Posts Tagged ‘CARICOM’

The photo is from Guatemala. No images from Jamaica are available at the moment. I like these shots of Hillary on screen.

Remarks At the High-Level Caribbean-U.S. Conference


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ritz Carlton Hotel
Montego Bay, Jamaica
June 22, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress) – and thanks also to the deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Jamaica and Government of Jamaica for hosting us. And it is a special pleasure for me to be here with all of you again. I also want to acknowledge Secretary General Applewhaite for her continuing leadership and to congratulate St. Kitts and Nevis as it assumes the CARICOM chairmanship this July. I also want to start with a note of apology that I’m not able to stay longer. I had been looking forward to this meeting and to the dinner which follows, but unfortunately, I have to return to Washington to testify before our Congress tomorrow, which – and believe me, I would much rather be in Montego Bay with all of you. (Laughter.)

But I too am pleased, as the chairman said, that we are keeping to a regular schedule of these high-level meetings, because I think we have accomplished a number of our objectives, but we know there’s a long way to go. And I can tell you right now that we will have another one of these meetings next year, election or not, in the United States, because President Obama and I are committed to this region and to the individual countries represented here.

I want to start by thanking CARICOM for your role in Haiti, and I know we have the new minister from Haiti, but I think what you did by supporting free and fair elections there was to ensure that the outcome of those elections actually reflected the will of the Haitian people. Assistant Secretary General Granderson was invaluable in his role as head of the Joint CARICOM-OAS Electoral Observation Mission. And by removing tariffs on Haitian goods, CARICOM is helping to expand economic opportunity for Haitians, which is, of course, essential to Haiti’s long-term growth. The United States looks forward to working with you to find more ways to encourage private sector investment in Haiti even as we continue and deepen our development assistance to help Haitians rebuild their country.

I think our work together in Haiti shows how much we can do when we set a common agenda. Both President Obama and I are committed to our relationship and to our collaboration, and we are asking for your guidance in what areas the United States can be most helpful. I want to mention three of our highest shared priorities – citizen security, energy and climate, and economic cooperation. And I am pleased to report that we are making tangible progress in each of these areas.

Let me begin with citizen security because I have heard from all of you both in CARICOM and in bilateral settings that this is the single biggest issue facing your countries today. Your people are being subjected to relentless pressure from narco-traffickers and criminal gangs. And earlier today, I was in Guatemala for a discussion of the security situation in Central America, and we underscored the necessity of a comprehensive regional approach to these challenges so we don’t merely push violence from one country to another or from one region to another.

I think if you follow what has been happening in Central America or even what is happening in West Africa, you know exactly what I mean. Because of the success in Colombia and because of the increasing capacity of the Mexican Government, the drug traffickers are squeezed. It’s a classic kind of pincer movement caught between Colombia and Mexico, they are now trying to destabilize Central America.

Similarly, as we enhance our security cooperation, more and more drug traffickers are actually setting up operations in West Africa in order to get into the European market. So we launched the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative as one part of a broader regional security approach. And under the CBSI, we have worked together to identify the highest security priorities for the Caribbean, and our priorities are leading to action. Let me just give you two examples.

We have worked with the Jamaican police on fighting corruption, improving security in high-crime neighborhoods, and pursuing telemarketing fraud. We have worked with the Bahamas to train police officers on detecting firearms trafficking and begun to certify drug abuse facilities throughout the Caribbean. But at the same time, we all recognize that it’s not simply enough to step up our enforcement efforts. We need to work together to attack the root causes of criminality. So we are working with a number of you to fund vocational training, internships with private companies, and other programs that create economic opportunities for young people.

Today, I am pleased to announce that even in these very difficult budget times in the United States, our country is deepening its commitment to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative with $77 million in funding for fiscal year 2011. That is an increase of more than 70 percent over the previous year. Security is a core concern for all of us, and the United States is honored to support your efforts.

As we work to invest this new money, we need to hear from you. What is working? What isn’t working? How do we achieve our priorities? How do we finally adopt formal mechanisms to coordinate maritime security efforts? I remember when I was in Barbados, lots of conversation, Maxine, about how to do maritime security across such a large space. We need to really get serious about this, put our experts together, and make sure that we progress. How do we share information together more effectively? How can we work with you to help you adopt budget models, especially in like what Kenneth said about indebtedness and other economic challenges? But how do we create an environment for long-term funding for your security? These are all issues we want your advice on because we are here to support you, but we look to you to tell us what you need the support for.

Our second area of emphasis is energy and climate. I don’t need to tell the countries here that climate change may be affecting everywhere on earth, but it will have a disproportionate impact on small island nations. In 2009 to collaborate and to spark creative solutions, President Obama launched the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, so called ECPA. ECPA now consists of 40 different projects throughout the Americas focusing on everything from developing renewable energy sources to mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change. And today, I am pleased to announce two new efforts under ECPA.

First, we have selected six countries, based on your submissions and your ideas, to receive grants that will support your pilot projects in efficient and renewable energy sources – solar panels to heat water, wind turbines to power irrigation systems and so much more. I want to congratulate Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines on your successful proposals. We will work closely with you to make sure that these programs produce the outcomes that you are seeking.

I’m also today announcing a new Caribbean Climate Change Adaptation Initiative. The University of the West Indies has agreed to partner with American universities to expand research on problems and solutions specific to the Caribbean and to serve as a hub to connect scientists from across the Caribbean, from the United States, or from wherever else we may find them to connect these scientists with policymakers. Our goal is to build local capacity so that you have the tools you need to meet your own challenges and even to contribute to solving regional and global climate change challenges as well.

And finally, in these introductory remarks, I want to say a word about the importance of diaspora communities. I’m a big believer, maybe because I was a senator from New York, and we have a diaspora community from every country in the world, but I am a big believer in the power of diaspora. And people of Caribbean descent have made a powerful contribution to every country in which they have settled, of course, including my own. But they are also, as we’ve already heard from Kenneth, a major source of support for their country of origin, particularly through remittances. But there are other ways that the diaspora community can be harnessed because that great store of talent, energy, and entrepreneurial spirit can be put to work here in the Caribbean.

To tap this potential, the State Department recently launched the International Diaspora Engagement Alliance. We call it IDEA. The alliance brings together governments, corporations, and nonprofit organizations to make it easier for diaspora communities to promote trade and investment, to start businesses, or develop other projects that will benefit their countries of origin. We have chosen the Caribbean to be the first region to demonstrate the impact of this alliance. So we are launching the Caribbean IDEA marketplace to foster collaboration between local entrepreneurs and members of the Caribbean diaspora. We hope that by working together we can create jobs and stimulate investment, and this marketplace will offer diaspora communities access to capital as well as technical assistance to help them get started if they are committed to invest in the country of origin.

And I want to thank our partners, the Inter-American Development Bank, Digicel, Scotiabank for helping us launch this innovative program. You will be hearing more about it from some of the people who are helping to make it happen, and we will be inviting more partners from the private and nonprofit sectors to join us.

So we see progress. We see progress on many fronts, but we also are very conscious of the continuing challenges that we face. And so I look forward to our discussion tonight about issues relating to the wider Caribbean as well as to CARICOM-U.S. relations. And again, I thank you for your participation and look forward to continuing our work together.

Thank you very much, Chairman. (Applause.)

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Well, since everything on the Secretary of State’s schedule today is closed to the press, we are not seeing any photo feeds. Readers might be in need of a Hillary-fix right about now. There were SO many photos taken on this trip to Latin America and the Caribbean that I have not posted many of them. A few that I have put below were posted here earlier in the week, but I like them so much I think they deserve reposting.

She is absolutely exquisite in this photo.

I have been watching “The Tudors,” and it occured to me in the last episode that Catherine Parr, Henry’s last wife, was, as queen, the Hillary Clinton of her day. He made her regent in his absence, and she was very politically savvy. Hillary, on this chair, looks like a queen on a throne.

So sue me! I just had to repost these with President Correa of Ecuador. The “charm offensive” evidently went both ways! We know that her Squire was scheduled to be in Bogota that evening when she landed anyway, and it’s a good thing! Just a reminder – she’s taken!

I don’t know WHAT President Uribe of Colombia was doing in this picture, but many of the photos we saw of him seemed to indicate that he has quite a sense of humor.

This was a luncheon hosted by Uribe.

Here she is meeting former rebels in Colombia.

Meeting two candidates for President of Colombia.  She looks gorgeous in both of these.

With the Ministers at CARICOM.

With the Acting President of Barbados.

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Joint Statement of Secretary Clinton and CARICOM Ministers on the Commitment of Bridgetown: Partnership for Prosperity and Security

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 10, 2010

Today, Secretary Clinton and the CARICOM Ministers released the following final outcome statement:

“We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, the Republic of Guyana, the Republic of Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 10, 2010, pledge to strengthen our cooperation in responding to the challenges we commonly face, in a spirit of partnership and mutual respect.

We recognize the diversity yet shared identity of the people and states of the Caribbean and the United States. We are bound together by our social and economic ties, shared history, culture, and geography, our commitment to the values of democracy and respect for human rights, and our determination to achieve social justice, stability, and security for all of our peoples.

To meet the common challenges of the 21st Century, we declare our intention to act in concert to improve the social and economic well-being of our peoples, to ensure the safety of all our citizens, to advance towards a secure and clean energy future, and to defend and strengthen our democratic institutions.

Cooperation and Assistance to Haiti

We affirm our support for and solidarity with Haiti and stand in partnership with its people. In accordance with the priorities of the Government of Haiti, we are committed to supporting Haiti in its reconstruction efforts, and the building and strengthening of its institutions and human capacity. In this regard, we urge states that have not already done so to honour commitments made in order to ensure that the projects identified in the Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti can receive well needed funds within the time frame as agreed by donor countries. We reiterate our support for and cooperation with Haiti in the organization of the forthcoming electoral process to ensure a democratic transition.

Caribbean-U.S. Security Cooperation

We celebrate the launching and reaffirm the commitments made at the recently concluded Caribbean-U.S. Dialogue on Security Cooperation (CBSI) in Washington, D.C, on May 27, 2010, including the adoption of three key documents that guide our new security partnership:

The Caribbean-United States Declaration of Principles that reflects our joint political will to address our shared security priorities and responsibilities to our citizens and to work together to substantially reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice;

The Caribbean-United States Plan of Action on Security Cooperation that establishes the concrete and practical ways we plan to partner in reducing crime and violence and in strengthening our institutions; and

The Joint Caribbean-United States Framework for Security Cooperation Engagement that defines how we plan to partner with each other to effectively address our strategic security priorities.

Firm in our conviction that stable and prosperous economies, buttressed by the rule of law, are bulwarks against the forces of transnational crime, we acknowledge our common concern over the growing strength and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels, their attempts to distort and weaken our economies and democratic systems, and the effects which their activities and presence have on the safety of our citizens and the levels of violence in our societies. Through the CBSI, we declare our resolve to collaborate as partners in combating both organized transnational crime and the threat posed to our states and our citizens. We also pledge to work together through CBSI to address the social and economic factors that contribute to crime in our societies.

In addition, we declare our intention to strengthen our cooperation in the following areas:

Energy Security and Climate Change Cooperation

Ensuring energy security and mitigating the impact of climate change are fundamental to our sustainable development, long term prosperity and stability. We underscore our commitment to cooperating under the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) and to identifying new areas for partnership in the following areas: energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fossil fuels, infrastructure, energy poverty, sustainable forests and land use, and adaptation.

We reiterate our shared commitment to addressing climate change, recognizing the special vulnerabilities of small island and low lying states to the social, economic and environmental impacts of this global phenomenon. We are cognizant of the need for urgent and decisive actions on climate change and, reaffirm our commitment to work toward the successful conclusion of negotiations within the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To this end, we stress the importance of stepping up financing of mitigation and adaptation measures.

We are concerned about the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the impact that this is having on the lives and livelihood of persons in the affected areas of the United States. The U.S. and the Caribbean will cooperate to protect our marine environment and share information to mitigate any potential impacts in the region.

Health Cooperation

We underscore our commitment to work together to promote the health and development of our people. We note the continuing HIV/AIDS emergency in the region, and reaffirm our commitment to implementing the United States-Caribbean Regional HIV and AIDS Partnership Framework. The Framework will strengthen the efforts of governments, regional organizations, and national health systems in reducing the incidence of HIV and AIDS among populations most at risk and provide treatment to those affected by the disease. The Framework will strengthen the efforts of governments, regional organizations, and national health systems to reduce the incidence of HIV and AIDS among populations most at risk and provide treatment to those affected by the disease.

We reiterate the importance of paying greater attention to non-communicable diseases which have the highest mortality rates and are particularly heartened by the international support for the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the issue in September 2011.

Trade Relations

Trade and regional economic integration are fundamental to prosperity and sustainable development of the Caribbean region. We reaffirm our commitment to deepen and diversify our trade relationships, as well as to ensure that the benefits of growth and trade are widely shared within our societies. We welcome the recent extension of the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act for a further ten year period, recognizing that continuation of preferential access to the U.S. market for Caribbean products will help to stimulate growth and job creation in the Caribbean countries.

Impact of the Global Economic and Financial Crisis

We note the important efforts being made by the United States Government to effect economic recovery and introduce reform of financial and economic infrastructures in order to prevent economic crisis and financial instability. We also note the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on the economies of the Caribbean. We will work, as appropriate, in coordination with the relevant international institutions and organizations to improve the effectiveness of aid and development cooperation with middle-income states. Recognizing our interdependence in the global economy, we pledge to work together in our recovery efforts.

Continued Dialogue

We stress our commitment to maintain regular dialogue at the level of Foreign Ministers and Secretary of State to meet the common challenges we face and advance the security and prosperity of our peoples.”

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Remarks With Jamaican Foreign Minister Kenneth Baugh at CARICOM Breakfast Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
San Pedro Sula, Honduras
June 2, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. Good morning, everyone, and let me thank you so much for getting up so early. And we were talking as we came in about – anyone feel the earthquake? Very slight. Very slight, indeed. And as you can tell, this is a real pleasure for us, and I appreciate all of you making the effort to come together.
One of the goals that President Obama and I have is to deepen our relationship with the Caribbean. We know how important each of your countries are in our effort to forge not only closer relations, but more prosperity and more security and greater social inclusion. And I look forward to working with all of you. This morning, I hope that we’ll be able to discuss the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, trade and economic recovery, climate change and energy, and of course, our new policy toward Cuba.
We have with us today three distinguished members of Congress. I saw they were coming in. Some of you know them. We have Congressman Eliot Engel and – (applause) – yeah, good, cheering, you want that noted in the record. (Laughter.) That doesn’t happen very often. (Laughter.) Eliot and I served together very happily for eight years, and as I was also privileged to do with my friend, Gregory Meeks, who has traveled broadly in the region and has just a wealth of good ideas. Also, Bill Delahunt from Massachusetts. We have – (applause) – Bill, Bill, yes indeed, he brought his own cheering section. This is very – well, good planning for a Red Sox fan. (Laughter.)
And I know that some of you are acquainted with the others with whom I’m traveling, Assistant Secretary Tom Shannon, who has been working very hard on all these issues, particularly the security one. This may be a new face to you, Dan Restrepo. Some of you may know Dan. Raise your hand, Dan, for people to get a look at you. Dan is in the White House in the National Security Council, working on Western Hemisphere matters. And let’s see, who else – ah, Hector Morales, our Ambassador to the OAS, who has been working very hard with many of you over a number of years, and particularly in preparation for this meeting.
Before moving on to the issues, I want to introduce someone very special, Professor Dinah Shelton, who is sitting here with me. She is the United States candidate for election to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She brings outstanding credentials. I hope that you will get a chance to talk with her. I’m enthusiastic about her candidacy. I hope you will be able to support her in Thursday’s election. She will bring experience in a common law legal system to the commission, which we think will be very value-added. And of course, I think it’s very important that she happens to be a highly qualified woman. There have not been enough women on the commission, in my humble opinion, so I’m looking forward to talking with you about her and having you meet her.
Let me just briefly run through some of these issues before we turn it over to my colleague here and then have a chance to just visit informally. With the U.S.-Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, President Obama has made a $45 million commitment. We hope it will really help our Caribbean friends and neighbors. We want to help with the common challenges that we face using tools of law enforcement, the military, and development. There was a technical meeting in Suriname on May 20th, and we’re having the working groups that came out of that meeting currently laying the foundation for a follow-up meeting in the United States later this year.
This was a topic of many conversations in Trinidad and Tobago at the wonderful summit that you hosted. And I am very anxious to get your ideas about how we can help you. I mean, it was the single biggest issue that we heard from the Caribbean countries, that you are being subjected to relentless pressure from the narcotraffickers and the criminal gangs. And we want you to know that President Obama is ready to do whatever we think will work to assist you.
Second, I want to encourage greater economic cooperation. Our economies are clearly highly interconnected. We know that commerce between our countries can be a great part of our economic recovery. And I hope that each of your governments will be willing to work with the United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, an excellent choice for that position, whom I hope you will get to meet, to convene in trade and investment council meetings. We’re going to place special emphasis (inaudible) promoting balanced trade policies that will affect and enhance the prospects for all of our people. And that’s one of our problems with trade is that not enough of it has reached the people most marginalized and vulnerable, and we have to try to do better on that.
Third, as you know, your countries and the southern part of our country are particularly vulnerable to both climate change and energy price fluctuation. I hope we can work together with the Energy and Climate Change Partnership of the Americas that President Obama announced at the summit and find concrete solutions. We stand ready to help with investment ideas, technology ideas, clean energy approaches, as do other countries in the hemisphere, like Brazil most notably. We want to work together to tackle this problem.
And finally, I want to emphasize the United States under President Obama is taking a completely new approach to our policy toward Cuba. We have eased restrictions on family travel and remittances. As I was getting ready in my hotel room this morning, I had CNN on and I saw just a cheerful reunion between a man and his little baby boy, who he hadn’t seen for a year and a half because of the prior travel restrictions. We have authorized greater telecommunications links. We’ve announced the resumption of bilateral immigration and direct mail talks.
And we do look forward to the day when Cuba can join the OAS. But we believe that membership in the OAS must come with responsibility. And we owe it to each other to uphold our standards of democracy and governance that have brought so much progress to our hemisphere. It’s not about reliving the past; it’s about the future and being true to the founding principles of this organization. I know we’ve had some discussions about this. I hope we will have more. The Caribbean nations have played a key, constructive role in those discussions, and I’m confident we can come up with a common way forward.
I’m exciting about building this relationship. And at this point, I’d like to turn to Foreign Minister Kenneth Baugh of Jamaica, who will deliver welcoming remarks. (Applause.)
FOREIGN MINISTER BAUGH: Thank you very much. I feel so very honored this morning sitting beside Her Excellency Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Let me take the opportunity, first of all, Excellency, of introducing the ministers who are here and some of the ambassadors. We’ll start with Antigua and Barbuda – I’m not sure exactly where you are sitting – right, good – Ambassador Deborah Lovell; Barbados Honorable Maxine McClean is sitting there and she’s sitting besides the Bahamas Minister – Honorable Minister Brent Symonette – right; Belize Minister Elrington – right there with the beard – (laughter) – Dominica Honorable Vince Henderson Dominica; Grenada Honorable Peter David – he’s on that side, right; Guyana Ambassador Bayney Karran; and Haiti Honorable Minister Alrich Nicolas, is in (inaudible) there; Saint Kitts and Nevis, Izben Williams Ambassador, right; Saint Lucia Ambassador Michael Louis; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Honorable Louis Straker (inaudible) – (laughter); and soon I’ll hear from the most difficult (inaudible), the Honorable (inaudible) – have I got it right? – not quite right (inaudible), a very difficult name; and Trinidad and Tobago Honorable Senator Lenny Saith – Lenny Saith is there.
Excellency, I would just like to take the opportunity of responding to what you have said and to commend yourself, the President, and the United States of America for the initiative that has been taken in regard to Cuba. We definitely feel that there is a very positive movement based on the signals that have been sent, and as you just mentioned, the activities that are now taking place that all goes well for its very near future.
I am proud to sit beside you, not only because you are the Secretary of State for the United States of America, but in your own right, as a woman of history and somebody who has demonstrated great courage and great determination over the years that you have been in politics.
We have the audacity to hope.
SECRETARY CLNITON: (Laughter.) Nicely done, (inaudible).
FOREIGN MINISTER BAUGH: That we do it in the context of our renewed spirit of engagement with the United States and CARICOM, which is really characterizing new Administration of the United States of America. I wish to take the opportunity to emphasize the commitment of CARICOM to strengthen the ties of friendship, cooperation, trade, tourism and investment with the United States of America.
Out of the Summit of the Americas, so ably sponsored and hosted by (inaudible) Trinidad and Tobago, we dare to hope that hemispheric unity and solidarity is not a vain and elusive dream, but that an historic economic cooperation and trade, and a large, unified, secure market may not be a distant reality.
We recall the very positive and constructive engagement between CARICOM heads of state and of government and President Barack Obama in the margins of the Summit of the Americas. We recall also the very constructive engagement between CARICOM foreign ministers and Assistant Secretary of State Tom Shannon in the margins of COFCOR. COFCOR is the Council for Foreign and Community Relations, I’m presently the chairman of COFCOR. And that meeting was held recently in Jamaica. I really enjoyed that meeting and enjoyed the presentation of Mr. Tom Shannon.
We express satisfaction at the CARICOM-U.S. meeting on May 20 in Suriname on security cooperation, and I’m very pleased, Excellency, that you have made special mention of the concerns of security in the Caribbean.
We will work on the process of high-level dialogue between CARICOM and the United States of America, in addition to meetings at the level of heads and foreign ministers, also includes encounters with United States congressional representatives and regular contact between senior officials. I remember Congressman Engle coming to Jamaica (inaudible) tremendous set of meetings between himself and Prime Minister Golding and (inaudible).
We look forward to CARICOM and the United States Summit. We are looking forward to a date for that, because I know the President is committed to that, and the opportunity that such a meeting would provide to advance our cooperation and understanding in relation to the CARICOM-U.S. agenda, including a will to consolidate and build institutional mechanisms for our continued dialogue and cooperation. That is between CARICOM and the United States of America. This is something that was started last year at the United Nations in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.
We have selected certain issues, and Madame Secretary, you have touched on almost all of them. There are certain members of our team here, if they would make a brief presentation, and I’m going to have to emphasize for them this morning that they have to be very brief – three minutes, maximum. We’re going to have three persons. They are Minister of – Minister Saith from Trinidad and Tobago will speak on security within the context of a U.S.-CARICOM partnership, and will basically address the issues already and addressed some of the solutions.
We are going to ask Minister McLean from Barbados to address the issue of development, especially to do with international financial institutions and (inaudible) financial services, and what is coming with the G-20 and how all the economic crisis is affecting the Caribbean, in particular.
And finally, we are going to ask the representative Minister of Belize to speak on the issue of Cuba. (Inaudible) the issues and he’s going to help us to address them (inaudible).
We look forward to an exchange of views on these. We have selected these three topics, not because we don’t have any more — we have a long list – but in the interests of time so that we can focus all attention on what we consider the critical ones for (inaudible).
Once again, let me extend a warm welcome to everybody, and say how pleased I am to be here with the delegation from the United States of America, particularly in the company of the Secretary of State, who is somebody that we hold in very high regard and very high esteem, and we are pleased to have you here this morning. And thanks for the opportunity for dialogue.


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