Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

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Remarks at the Luncheon in Honor of UK Prime Minister David Cameron


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
March 14, 2012

Thank you all very much. Please be seated. Welcome to the State Department. We are thrilled and so pleased to host this luncheon for our very special guests, Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron. It is wonderful to see all of you celebrating spring with us and knowing that our relationship, it’s always spring. It’s always being renewed, it is always durable, it is a cornerstone of both of our nations’ foreign policies, and it has such a great resonance between our two peoples.Now I want to recognize our chef today. A native of Birmingham, England – not Alabama – (laughter) – who made herself a home in New York City as the executive chef of a couple of very hip restaurants. One, The Spotted Pig, the other The Breslin. So it’s really a delight to have April Bloomfield with us. She was just talking with the Prime Minister – (applause) – it was a very timely introduction because when the Prime Minister and President Obama exchanged gifts, President Obama gave the Prime Minister a barbeque. I mean a real, down-home American barbeque with a smoking compartment and everything else. So April stands ready to help, Prime Minister.

We joke about the special relationship, but that’s because we’re so comfortable with it. It means such a great deal to us. It is not just because of a wide range of shared interests, but our deeply rooted history and the unbreakable friendship between our countries. Now, of course the President did remind the Prime Minister at the White House ceremony this morning that we are at the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. (Laughter.)

And I was pleased to tell my counterpart and friend, the Foreign Secretary, and also the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that it was my predecessor in one of my other lives, Dolly Madison, who actually saved the extraordinary portraits of George and Martha Washington. Having received word from her husband, who was truly been a commander-in-chief in the field, that unfortunately the British truly were coming. And – (laughter) – so she rushed from the White House, taking some treasures with her, leaving behind the meal that she had prepared for her husband and his officers. And the British officers ate the meal before they burned the White House. So – (laughter) – we are looking forward, but nevertheless, there are certain memories that are also of significance.

And how wonderful it is, here we are today and working together in so many important parts of the world: helping to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan; helping to promote successful transitions and democratic reforms in the Arab world. We worked alongside each other to end a dictator’s rule in Libya. We are now focused on helping the people of Syria realize a better future for themselves. We are grateful for the leadership that the Prime Minister and his government have shown on so many issues – just recently, I was in London for a conference on Somalia that they sponsored. No matter what the issue, we are standing together.

So I know, Prime Minister and Samantha, that this is just a small measure of hospitality to try to demonstrate our commitment and appreciation for this relationship. We were so well treated when the President and I and our teams were on a state visit last year sponsored by the government, of course, her Majesty’s Government and the O2 customer service number. So, we did the best we could with the weather. We think we pulled that off quite well. But it is now my great pleasure to welcome a dear friend, a great American, and a superb vice president, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

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Intervention at the London Conference on Somalia


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Lancaster House
London, United Kingdom
February 23, 2012


(In progress) parliament and electing a president and speaker. Now that it has agreed to these tasks, we must help them accomplish those. The Transitional Federal Government was always meant to be just that: transitional. And it is past time for that transition to occur and for Somalia to have a stable government.

The outcome out last week’s meeting of Somali leaders in Garowe is an encouraging signal that more progress will be forthcoming soon. And I am pleased to see representatives from so many Somali political groups here today in a sign of their dedication to this effort. But time is of the essence, and I want to be clear: The international community will not support an extension of the TFG’s mandate beyond the date set in the roadmap, August 20th.

Now, yes, the goals we expect to achieve under this timeline are ambitious, but the people of Somalia have waited many years. They have heard many promises, they have seen many deadlines come and go, and it is time – past time – to buckle down and do the work that will bring stability to Somalia for the first time in many people’s lives. The position of the United States is straightforward: Attempts to obstruct progress and maintain the broken status quo will not be tolerated. We will encourage the international community to impose further sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes on people inside and outside the TFG who seek to undermine Somalia’s peace and security or to delay or even prevent the political transition.

As we proceed with political action, we must also keep advancing security, and there has been progress this past year. The AU mission in Somalia and the Somali National Security Forces are now in control of all of Mogadishu and are expanding their control beyond the capital. And a few weeks ago, the United States announced that the famine that killed tens of thousands of Somalis and displaced tens of thousands more has ended – though food security remains a serious concern. Now we must keep the pressure on al-Shabaab so that its grip on Somalia continues to weaken. The UN Security Council’s vote on Wednesday to increase AMISOM’s troop ceiling by nearly half and expand its mandate significantly is an excellent step.

More and more Somalis are seeing the threat that al-Shabaab poses to Somalia’s peace and security, as well as to the peace and security of Somalia’s neighbors. Especially in south-central Somalia, it has turned an already bad situation into a nightmare. It has dragged fathers and sons from their homes, forced them to fight in a hopeless, bloody conflict. It has forced young girls to marry foreign fighters. And when extreme food shortages struck last summer, al-Shabbab mercilessly helped turn those food shortages into a famine by blocking humanitarian assistance and letting children starve.

With its recent announcement that it has joined the al-Qaida terror network, al-Shabaab has proven, yet again, it is not on the side of Somalis but on the side of chaos, destruction, and suffering. It has also proven something else as well. It is weakening. Al-Shabaab and al-Qaida have turned to each other because both are embattled and isolated, especially now as the democratic revolutions, underway in many countries, are showing young people who might once have been attracted to extremist groups that a more constructive path is open to them. That is the future; Al-Shabaab and al-Qaida are the past.

Now all those who have not yet joined this effort to unify Somalia, who are sitting on the sidelines or actively obstructing progress, have a choice to make. They can support this movement and join their fellow Somalis in moving past the divisions and struggles for power that have held their nation back or they can be left behind. For our part, the United States will engage with all Somalis who denounce al-Shabaab’s leadership and the violence it espouses and who embrace the political roadmap and the fundamental rights and freedoms that all Somalis deserve. But we adamantly oppose negotiating with al-Shabaab.

Now the international community has a responsibility to provide effective help, and when I say international community, I include the people of Somalia, whether they live within Somalia in refugee camps outside the country, or as members of the large and thriving diaspora here in the UK or the U.S., Canada, Italy, Kenya, and elsewhere. Our success depends in no small measure on their participation, because after all, they are the ones with the most at stake.

I want to briefly mention three specific issues: First, we must cut al-Shabaab’s remaining financial lifelines. One of the reasons that they apparently agreed to join with al-Qaida is because they think they will obtain more funding from sources that unfortunately still continue to fund al-Qaida. We welcome the Security Council’s decision to impose an international ban on imports of charcoal from Somalia and urge the international community to begin implementing it immediately. The illicit charcoal trade provides funds to al-Shabaab while also causing environmental harm and threatening food security.

Second, we must seize this opportunity to strengthen development, particularly in areas recently liberated from al-Shabaab. Somalis need to see concrete improvements in their lives. For our part, the United States will work with Somali authorities and communities to create jobs, provide health and education services, build capacity, and support peace building and conflict resolution. And today I am announcing the United States is providing an additional $64 million in humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa countries, bringing our emergency assistance since 2011 up to more than 934 million, including more than 211 million for lifesaving programs in Somalia.

Third, we must continue to fight piracy, which is still rampant off Somalia’s shores. The United States supports programs that strengthen the Somali judicial system so it can tackle piracy from onshore. We are considering development projects in coastal communities to create alternatives to piracy for young men. And we support additional international coordination, for example, to the regional anti-piracy prosecutions intelligence coordination center, soon to be launched in the Seychelles. We welcome the increased willingness of many of Somalia’s neighbors to incarcerate pirates. And as the UN helps build judicial and prison capacity in Somalia, it is imperative that more nations step forward to jail and prosecute pirates who have been caught seizing commercial vessels that are flagged, owned, and crewed by citizens of their countries. And we welcome the UK’s initiative to create an international task force to discourage the payment of ransoms to pirates and other groups to eliminate the profit motive and prevent the illicit flow of money and its corrosive effects.

As the security and political situation improves, the U.S. will look for ways to increase our involvement in Somalia, including considering a more permanent diplomatic presence. We will continue to deliver support of all kinds and to help build a broad and durable partnership with both the Somali Government and people.

For decades, the world focused on what we could prevent from happening in Somalia – conflict, famine, terrorism. Now, we are focused on what we can build. I think the opportunity is real, and now we have to work with the TFG as it transitions out of power to build a durable peace for the Somalia people and to support a government that delivers services and offers democracy and prosperity, uniting Somalia after so many years of division and chaos.

Thank you. (Applause.)

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I cannot imagine how tired our Secretary of State must be, but she was wide awake and very effective in London today while looking lovely, as always. We see her at 10 Downing Street with David Cameron, William Hague, and U.S. Ambassador to Britain Louis Susman. We also see her at the conference itself as well as at the press briefing that followed. Remarks (video and text) from the conference and the briefing were posted here earlier and can be found by clicking on the title of the previous post just left of the title.

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CNN’s John King dubbed her the “Acting President” yesterday, and no less a former adversary than MSNBC’s Chris Matthews called her the Commander-in-Chief, saying she was presidential and strong.  Roger L. Simon at Pajamasmedia treated us to this header: Jets over Libya as H. Clinton Assumes Presidency.

The amazing Hillary Rodham Clinton departed Paris on Tuesday on a mission to convince the White House that participating in a No-Fly Zone was the right thing to do to protect the brave Libyan freedom fighters who have risen up against 42 years of dictatorship under the tyrant Mouammar Gadhafi.   In her meetings on Monday and Tuesday, she reportedly responded to repeated requests for U.S. cooperation from various world leaders with the mantra, “There are difficulties.”

But HRC knew exactly what kind of an NFZ she wanted in order for the U.S. not to look like the cliched “world’s policeman.”  She knew exactly how the coalition should be formed,  and how her country should fit in.  So when she returned to D.C. early Friday morning,  after visits to Egypt and Tunisia,  she did so with a mission.  In a Situation Room meeting that morning, she finally scored her victory,  winning President Obama’s agreement to participate in the coalition.

Fewer than 24 hours after she landed home at Andrews AFB, she was once again wheels up for a Paris Summit hastily arranged by French President Nicholas Sarkozy upon the news that the U.S. was on board for a NFZ.  We see her below being greeted by Sarkozy, the UK’s David Cameron, Canada’s Stephen Harper, and others.  Following the summit, there was a luncheon and a “class picture.”  She remained in Paris for a few meetings with Sarkozy and Cameron, gave a press briefing,  and once again was wheels up for home.

We are very proud of Hillary Clinton.  She exerted the kind of leadership this country needs.  More power to you, Mme. Secretary, and I mean that literally.  I would love to be able to address you by another title, and I do not mean Grandma!  (Although that would be nice, too, but it does not preclude other titles.)

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The subject, of course, was Egypt. Mme. Secretary met with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (who for at least the third time got the color memo), Turkish FM Davutoglu, Catherine Ashton, the EU Rep for Foreign Affairs (who got the velvet trim memo), and, of course, Russian FM Lavrov. Additional bilaterals were held with German FM Guido Westerwelle and Hamid Karzai.


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There are many images available from today’s NATO Summit in Lisbon. I have used several in previous posts. This is a series that I find interesting and decided to share. The principals, as if they needed to be identified, are British PM David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, and, of course, the star of the show, Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State upon whom AP has today bestowed a cabinet! (But that is another story – see caption).

It looks, at first blush, like Mme. Secretary has gotten herself into yet another diplomatic entanglement here!

From another camera angle, however, we see that this is not the case.

Things begin in a jovial fashion.

And then the business of nations commences. It looks a lot like mid-term exams.

I particularly like this one in the exam context. Cameron looks like he is wondering what the question means. Hillary is writing enough to fill two blue books at least, and Obama is trying to see her answer! “What’s she writing? Does she actually know all that?”

Well, to quote Chris Matthews at the end of her confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “I’ve never seen somebody know so much!” Yes, she does know!

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