, we have recently witnessed Turkey’s swift resolution of Iran’s nuclear problem. Then, they managed to duplicate Palestine. They have stabilized Iraq, after all.
In this context, how do you view the fact that Turkey is not living up to its commitment of normalizing relations with Armenia, which Turkey undertook in your presence? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the United States commends the Governments of Armenia and Turkey on their signing of the historic protocols on normalization of relations last October in Zurich. I was honored to be there, along with your foreign minister. And it was a visionary and courageous agreement by the leaders of both countries to try to move forward toward full normalization of relations.
We believe — the United States believes — that this kind of rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey will foster increased stability and greater prosperity through more open borders, increasing trade and investment, and will, in the long run, be a great advantage to Armenia.
However, as you know, that has not yet been realized. And there have been problems and obstacles along the way. I was very pleased when President Sargsian announced that, despite the problems that Armenia saw coming from Turkey, that Armenia stood ready to continue normalization, but that it would suspend its efforts until the Turkish side was ready to move forward again. We applauded your president’s decision, because that was a decision to continue, despite the obstacles, to work toward peace, stability, and reconciliation.
And we urge Turkey to take the steps that it promised to take, and that both sides continue to try to find the opportunity to open the door to reconciliation and normalization. But Armenia’s decision last April was very statesmanlike and very impressive. And now, as they say in sports, the ball is in the other court.
FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDYAN: I take this opportunity, having heard your question, to thank the United States and the Secretary of State herself for her personal contribution, for the enormous support rendered throughout the process of Armenian-Turkish normalization. We concur with the United States that the relationship has to be normalized without preconditions. The agreements have to be honored. We will be ready to move forward when Ankara also once again demonstrates readiness to move forward towards normalization without preconditions. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Eduard.

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This is from earlier today, before she left for Georgia. What a beautiful venue!

**UPDATE** Thanks to Pcfs, we have this video of the speech.  She had posted it in an earlier comments thread today.  H/t Pcfs!

Remarks at a Reception with Armenian Civil Society Leaders

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Cafesjian Center
Yerevan, Armenia
July 5, 2010

AMBASSADOR YOVANOVITCH: Hello, everybody, Secretary Clinton, distinguished guests, bari luis, good morning and welcome. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are all excited to have you here, Madam Secretary, especially in Armenia for America’s Independence Day and Armenia’s Constitution Day today. The observance of these holidays, especially here in Khanjyan Hall, which celebrates Armenia’s long but ultimately successful struggle for independence, reminds us that democracy in action requires a vibrant civil society to promote the rights and freedoms of its citizens.
Secretary of State Clinton, throughout her distinguished career, has been a passionate human rights advocate and promoter of democratic values. From her work with women and children in Arkansas, to her pledge as Secretary of State to advance a comprehensive human rights agenda, she embodies America’s long tradition of making human rights a human reality. And today you have an opportunity to share with her how you all pursue these goals right here in Armenia.
So now, please join me in welcoming Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Ambassador. And thank you to each and every one of you for joining me this morning at this absolutely stunning arts center, here in Khanjyan Hall. I wanted to meet during my visit to Yerevan with civil society activists and journalists and human rights advocates and members of organizations promoting education, health, and opportunities for all Armenians.
This weekend, Americans around the world celebrated our 234th anniversary of independence. I chose to spend this holiday visiting countries whose independence has come recently, and often only after long struggles. As with my own country’s democracy, I know how hard and frustrating the struggle to realize the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality can be. So I am here to encourage you to keep up your hard work. Democracy requires not just elections, but open dialogue, a free exchange of ideas, government transparency and accountability, and above all, an empowered citizenry, who constantly work together to make their country fairer, juster, healthier, and freer.
Two days ago, at the Community of Democracies meeting in Poland, I spoke about the importance of civil society in promoting good governance and transparency through peaceful means. The United States believes that when members of civil society are respected and allowed to work free of intimidation, democracies flourish and societies prosper.
In my meetings with President Sargsian and other high officials yesterday, I reiterated my support for Armenian democracy, and raised concerns about media freedom. I know many of you are concerned about the government’s recent changes to the law on TV and radio. And these are concerns that the United States, the OSCE, and the European Union share. I raised this issue and was told that the government is open to amending the law this fall. And we will look forward to working with the Armenian Government on this specific issue and, more generally, to strengthen protections for journalists so that the Armenian people can receive the information they and you need to contribute to building a stronger future.
And I thank many of you for your work in reaching out beyond your borders. I know that NGOs and journalists have been working for years to strengthen bonds between people of the different countries here in the Caucasus, including Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as reaching out to Turkey. Whatever specific work you are doing, whether it be for fair, free elections, or better access to health care, or greater flow of information, or trying to heal the wounds of history, I thank you and urge you to continue. The challenges that you are facing are not greater than the challenges that Armenia has already overcome. And please know that the United States and the Obama Administration and the American people are standing with you as you help lead your country into that future of promise and potential that every Armenian deserves.
Thank you very much. And now I look forward to meeting some of you, and having a chance to exchange our views.

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