Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Hillary introduced the German translation of her memoir Hard Choices  (‘Entscheidungen’ in German) at a public event at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater in Berlin this morning.   The presentation was moderated by Christoph Amend, editor-in-chief of Zeit Magazine.


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Secretary Clinton’s day in Berlin yesterday was packed! Yet she hit the ground running this morning once more. This time her day began with a NATO Ministerial meeting that included side bilaterals with Ukraine’s Gryshchenko, Russia’s Lavrov, and the UK’s Hague. She went on to participate in a memorial for Richard Holbooke at the American Academy in Berlin, founded by Holbrooke in 1994. Later, she received the Walther Rathenau Prize to our great satisfaction. Finally, she held a meet-and-greet and presser at the embassy in Berlin before hitting the tarmac running at Tegel Airport in Berlin and departing for Seoul.

Godspeed. Mme. Secretary! May angels watch over you!

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As you know, I am very appreciative of Mme. Secretary’s meet-and-greets at her host embassies.  The staffs at embassies where she visits do double their normal duty when she visits, and their families sacrifice as well.  All of this is done so that her stay goes smoothly and securely.  Here are her words today at Embassy Berlin.

That said, I am dedicating this post tonight to our friend Chris who very subtly told us on Facebook today (I’ll quote), “I MET HILLARY! I MET HILLARY! I MET HILLARY! I MET HILLARY!”  I am pretty certain it was at this event.  We are all so happy for you, Chris!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Remarks at Meeting with Staff and Families of Embassy Berlin and U.S. NATO


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Berlin, Germany
April 15, 2011

AMBASSADOR MURPHY: Good afternoon. As I just said to some of you on the side, you didn’t come here to see me, so I’ll be very brief. (Laughter.) Before I introduce the Secretary of State, I see Ivo Daalder. Ivo, you and your team at this NATO ministerial have been fabulous to work with for our folks. I saw Liz Sherwood-Randall, who was here, I believe, from the White House – an indispensable partner. I don’t know if Phil Gordon – Phil, are you here? Phil Gordon is also in town. And it’s been a real, real honor and a very unusual and very productive week.

No one works harder for our country and no one stands up more strongly, both globally and back home with our Congress and with other Americans, in staunch defense of our global interests and the diplomatic work done by our men and women both in the Foreign Service and among our locally engaged staff than our Secretary of State. It’s my great, great honor and privilege to introduce to you Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State of the United States of America. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all so much. Well, I cannot imagine a better way to be introduced to a better group of people than as representing the United States to those of you who work day in and day out on behalf of this important relationship between the United States and Germany. I want to thank Phil for his leadership and for his enthusiasm, which seems never to lag. I want to thank your DCM. Where’s Greg? There you are. Greg, thank you very much. I, too, want to thank Ivo Daalder for the great work that his team did on behalf of this important NATO ministerial. And I am delighted that I’ve got this second time to visit you, my third visit to Germany in my term as Secretary of State. And I know that Phil, who’s a marathon runner, has never stopped running, and all of you are running along with him. (Laughter.) And I can see the results of all this hard work that you’re doing.

We just finished two very productive days here in Berlin on matters ranging from Afghanistan to Libya to missile defense. And I know that when someone like me comes to town, you have to work a lot more than you do even ordinarily, and that was especially difficult since we were trying to figure out whether we’d have a government shutdown or not. (Laughter.) So I just wanted to make it a little more complicated for you. (Laughter.) And I want to thank each and every one of you for everything you contributed to making this trip a success.

But more importantly, I want to thank you for all the ways that you contribute to America’s work: advancing our values, protecting our security, furthering our interests. We really count on each and every one of you. You are at one of the most complex missions we have at the State Department. Eleven federal agencies are housed here in Berlin, five consulates around the country, and you are working on every issue, literally, under the sun, from the global economic crisis to climate change. And you’re working not only with our partners in government but you’re working with civil society, with business, with teachers, with activists, with students. And I appreciate your efforts to organize educational and cultural exchange programs like this weekend’s urban art project in an area of Berlin, or the Meet US program that sends Americans out to schools to talk about life in our country. And the outreach you’re doing – the town halls, the interviews, the public discussions, even the soccer diplomacy that the ambassador is so proud of – (laughter) – is breaking through where we especially need it, with young people.

The world is increasingly young – (laughter) – in many parts of it. It seems younger by the minute as I get older by the minute. (Laughter.) And it really is important that we find new ways to connect, because certainly as we’ve seen social media be used for everything from organizing protests and demonstrations in Tahrir Square to using cloud collecting of information to find victims of the earthquake in Haiti, it’s important we keep upping our game all the time. What can we do more? What can we do better?

I especially thank you for the 250 locally employed staff who have provided the backbone of our diplomatic efforts. I’m well aware that secretaries come and go, ambassadors come and go, DCMs come and go, but the locally employed staff stay and keep the mission running and provide the continuity and direction that is so necessary. I know a few of you were even requested by name from Embassy Kabul and have spent long periods of time there, and I very much appreciate that.

I think there are about 15 U.S. NATO staff present. Are you all here? Is anybody here from the U.S. NATO staff? Back there? (Cheers.) Thank you very much for your work. You’ve put together a complicated NATO schedule. And I know that every NATO meeting is a little bit of a puzzle, and you put it together extremely well.

I understand that the control officer for my three visits, Stan Otto – where’s Stan?


SECRETARY CLINTON: There you are, Stan. You’re leaving Berlin soon, and you’re going to leave a big hole in the political affairs section, particularly in the embassy singers. (Laughter.) And I can’t carry a tune, so I’m delighted to know that we have people like you – (laughter) – with all of your talents in the State Department.

I want to spend just a minute talking about the budget discussions in Washington, because I’m sure you’re hearing all kinds of things. I want you to know that I will keep making the case and fighting for the support and resources that you need to do your jobs. The level of dedication that I see here and around the world is such a hallmark of our Foreign and Civil Service officers. I know the sacrifices that you and your families make to serve our country abroad – the late nights, the long hours, the weekends, the CODELs, everything that has to be done to perfection. You deserve all of the support that we can get you, and we will keep fighting for every single dollar.

So thanks again for your hard work. I hope that we’ll find new and better ways to deepen and broaden our relationship with Germany, one of the most important in the world. But now I’d like to just go shake some hands and say hello to some of the people I see, especially the young people who are here, and thanks to you and thanks to your families as well. (Applause.)

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Remarks at Memorial Service for Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
American Academy
Berlin, Germany
April 15, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON:Well, I apologize for speaking out of turn, but I have one more stop to go that makes it necessary for me to do so, and I would not have missed this for the world. So I am delighted to have had the opportunity to hear everyone else, and I regret that I won’t hear the remaining speakers.

But I want to start by thanking Gary Smith for the work you’ve done to realize the vision that the Academy represents and what Richard certainly hoped for. Gahl, thank you, for the instrumental role you played. And, of course, Kati, it would not even have the meaning it does without the partnership and support that you gave Richard all those years. And I’m delighted that Sarah and three of Richard’s grandchildren, Beatrice, Kathryn, and William are here as well.

It is so fitting that we would have this, most likely, last memorial service and remembrance of Richard in a place that he loved so much, not only here at the Academy, but Berlin and Germany. It is a fitting place to tell these stories, and I only wished that we had arranged it so that it was somewhere relaxed in this beautiful building with a giant panettone – (laughter) – and lots of good Riesling and other treats to keep us going, because the stories would never have ended. That was the thing about Richard, every story that I’ve heard has prompted even more in my own mind to come to the surface.

And Richard thrived on conversation. He was an absolutely relentless conversationalist, as any of us who have engaged in conversation with him understand and remember. And Les Gelb, one of his dearest friends, said that a conversation with Richard meant listening . . .

(In progress) A conversation with Richard meant listening to a breathless monologue, which you could only engage by interrupting. And I know, the story that Gahl told about Richard following John Fuegi into the men’s room was so familiar. (Laughter.) He followed me onto a stage as I was about to give a speech, he followed me into my hotel room, and on one memorable occasion, into a ladies room in Pakistan. (Laughter.) So these are all now very fond memories.

And this American Academy meant the world to him. He talked about it, along with all of his other passions, starting with Kati, endlessly. And it was, I think, a way for him to embody his love of Germany and his belief that Germany and the United States had to be indispensably linked together, going forward into the unknown future. As John Kornblum famously said, “living humanity” is what Richard Holbrooke was all about. And the American Academy is a living example, an essence of his life’s work.

When my husband asked him to be Ambassador to Germany, I think he was a little disappointed at first. Let’s be honest. (Laughter.) And I can remember the conversation. Bill said to Richard, “You know, Richard, we don’t know what’s going to happen in Europe now.” I think the point that Ambassador Kornblum made is worth remembering – what looks now to have been inevitable was not in any way preordinated.

So watching Bill Clinton and Richard Holbrooke have a conversation was truly like watching two bull elephants circle around, trumpeting their positions – (laughter) – looking for openings, pawing the ground, and luckily, finally, coming to an understanding.

But what Richard so quickly and very importantly grasped was that, yes, the Cold War era was over and, yes, the Berlin Wall had come down, and yes, the last of the Berlin Brigade would be leaving, including 5,000 American troops. But there was nothing that made it at all sure that this relationship that had been based on the past would continue into the future.

So Richard believed we needed to create an entirely new relationship, one based not just on strategic necessity, but on friendship, shared vision and shared values. He was absolutely convinced that the United States and Germany had to form the core of a permanent transatlantic community, and that led him to the extraordinary effort about enlarging NATO, which as I was listening to John, I thought of all of the bitter arguments that were held over those years about what that would mean.

Now, there are many ways to describe Richard, and we’ve heard some wonderful descriptors. You can describe him by the many hats that he wore, not just hats, but caps and helmets. You can see him wearing a cap as a development officer or a Peace Corps director or an ambassador, a magazine editor, a presidential advisor, a peace negotiator, an AIDS activist, a banker, a diplomat, and someone who believed always in the power of ideas. He’s also been described by numerous political labels. He’s been called a liberal interventionist, a neoconservative, a multilateralist, a liberal hawk, and those are some of the nicer things that have been said about him. (Laughter.) He is certainly referred to as a thinker, an idea generator, a man of serial enthusiasms, a voracious reader, a prolific writer, a prodigious intellect, and a great friend.

But instead of talking about who he was, what we’ve heard today is what he stood for and what he did. He was, of course, a man of powerful convictions, but he was a pragmatist and he never saw any contradiction between the two. He believed in doing what was right for America and right for the world, and he actually thought those two intersected more times than not. He spent his life grappling with two of the hardest questions in international relations. The first was when and how to use military force. Sometimes, of course, nations must act unilaterally to protect their security.

But there are also times, which he knew, when nations are called to join together to defend common principles, stop humanitarian crises, and act on behalf of those shared values. He believed totally in building international coalitions. When he was appointed to be the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, he was the first of a kind. By the time he finished, Vali, there were, what, 42. He reached out and included Muslim-majority nations, and his successor, someone who had worked with Richard, Ambassador Marc Grossman, went to a recent meeting of the special representatives sponsored by the Organization of the Islamic Conference held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. And as Marc told me later, it was so clearly the work of Richard.

He understood that at times, one had to use military force. But he also fought hard about how to end it and what tools were necessary to do so. He knew that you had to deal with some fairly unlikable characters from time to time. After he visited Bosnia as a private citizen, he came back totally convinced that the world – not just Europe – but the world had to act, because he watched in horror one day as Serbian soldiers rounded up Bosnian Muslims, and it was, for him, a terrible, eerie echo of what had happened 50 years before.

When Richard took on the State Department’s European Bureau in September 1994 after leaving Germany as ambassador, it was, as has been described, a time of a lot of uncertainty. And in the article that was written and published in the spring 1995 Foreign Affairs issue, he laid out so many of the concerns and suggested actions that we have been following ever since. And when he did the extraordinary work that Kati has provided an inside look to all of us for the Dayton Peace Accords, he was not only professionally engaged, but personally committed. Because the part that Kati didn’t tell you is that his three colleagues died on that road after Milosevic had refused to allow them safe passage and made them ride that road that was ringed by Serbian snipers. And yet, despite that loss, Richard was relentless in his pursuit of peace and absolutely convinced he would get Milosevic to the final line.

When he was asked by President Obama to serve in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he took on the challenge with relish. He was very clear-eyed, but he did say on more than one occasion, “I thought Dayton was pretty difficult at the time. This is a lot tougher.” He set to work the only way he knew: full-bore, with everything he had, relying on the principles that have always guided him.

He mapped out three mutually reinforcing tracks: a military offensive, which he, along with the rest of us, were working with President Obama, who inherited a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, a Taliban with an enormous sense of momentum. And waiting on the President’s desk that first day were requests for troops that had not been in any way discussed or acted on by the prior administration.

At the same time, Richard was probably the most relentless and passionate advocate for a civilian campaign. When Richard became SRAP, there were 300 American civilians, including the Embassy in Kabul, in all of Afghanistan. They were largely on six-month tours, and many of them spent a third of that time on R&R outside the country because it was really hard.

And finally a third track was an intensive diplomatic push. Now, those who found negotiations with the Taliban distasteful got a very powerful response from Richard. Diplomacy would be easy, he would say, if you only had to talk with your friends. And negotiating with your adversaries wasn’t a disservice to people who had died, if by talking you could prevent more violence.

He saw the regional implications, and as Vali Nassar said, he dove into Pakistan with all his Richard-ness. After the devastating floods that affected almost 20 million Pakistanis last year, he went to visit a dusty refugee camp not far from Karachi. As usual, he arrived in a way he hated. He hated having security, he hated the armored cars, and he if could duck his entourage, he always did, and then, of course, I would get the phone calls. (Laughter.) He slipped, alone, into a tent occupied by two refugees from the floods, a father and his young son. He just wanted to hear their story.

He also loved breaking protocol. He may have been the first person who told me the joke that –“What’s the difference between a terrorist and a protocol officer? You can negotiate with a terrorist.” (Laughter.) And so the protocol officers would say, “Do not wear the USAID hat. If you go to this region, you will be a target and you will also be considered somewhat undiplomatic.” Well, all over The New York Times were pictures of Richard in his USAID hat.

He did make a big impact in a very complex situation, and in two countries that no one should pretend to understand. But he built a foundation for us to build on. He formed friendships and alliances. He broke a lot of pottery. He brought together an exceptional team of people. Vali described them as sort of a silicon company start-up. I thought of it more as the bar scene in Star Wars – (laughter) – because Richard was intent upon doing something that all governments and every bureaucracy hates. He wanted to break down all of the barriers.

So this was going to be a whole-of-government commitment, which I certainly thought it was and what I thought we were being asked to do. He wanted people from every agency in the government. So you try calling the Department of Agriculture and saying we want some agricultural specialists to work with us in the State Department on helping improve agriculture in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. Very tough negotiations. But in the end, Richard got his way.

Now, I think that part of what we will miss about Richard is that as we have seen the actions and events of the last months, many of us have thought, “What would Richard have said?” We didn’t have Richard to advise us in Libya but we had his principles to guide us. And we did work hard to bring the international community together – and quickly.

The world did not wait for another Srebrenica in a place called Benghazi. Instead, we came together in the United Nations, a place where Richard served as our ambassador, to impose sanctions, a no-fly zone, and an arms embargo, and protecting civilians. In a single week, we prevented a potential massacre, stopped an advancing army, and expanded the coalition.

And as Colonel Qadhafi continues attacking his own people, we are gaining even more partners in our efforts.

There will always be conflicts as long as there are human beings, as long as there are power-mad egomaniacs running countries – which, of course, never happen in democracies, thank goodness. (Laughter.) And we will have to navigate them without Richard, but not without his insight.

I want to finish by reading something he wrote not long after the Dayton Accords were signed:

“There will be other Bosnia’s in our lives,” he wrote. They will “explode with little warning, and present the world with difficult choices – choices between risky involvement and potentially costly neglect.”

He concluded: “Early outside involvement will be decisive.”

That doesn’t mean we don’t need patience. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have to continue to do the hard work that tries to avoid conflicts. But we do need to remember Richard’s plea for principled interventionism. He lived those ideals, and perhaps better than any other diplomat of his generation, he made them real to so many of us.

We have a lot to learn from Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke, as advisor, counselor, teacher, but above all else, dear friend. I can see in this room on the faces of so many of you the kind of memories that we all have of this extraordinary man. And let us give thanks for him. (Applause.)

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Now I am confused. They are saying EST + 6, but we are in EDT.  So is it actually +5?

Public Schedule for April 15, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
April 15, 2011

Public Schedule

Friday, April 15, 2011


Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Berlin, Germany to participate in a NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting (EST + 6 hours). She is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Gordon. Click here for more information.

8:30 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton participates in a NATO Foreign Ministers meeting, in Berlin, Germany.

9:15 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton participates in a NATO-Georgia Commission meeting, in Berlin, Germany.

10:15 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Foreign Minister Westerwelle, in Berlin, Germany.

10:45 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton participates in a NATO-Ukraine Commission meeting, in Berlin, Germany.

11:30 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, in Berlin, Germany.

12:30 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton participates in a NATO-Russia Council meeting, in Berlin, Germany.

2:30 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton attends a memorial service for Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, in Berlin, Germany.

4:30 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton attends the Water Rathenau Award Ceremony, in Berlin, Germany.

5:30 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton meets with the staff and families of Embassy Berlin and U.S. NATO, in Berlin, Germany.

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They did it AGAIN!  I know that jacket looks blue in this photo, but we all know that jacket,  and it’s purple.  Hillary and Angela, the Bobbsey Twins!


Public Schedule for April 14, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
April 14, 2011


Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Berlin, Germany to participate in a NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting (EST + 6 hours). She is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Gordon. Click here for more information.

11:00 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in Berlin, Germany.

12:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a working lunch for NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs and non-NATO contributors to Operation Unified Protector, in Berlin, Germany.

2:10 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, in Berlin, Germany.

2:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with German Foreign Minister Westerwelle, UK Foreign Minister Hague and representatives from Italy and France, in Berlin, Germany.

3:20 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs and non-NATO ISAF Contributing Nations, in Berlin, Germany.

5:25 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Afghanistan Foreign Minister Rassoul, in Berlin, Germany.

7:10 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a reception for the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs and heads of delegations, in Berlin, Germany.

8:15 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a working dinner for the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in Berlin, Germany.

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Wow!  For awhile there, Daylife photo grids were down, but they returned with just this one new photo, at the moment, showing Mme. Secretary arriving in Berlin.  It was already Thursday morning when she landed.  The photo is dated April 14.

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Meet and Greet with the Staff and Families of the U.S. Consulate General Munich and Embassy Berlin


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Munich, Germany
February 6, 2011

AMBASSADOR MURPHY: Good morning once again, everybody. You didn’t come out to see me this morning, so I’ll be very brief. Good morning to Mission Munich, and we’ve got – as the Secretary knows, we’ve got folks from all over Germany, all of our missions, in to support this security conference. And you’ve done a fantastic, as usual, fabulous job.

How lucky are we at these moments when the agenda is shifting and growing and the challenges getting more complicated that we have Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton leading and standing up and representing our country around the world? It is – we are blessed, Madam Secretary. And secondly, there is no one – I can say this with great conviction – first of all, you brought the weather. (Laughter.) Let there be no doubt about that. And secondly – I mean this sincerely and without any hesitation – you are the hardest working human being I have ever met.


AMBASSADOR MURPHY: And with that, ladies and gentlemen, let’s give it up for our leader. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thanks very much, Phillip. Well, that just reminds me how tired I am. (Laughter.) Thank you so much, Phil, and thank you for the wonderful job that you’re doing here in Germany. We greatly appreciate it. I also want to thank Conrad Tribble, who I have seen along the way of my careers in many different capacities and places. And thanks to all of you.

This is kind of a perfect storm of responsibility. It’s bad enough when a Secretary of State comes, but a huge CODEL. I mean, that’s – on top of it, that’s quite a challenge. And once again, you have risen to the occasion and I’m so appreciative.

It is wonderful to be back here in Germany and in Munich. I’ll be in Berlin later for a NATO ministerial, where I will see some of you once again. And I am very proud of the work that all of you are doing. It really demonstrates the greatest sense of commitment and responsibility year in and year out. I know that you’ve come from all over Germany for this conference. I think it’s been a really important gathering. I met this morning for breakfast with our congressional delegation, who are very, very pleased that they could participate. And I don’t know how many bilats I’ve done, but it’s a convenient way to see a lot of leaders from around the world, particularly from here in Europe. I had the opportunity to meet with both Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Westerwelle yesterday. And our relationship just gets stronger and deeper as the days go on.

Now, nothing could have happened without your support, and you did so much – they gave me a list of all the different responsibilities, from motorcade to booking hotels to processing badges and doing so much more, and it showed. You know too that the work you do every single day when we are long gone from this conference is essential. And I want to thank you for what you’re doing to support our personnel and missions outside of Germany. I know that William Caulfield and Ray Buford worked through the night with colleagues in Frankfurt to get food and bottled water so it could be shipped to Cairo. I know that a consular officer here in Munich, Aaron Hellman and Berlin Consular Section Chief James Fellows flew to Istanbul to help incoming Americans who we were evacuating from Egypt.

I know that a lot of the stress that we are feeling in much of the rest of the world is alleviated by the outreach that many of you do for us. And sometimes even the smallest thing can make a huge difference. And I know there are many, many stories. One that I was told about the evacuation of Americans concerned a 17-year-old exchange student who was understandably quite worried and hadn’t been able to call home, and Aaron Hellman got her a phone, got her in connection, and it was those moments where her mother could hear her voice that made all the difference. And the fact that it was her American Government that was facilitating that and protecting her demonstrates clearly what we do and what we stand for.

I especially want to thank all of the German nationals who have worked for this mission here in Munich and Berlin, Frankfurt, around the country. We couldn’t do what we do without you. I am reminded often that ambassadors come and go, secretaries of state come and go, presidents come and go, but the Foreign Service Nationals stay. You provide the continuity, you provide the mentoring, you provide the support that our Americans from across our government – not just from the State Department and USAID but across our government – really look to you to be working to support them. And I know that it is not a hardship post living in Germany – (laughter) – in fact, it’s pretty nice. But it is far from home for many of you. And I just want you to know how much we appreciate your service – your service to our country and your service to this relationship.

Now I see some very patient children sitting here and standing here. (Laughter.) And so before we tax their patience, I will go and take a picture with them because they look so terrific and they had to get up early on Sunday morning and come in. And then I want to meet as many of you as possible, but again, thank you so much for what you do every day. (Applause.)

Lilly found this a few weeks after this post went up. She shared it in a comment thread, but I am putting it here also.


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These two trips were packed together with only two days home in between. Just posting about them was pretty intense, and the dazzling SOS came through the whole thing glowing as usual. Here’s a look back at almost a month of diplomatic travel.

Afghanistan 11/18-11/19

Beijing 11/17

Shanghai 11/16

Singapore APEC 11/14-11/15

Phlippines 11/12-11/13

Singapore APEC 11/11

Berlin 11/8-11/10

Morocco 11/1-11/3

Israel 10/31

Abu Dhabi 10/30

Pakistan 10/27-10/29

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While in Germany, Secretary Clinton followed her signature practice of making herself available to the local media. Here are a few interview transcripts released by the State Department earlier today.

Interview With Marietta Slomka of ZDF Television
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hotel Adlon
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you remember where you were on that very special day in Berlin 20 years ago and how you got the news?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I was in Arkansas, and I was just talking to Tom Brokaw, who was one of our major TV anchors in 1989 in the United States, and the word came and I turned on the TV, and my husband and I were just glued, as we say, to the TV. And it was so exciting to see history unfolding before your very eyes. It wasn’t something that happened off-screen that you later heard about and was reconstructed. It was there. And Tom Brokaw famously said, “The war is over, the wall is down.” It was an exciting moment.

And as someone who grew up in the Cold War and had a lot of teachers who cared deeply about what happened and parents who were committed to freedom for people, it was a wonderful moment.

QUESTION: Now that you mention the war is over, the international system has changed. If you look at really for Germany from a foreign policy point of view, what does our – what is the German role on global stage nowadays?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think in the last 20 years Germany has assumed not just a role in Europe but a role in the world. A reunified Germany in a unified Europe is really the heart of Europe. And I think the German leadership that you’ve had over these last 20 years has understood that while the challenges of reunification were difficult and there was a need to continue to work to integrate East and West, that Germany would be called upon to exercise more responsibility outside of its borders. And that’s what I see Chancellor Merkel doing. She came to the United States, delivered a very important speech to our Congress, was very well received. I had breakfast with her this morning.

And of course, we talked about Germany and Europe, but we talked about Afghanistan and Iran and climate change and so many other important global issues.

QUESTION: As you just mentioned, the heart of Europe, your predecessors in the State Department considered Germany as Old Europe. (Laughter.) But that perception has changed, I assume.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, that has more than changed. That was one of the strangest comments. But no, for me personally and for the Obama Administration, I think it was telling that during his campaign President Obama came to Germany, that I am here today because we care deeply about celebrating this historic moment with the German people and people everywhere who are freedom loving. But it is important to look at Europe now and see Germany as one of the real decision makers, not only in a regional way but globally as well. And that’s what I see happening.

QUESTION: You mentioned more responsibilities. Are there hopes and – or even expectations from your side towards Germany and the policies of Germany?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but of course, that’s up to the German Government and the German people. But I know how significant a role Germany played in the G-20 efforts on recovering from the global recession. Germany has taken a leading role on climate change. We stand shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan under very difficult circumstances with your soldiers and our soldiers. We see Germany’s very strong position with us vis-à-vis Iran and their nuclear program, and Germany, of course, is very committed to a two-state solution and peace in the Middle East. So on many of the most difficult issues of the day, Germany is playing a very important role.

QUESTION: And on the key issue, Afghanistan, is there expectations about – in terms of more support, more military engagement?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is, of course, up to Germany itself. But we believe that during the consultations that the President and I and our Defense Secretary and others have carried out, it’s been a very useful discussion with our German counterparts. And we, of course, would hope for continuing support. We would hope that Germany would be not only a partner but part of the group that would really explain why this is important to the United States, to Germany. I think that we are fighting a common enemy. The United States doesn’t go to Afghanistan because we hope for just a better circumstance in the future for that country, although that would be very welcome, but because we think our security is affected and we think the security and the values of our friends and our allies like Germany are also impacted.

QUESTION: Could Germany do more?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s going to be up to Germany. And we – when we are at the point where the President has made a decision, we will, of course, consult with the German Government and see what their reaction is.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It’s a pleasure.

QUESTION: And have a nice day in Berlin.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It’s always nice to be in Berlin. Thank you.

Interview With Mathias Müller von Blumencron and Dr. Erich Follath of Der Spiegel
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hotel Adlon
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

QUESTION: So you’re just about to send more troops into Afghanistan. Why? For what? Is it to establish democracy, the western civil society, or is it just to prevent the establishment of new bases of terrorism?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, President Obama has not made any final decision. He has conducted a very deliberative process which has explored every assumption underlying every action, and I think it has been quite productive. But I think it’s fair to say that in the course of our examination, our goal is to defeat al-Qaida and its extremist allies, and that is a very clear goal. We’re hopeful for the future of the people of Afghanistan to have a better life, to have political, social, economic development.

But we are in Afghanistan because we believe that we cannot permit the return of a safe haven or a staging platform for terrorists. We think that al-Qaida and the other extremists are part of a syndicate of terror, with al-Qaida still being an inspiration, a funder, a trainer, an equipper, director of a lot of what goes on. In the last two months, we have arrested a gentleman who was plotting, it’s alleged, against the subway system in New York who went to an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan. The porous nature of that border is one that we consider to be very dangerous. The government and military of Pakistan are now moving against some of these extremist allies. But we think that we have to prevent the return of a – I think an extremist state in Afghanistan in order to be able to control this threat.

QUESTION: Our soldiers are dying, almost daily. On the other hand, the Afghan Government, in specifically the last election, were clearly based on fraud. How can we justify towards our people here in the West that we still send troops and have people there dying for a corrupt government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but I don’t think they are fighting and sacrificing for the Afghan Government. They’re there, in the case of American troops, for the American people and the American Government. We recognize, however, that our chances of success in this struggle are enhanced by a government in Afghanistan that can be a partner, that can help to train and deploy a bigger and more effective security force. The soldiers who are in the Afghan army are also sacrificing. They are willing to fight. They are often dying alongside our soldiers.

And so the expectations that we have for President Karzai and his new government are very clear and high, that in order to accomplish the goal we set of having a country that is able to stand up and defend itself, there has to be an effort against corruption; more accountability, the rule of law, the kind of basic expectations that a government should produce. It’s very clear that the people of Afghanistan do not want the Taliban back. In every single survey that we’ve ever seen, they reject the extremism that they lived with from the Taliban.

But they also want a government that gives them some security, that doesn’t leave them at the mercy of the Taliban. So we’re going to try to better organize our efforts and try to demand more from the Afghan Government itself.

QUESTION: Shouldn’t you demand a government of unity, including Abdullah Abdullah, after these elections?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that what we’re interested in is an effective government that can deliver for the people. And we believe that there do have to be a number of people in the government. Who the personalities are is not as big a concern as having competent, effective, honest members of the government.

But we’re not only looking at the government in Kabul. We’re also looking at the government throughout the country. Because very often, it is local governance, as it has historically been in Afghanistan, that delivers services, that provides security. So we think more has to be done with the local governance structures, not just keeping all the attention on Kabul.

QUESTION: Would that mean that America would get much more involved with the local governments and also with the appointments of the local governments? Does it mean you put more pressure on the central government to point the right people in the local areas?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that a number of us – not just the United States, but a number of NATO members as well as allies in the international forces – agree with what Prime Minister Brown said last week, that there has to be more accountability. I mean, we do see this as in our national security interest, but part of being successful and protecting our interest is having a better partner in Afghanistan.

And we will be making our views known. We will have certain measurements of accountability that we expect. And we don’t think that’s interference. We don’t think that is out of bounds since we are committed to helping the people of Afghanistan themselves be able to withstand the threat from the Taliban. The most common kind of formulation that I and others have heard from the Afghans themselves is we need your help to get us in a position where we can defend ourselves against these threats, and then we need you to go.

Well, that pretty much summarizes what we want to do as well. (Laughter.) So we want to be more effective, but we have no intention of staying or holding territory or occupying. That is not any objective of ours. We want to leave a stable enough situation behind that the Afghans themselves can be the front lines against the Taliban and the al-Qaida extremists.

QUESTION: For these purposes, do you have to support President Karzai?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, he is the elected president, and I think once he decided to stand for the second round, he legitimized the outcome of the election. Dr. Abdullah decided not to pursue, which has happened in other places. It’s happened in my own country, when somebody looks at a runoff election and doesn’t think they have much of a chance and don’t feel like it’s worth going through it.

So there’s no doubt that he is the duly elected president of Afghanistan. But it shouldn’t be that he just holds the title in name only. He has to perform for his people. And he has to demonstrate a commitment to the wellbeing of the people of Afghanistan. I’m not underestimating the dangers he faces and the threats, as we saw with the terrible attack on the UN headquarters. This is a very difficult situation. But he has to show the leadership that we should expect from him.

QUESTION: You’re clearly unhappy with his efforts to fight corruption. How do you want to put more pressure on that, and how do you want to force him to be more tough on this? He probably has to fight against his own brother?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that there are several aspects to this. One, we need a formalized mechanism to be investigating corruption inside Afghanistan that is an independent entity that is independent of the existing power structure. We also have to be more careful about what we – namely the West, NATO, other donors – do, because a lot of the corruption is fueled by the amount of money we put in and don’t have appropriate measures of accountability ourselves. And we have to be tougher.

But at the end of the day, what we need to do is measure results on the ground. We need to set some standards about where money should be going and what the results should be, and monitor those and hold the people in government accountable.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, your real concern – the real concern for Western security is not Afghanistan alone anymore, but a nuclear-armed Pakistan, as you very well know. And you yourself recently voiced doubts. You said you – in your recent in Pakistan, it’s hard to believe, and I quote you, that members of the Pakistani Government did not know the hiding places of al-Qaida and could not get at them if they really wanted to. What did you mean by that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there are two issues here. On the one hand, the nuclear arsenal that Pakistan has, I believe is secure. I think that the government and the military have taken adequate steps to protect that. On the other hand, the safe haven that al-Qaida has found in Pakistan is very troubling. They are still actively engaged with the elements of the Pakistani Taliban that are threatening the state of Pakistan.

And it was only recently that Pakistan, through its civilian leadership and its military leadership, actually made the decision that this was a threat to them. We had been saying it was. Others had been telling them the same. But they are now committed to going after those who have attacked their army headquarters, intelligence, the Islamic University in Islamabad, so many targets that really exemplify the authority of the state and the culture of society.

So I think that my point really was to say, look, you have concerns about what we do – we, the United States, and the West. Well, we have concerns about what you do. And it is a very high priority for my government to capture or kill the al-Qaida leadership, and we need more help from you in order to be able to achieve that.

QUESTION: You’re referring to the intelligence people in Pakistan when you make this claim that they should know when everybody knows that in Qatar, Mullah Omar is having his headquarters, or at least there are some people around him who – was that – are you still – do you still fear that intelligence services in Pakistan are not reliable?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Not at the highest levels. I am convinced that at the highest levels, we have a good working relationship. But we have tens of thousands of people in our government in sensitive positions. Every so often, we uncover somebody who’s a traitor. We uncover somebody who is selling classified information or giving it to an agency of another country. So I know how governments work, and I know that it takes constant vigilance to try to root out those who might not share the values or the program of the government. And there are thousands of people in that government, and I would like to see a real effort made on the part of the top leadership to make sure that no one down the ranks is doing anything to give any kind of support or cover-up to the al-Qaida leadership.

QUESTION: Tehran is obviously not willing to accept the newest proposals. How long, how – when is your patience ending for (inaudible) Iran?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we don’t have a formal response from Iran yet. Our —

QUESTION: They’re trying to renegotiate again, again.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And we – yeah, we don’t intend to do that. I mean, we’ve been willing to give them more time to work through their internal political debate, because we know there is a lot of turmoil in the Iranian political system coming after the election. But our patience is not unlimited. We continue to urge them to show good faith, as they had said they would adopt this agreement in principle. It would provide an opening for us to discuss not just the nuclear program, but other matters as well, and we still are hopeful that they will decide to accept it.

QUESTION: Why don’t you take the military option off the table? Nobody is believing in it anymore anyway.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Because we don’t take any options off the table. I don’t think that strategically, it is smart to begin cutting your options when the other side doesn’t move at all. Let’s see some good faith from Iran, let’s see some action on their part. President Obama has reached out to them, both publicly and privately. We have tried to change the discussion so that they could participate with us, we could have a diplomatic engagement. But that’s not a one-way street, and we have to see some reciprocity coming back from Iran.

QUESTION: Israel, one question I have to ask about Israel: Are you capitulating in front of the hardliners? Some people said Obama, your president, was asking for a total freeze. When you were in Israel, you were praising the Netanyahu government for much less.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it has to be seen in context. There’s never been a settlement freeze prior to any negotiations conducted by anyone – any Israeli government, any Palestinian government, facilitated by any American government. In negotiations, you often ask for a maximalist position, which is what we would prefer. We are very much in favor of ending settlement activity of all kinds.

The Israeli Government made a fair point, which is that in their legal system, they’ve already permitted the start of construction on certain units, but they were willing to do something no Israeli government had ever done, which was to say no new settlement activity, period. Now, ultimately, this can all be taken care of once a state’s borders are determined. Then Israel does whatever it wants to do on its side of the border, and the Palestinians do whatever they want to do. But it was a positive step, and I have praised the Palestinians for positive steps they’ve taken on security, which the Israelis did not think was enough.

So in a situation like this, I think it’s important to make clear your position. Our position is settlement activity is not legitimate. But to go ahead and say it’s a positive step to end new settlement activity, something that has never been done, and to then get into negotiations so that we can discuss what the borders of a new state would be – and that would moot all of this discussion of settlements.

QUESTION: So this was not a change in policy, but in tone?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It was absolutely not a change in policy. There was no change in policy at all. And it is something, of course, that is disappointing to the Arabs and the Palestinians because they would like to see a total end. But it would be very difficult to go and use the Israeli army, or the legal process of Israel, to go around to people who have already been given this permit, short of a final settlement on borders, and tell them to stop construction.

So from the Israeli perspective, they thought it was a big concession. From the Palestinian perspective, it was not enough. We don’t think it’s enough. It doesn’t correspond with what we want to see eventually. But I think it’s only fair to say that it went further than anyone has before.

QUESTION: Thank you. It’s enough for starting negotiations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we think it is, but we’re the facilitator. The parties have to get into the negotiation. And I was very pleased when I was in Egypt last week that the Egyptians said they would be more than happy to host the Israelis and the Palestinians. But of course now, there are a lot of other issues that are at work. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Yes. Perfect, perfect.


Interview With Dr. Sebastian Hesse-Kastein of MDR Radio
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hotel Adlon
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you still remember when you heard for the first time that the wall had come down?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do. I was living in Arkansas with my husband and my daughter. He was the governor of Arkansas at the time. And it seems like a very long time ago, because televisions were much smaller, they were in boxes, not in flat screens hung on walls. And we were just captivated because both Bill and I had been interested in international relations, and of course, as children of the Cold War we had followed the history of the Berlin airlift and President Kennedy’s visit and so many of the events, including the building of that wall. So it was an extraordinary moment. And Tom Brokaw, who was a famous TV anchor, was in Berlin and reporting, and memorably said, “The war is over, the wall is down.” It was an extraordinary moment, and we were just glued to our television sets.

QUESTION: Did you think back then this is the beginning of a new era?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have to be honest; back then I didn’t know what it meant. I thought it meant the unraveling of the Soviet Union. But would there be rearguard actions? Would people break up? Would East – the Eastern part of Germany become their own state? I didn’t know any of that. But the exhilaration of the freedom and the people, particularly the young people who were literally tearing down the wall with picks and hammers and bare hands, said so much about the yearning that people have to be free and to make their own decisions. And I was very pleased to watch the smart leadership that Germany had during that time.

And then when Bill became president, I got to know Chancellor Helmut Kohl. We talked often about his commitment to reunifying Germany. And yet I still don’t think I could have predicted you’d have a reunified Germany in a unified Europe, with not only a unified Germany but the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe being part of the EU and part of NATO. It’s remarkable what has happened in a short period of time.

QUESTION: In what way has the world changed since then? Is it a safer place now or a better place?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, in many ways it’s better. It is certainly better in Europe. The peace in Europe, the social contract that has been developed, is a model. The fact that countries that warred against each other twice in the last century are now working together, partners and allies, is a great accomplishment. It was a bipolar world. The Cold War seemed very simple in retrospect. You had the Soviet Union and the West that were, in a sense, facing off right here in Berlin and elsewhere in the world.

So there is not that sense of certainty and clear rivalry now. It’s much more diffuse. It is non-state actors like the terrorists as well as rogue states. So the complexity is greater, the danger a different kind of danger. We don’t face the threat of nuclear annihilation as we did then, but we have to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons so we never face that again.

QUESTION: As you probably know, a vast majority in this country is for pulling out the troops out of Afghanistan, the German troops, as soon as possible. This year the mandate has to be renewed in the German Bundestag. What is your message to the decision makers why should the German army stay?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, this is a decision for the German Government and the German people, and I respect that. So let me talk about America. The President has had us going through a very thoughtful, deliberative process, asking all the hard questions. We didn’t want to accept any assumptions. We don’t believe that enough progress was made in the last eight years under the prior administration. But at the same time, we do think that we have to prevent Afghanistan from becoming, once again, a haven for terrorists who will use it to attack the United States, Germany, other friends and allies and interests around the world.

How do we best approach that? That’s what we are studying and working on now. We would hope to have Germany as an active partner, because we really do believe it goes right to our security interests. This is not about whether Afghanistan makes economic or social progress. We think that would be important. We would like to see it happen. But that’s not why American troops are there. American troops are there because we face a threat, and the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the syndicate of terrorists headed by al-Qaida, including elements of the Taliban, are plotting against us all the time. They are opportunistic. They will seek the opportunity to do harm to the German people, the American people, the British, the French, those who represent the kind of modernity and values that they stand against.

So I hope that whatever President Obama ends up deciding, that we can make a case to the American people, and to Europe and others, that we’ve got to continue to stand with each other.

QUESTION: Is there any idea out there what the new strategy is going to be like?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re getting close. I obviously can’t preempt the President to talk about his decision. But it will be based on a very careful assessment of what is in the security interests of the United States and our allies around the world.

QUESTION: What can Germany contribute?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Germany has already contributed. Germany has contributed not only troops and had losses and sacrifices among those troops, Germany has contributed civilian assistance and financial assistance. We have a big task to accelerate the training of the Afghan security forces. Germany has expertise and experience doing that. So there will be a number of ways that Germany can participate. But of course, ultimately, it is up to the German people.

QUESTION: Our new Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has announced in D.C. last week that he wants to support President Obama’s disarmament initiative, not only by words but by acting as well. How could help – what kind of help would you need or would you like Germany to add?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that there is a great commitment by President Obama to try to stem nuclear proliferation. And we can certainly use Germany’s help in preventing nuclear materials around the world from falling into the wrong hands. The United States is negotiating a reduction in its nuclear arsenal with Russia. We want to have NATO carefully study all the different aspects of the nuclear posture that we have through NATO. I think we want to demonstrate good faith, but we also have to be careful and thoughtful about how we proceed. And that’s something we’ll be discussing not only with Germany, but with other of our partners in NATO.

QUESTION: I wonder if the disarmament ideas our new government has is disarming another country as well, like getting rid of nuclear weapons. Can you tell us when the U.S. might pull out its nuclear bombs out of Germany?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that has to be considered in the context of NATO strategy. But I also think we have to be very careful about how we evaluate the different threats, the need for deterrents. So it’s a complicated issue. And I think NATO is the appropriate forum to consider all of the ramifications, because we have obligations to states further east. We have obligations to states in the Balkans and further south. So we have to bring everyone’s opinion to the table as we consider what to do.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about climate change.


QUESTION: What will the U.S. bring to Copenhagen to the UN summit there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the United States will bring a climate change bill based on a cap-and-trade model that was passed by our House of Representatives, a very vigorous effort going on in our Senate that we think will bear some fruit. But more importantly and more immediately, the Obama Administration has taken a number of steps through regulation to limit car emissions, utility plant emissions. We put $89 billion into clean energy technology. So we are doing a lot, in just eight months after the prior administration denied the problem for eight years.

But I think it’s very important for us to rise to the challenge, and that developed countries like Germany and the United States have responsibilities, but so do the developing countries like China and India. And we have to expect more from all of us.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you very much for this interview.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed being with you.

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