Posts Tagged ‘David Miliband’

Oooohhhh!!! It’s David again!



Coffee with Clinton and Singing with Sting Part of Charity Auction

By Tina Trinh Wed, 04/22/2020 – 07:04
Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, poses for the photographers during a photo-call for the film 'Hillary' ' during…

FILE – Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at an event for the film ‘Hillary’ during the 70th International Film Festival Berlin, in Berlin, Germany, February 25, 2020.

Bidders this week will get the chance to drink coffee with Hillary Clinton, sing with Sting, or perform Shakespeare with Patrick Stewart — virtually.These and other prizes will be offered in an online auction to support the International Rescue Committee and its efforts to help refugees and others battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Sotheby’s auction house and Google are sponsoring the auction to raise funds for the nongovernmental organization run by former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Read more >>>>

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Hillary harks back to her Girl Scout days and a song many of us can remember having sung in rounds: “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”

Reminding us that in the days following 9/11 NATO invoked Article V of the Washington Treaty, an attack on one is an attack on all, she launches a review of U.S.-European relations since the end of World War II, through the Cold War, and including deteriorating relations during the George W. Bush administration.

Upon assuming the post of secretary of state, she recalls, she made phone calls to European leaders letting them know we remain tight friends.  Her first opportunity to reinforce that message face-to-face came with her attendance at the April 2009 G-20 summit in London.

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 2: London


She formed an especially good working relationship with then UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, but allows that she also had a good rapport with then Shadow Foreign Minister, William Hague who now holds the post.  She dubs Hague “the David Beckham of toasting.”


Prime Minister Cameron Meets With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 3: Germany, France, Czech Republic

She also singles out former French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, as one with whom she had an especially good rapport.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R

If your eyes welled up at times when reading the previous chapter about Pakistan, Hillary evokes smiles and laughter with her description of Former French president, Nicholas Sarkozy.  Revealing that often his interpreters had trouble keeping pace with him and that he asked her why all the other diplomats were unforgivably old, gray, and male,  she revisits that simply charming “Cinderella” moment when she lost her shoe on the steps of the Élyseé Palace.  (Posts here are not necessarily deep and analytical – as you may know.)

Hillary Clinton Loses Her Shoe And Looks Adorable Doing It!


She speaks of her strong admiration for German Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom she apparently shares a “color memo” phenomenon so uncanny that on a state visit in June 2011 Angela brought her a framed German front page where readers were challenged to guess which was which sans benefit of visible heads.

Slideshow: Hillary Clinton at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s State Visit Today

Video: Secretary Clinton at the State Luncheon in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel Meets With Barack Obama

Hillary provides a pretty extensive retrospective on NATO, its post Cold War expansion in eastern Europe, and its contributions to operations in Afghanistan and in Libya.  She is very passionate on the subject of NATO calling it one the most successful military alliances in history (and the European Union one of the most successful political ones).  She contrasts 75% of the sorties over Libya striking 90% of the targets with the situation a decade before when the U.S. was responsible for hitting 90% of targets in Kosovo.   Her attestations on pages 231 and 232 are presidential (to the surprise of no one here).   A thing to behold.

Madeleine Albright was known for her brooch-diplomacy. Some of her foreign counterparts came to see her brooches as a mood-coding system.  Hillary, who is, after all, a self-described hair icon,  relates an amusing exchange when she was in Bulgaria (NATO member since 2004) in February 2012.  Prime Minister Boyko Borissov seemed edgy.  He finally confessed that he had heard that when her hair was pulled back it indicated a bad mood.  She reassured him that she was not engaging in hair diplomacy but that it “takes her a little longer” to get her look together.

Secretary Clinton with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov

Turkey has been in NATO since 1952, is strategically very important, but following the G.W. Bush administration the Turkish people took a dim view of the U.S.  Hillary’s first visit there as secretary of state was in March 2009.  She made it a point on that trip to take advantage of mass media.

Hillary Clinton’s Interviews in Turkey

On pages 234-235 she explains the term Islamist Party.  It is an important read.  She discusses [now outgoing] Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at length and states her concerns regarding his “Zero Problems with Neighbors” policy, which, on first take, can appear very positive.  Hillary cites the real and potential pitfalls of such a policy, especially when Iran is one of your neighbors. [Reports are that Erdogan will continue calling the shots, so it is unlikely that this policy will be abandoned.]

Ahmet Davutoglu came into the picture early as a close advisor to Erdogan but soon became the Turkish foreign minister with whom she collaborated over nearly her entire term.  (Ali Babacan was the foreign minister she encountered on her first trip there.)  Only three months after that trip, Davutoglu arrived at the State Department as foreign minister and a long working relationship commenced.

(As I returned to the first draft of this post to edit it, Davutoglu was named the new prime minister of Turkey.  Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister and the best of luck to you in your new post!)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sh Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ahmet Davutoglu


Hillary Clinton’s Bilaterals Today

Concerns remain.  Dissent is not easily tolerated.  Religious freedom is an issue.  Hillary  hosted Patriarch Bartholomew at a dinner in his honor early in her tenure at State.

Hillary Hosts The Patriarch

He, in turn, received her at the Patriarchy in 2011.  She has known him for a long time and has enormous respect for his opinion.   There is a beautiful slideshow at the link below.  Hillary mentions seized church property that has not been returned.  The photos provide an idea of the nature of what the government is holding.

Hillary Clinton Visits the Patriarchy in Istanbul

In chapter 9, we saw Hillary negotiate the re-opening of the supply lines from Pakistan into Afghanistan.  She never makes a big deal of that, but it was a testament to her diplomatic skills.  Without those lines open, important supplies could not get to the troops,  and they were closed for many months.

Another of her major accomplishments was one which she was never intended to handle and which she describes blow-by-blow.   She had traveled to Zurich simply to witness the signing of the Turkey-Armenia Accord.  It was to be a quick stop on the way to London.  A formality.  At the last minute  Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian balked about a speech Davutoglu was planning to make.   Hillary took it upon herself to fetch him and, using two cell phones,  negotiate an agreement for the parties to go ahead with the signing.  She operated mostly  in her SUV.  It was a very dramatic day.  She saved it, and at the event stepped aside for her Swiss counterpart,  Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who was the host, to orchestrate the formalities.  I remember her giving Micheline a little wink of encouragement.  In typical Hillary fashion, she did not care to boast or take credit for this.  She only cared that the work got done.

OK! Now it is a done deal! Hillary helped negotiate the agreement

Turkey-Armenia Accord Salvaged and Signed – Hillary Helps Make History!

Video: Signing of the Armenia Turkey Protocols

How Hillary Saved The Day


She departed for the trip to the Balkans that she speaks of on the day of her wedding anniversary 2010.

The Balkans: A Family Affair

There were several notable stops and events on this trip, but she refers specifically to this town hall.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall at National Theater Sarajevo

And then there was Kosovo where there was a huge reception in Pristina.  She stood beneath the enormous statue of Bill Clinton, and then discovered a store named for her (so Bill wouldn’t be lonely).

Hillary in Clinton Country (Kosovo, That Is!)

No matter where she traveled as secretary of state, Hillary always made sure to hold a meet-and-greet at the embassy or consulate that had hosted her to thank them for all of the work they had done to make her visit go smoothly.  As it happened, her final stop as secretary of state was especially significant because it was at the Consulate General of Belfast.  Peace in Northern Ireland had been a high priority of the Clinton administration and hard work on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Irish Sea had brought that troubled land closer to that goal than it ever had been before.

Video: Hillary Clinton with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

Hillary Clinton at The Ireland Funds Luncheon

Hillary Clinton with Staff and Families of Consulate General Belfast

Her remarks in the bilaterals at the link below contain references to the March 2009 attacks in Antrim and Armagh that she speaks about in this chapter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hillary Clinton’s Statement of Northern Ireland Decommissioning

She mentions, as well, her address to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 2009.

Address of Secretary Clinton to Full Session of the Northern Ireland Assembly

The passages I bolded in the background briefing [in the link below] reflect,  I think,  what is so typical of the Hillary Clinton so many of us know and love,  the Hillary who works tirelessly in the background and declines credit for the good she does.   I am very certain that her intervention was integral in attaining this latest ascension up the tall ladder of unity in Northern Ireland.  But Hillary Clinton will always deflect the praise and aim the limelight on others with whom she has labored to reach an accord.  That is simply who she is and how she operates.  It is also very much a quality of character so many of us accept and admire about her.  I,  for one, am very mindful of the role she has long been playing in this peace process.   I know the devolution will succeed,  and there will be a final and lasting peace.  When it does, I and many, will forever remember the key role she played in the process, even as she disclaims it.

Secretary Clinton on Northern Ireland

This European chapter has been somewhat active re: updates prior to publication.  In the latest news, may this peacemaker rest in peace.

Former Ireland prime minister Reynolds dies aged 81


Statement by President Clinton on the Passing of Albert Reynolds

Statement August 21, 2014

I am saddened by the passing of former Prime Minister of Ireland Albert Reynolds, who worked hard and risked much as Taoiseach to advance the Northern Ireland peace process.  His leadership alongside British Prime Minister John Major was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Good Friday Agreement, and our world owes him a profound debt of gratitude.  I will always be grateful for his encouragement, advice, and support in the peace process.  I join with his wife, Kathleen, his children, his many friends, and the people of Ireland in mourning his loss.




Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction


Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>


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While,  for a second time in two attempts at island vacations, the Secretary of State has been chased by a hurricane,  she has nonetheless issued strong statements against terrorist attacks today and yesterday.   In the midst of East Hampton, Long Island, her current vacation spot,  being evacuated as Hurricane Irene approaches the NY metro area, the intrepid SOS made sure that her voice registered regarding recent, horrific attacks.

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

I was shocked and saddened to learn of yesterday’s firebombing of a casino in Monterrey, Mexico. The United States strongly condemns this brutal attack and all acts of criminal violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of all those who were killed and injured.

President Calderon, the Mexican government and the Mexican people have shown great courage and determination in facing the challenges and threats posed by transnational criminal organizations. The United States will continue to assist Mexico’s efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations in strict accordance with Mexican law and respect for Mexican sovereignty. We stand by Mexico now and always as a committed partner and friend.

I would bet you did not even know that happened.  I did not until I saw the press statement.  Neither did I know about this until I received the press release.

Attack on the United Nations in Nigeria

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 26, 2011

The United States strongly condemns today’s terrorist attack on United Nations offices in Abuja, Nigeria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured.

There is no justification for this violence. These individuals were working to promote peace, expand opportunity and build a safer and more prosperous nation. The United Nations has been working side by side with Nigeria for more than five decades and the United States strongly supports its efforts. Vicious terrorist attacks such as these only strengthen our resolve and commitment to the work of the United Nations and the people of Nigeria.

Poor HRC, always getting chased off islands by hurricanes!  Not to mention the reputation she has attained for causing earthquakes by her very presence.  (Yes, some are blaming the east coast earthquake of last week on her having been in DC just prior.  Well, she does rock my world!)

Some of you might remember the last time she tried, officially, to take a vacation and the doings around that.  It was in Bermuda in August 2009 (yes, it has been that long since the last one).   If you do not remember, or never saw the tangential stories of the day, here is the original post about that situation along with a surprise treat for Davey’s fans.

A Special Relationship

The upshot of all that is that we never heard another thing about the Uighurs on Bermuda, but Al Megrahi’s name is in the air again along with his tyrannical and perverted savior and protector who kept a photo album of HRC’s predecessor as SOS, Condi Rice, which totally creeps me out!   It was Scotland’s “bad” to let Al Megrahi out.  So Davey lost that round.   Old times  tend o resurge.

Speaking of surges,  everybody batten down and stay safe.  Make preps and follow advisement.  Love you all.  If you do not see me for awhile, it will be that I have lost power.  Oh, Lord!  Me?  Powerless?  God said, “You always have been!”

Happy Women’s Equality Day.  Hillary won the August 2009 stand-off.  She is still with us.  Davey is gone.  The Guantanamo guys are causing no trouble in Bermuda, and Gadhfi is on his slow way to justice as will be Al Megrahi.

Hillary hunts the bad guys.  I love her style!

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Hearts of Hillary Clinton’s fangirls across America were broken and sore last week because of an election on the other side of the pond! The much ballyhooed (and nonexistent, if we are to depend on hard evidence) “crush” on David Miliband hit a major stumbling block. His Labour Party was defeated,  and he was required to tender his resignation. The mournful sighs rippled across the amber waves of grain even as his replacement, one William Jefferson Hague,  made hasty arrangements to hop the pond and meet with the dazzling (and I do mean dazzling, with all my heart) U.S. Secretary of State.

I have always maintained that it was David who was crushing on Hillary and not the other way round. In that lengthy White House YouTube (Happy Birthday, YouTube!) of President Obama at the UN Security Council Summit on Nuclear Nonproliferation from last September, it was David who got all squirmy when she arrived,  and he could not take his eyes off her except when she glanced in his direction, while she was completely oblivious of him. But I digress.

This interesting article about the spoils of office in the U.K., specifically grand mansions known as “grace and favour residences” allotted to cabinet ministers, attributes a remark to our Hillary Clinton that not only made me LOL, but also seems to have put David in his place. I love her sense of humor.

Hillary Clinton correctly predicted Labour’s chances of winning the General Election back in January by making a dinner party joke at the expense of former Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Mr Miliband boasted about his official country residence, inviting the U.S. Secretary of State to stay there.

Mrs Clinton replied: ‘That would be lovely, David, but you had better do it before May 6’

Read more>>>>

I shall leave it to readers to discuss amongst themselves  the implications of the invitation itself. He wanted her to stay at his house? You can’t blame him! But her answer is a hoot!

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The Secretary of State, as we saw in the previous post, delivered a speech at the London Conference on Afghanistan, but that was not all. She held several bilaterals (no press releases yet on those). She also, with David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner, and Catherine Ashton, issued this joint statement on the violence in Nigeria.

Joint Statement on Nigeria

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton
London, United Kingdom
January 28, 2010

We express our deep regret at the recent violence and tragic loss of lives in Jos, and extend our sympathies to the bereaved and injured. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria. We call on the Federal Government to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice and to support interethnic and interfaith dialogue.

Nigeria is one of the most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa, a member of the UN Security Council, a global oil producer, a leader in ECOWAS, a major peacekeeping contributing country, and a stabilizing force in West Africa. Nigeria’s stability and democracy carry great significance beyond its immediate borders.

We therefore extend our support to the people of Nigeria during the current period of uncertainty, caused by President Yar’Adua’s illness. We extend our best wishes to the President and his family, and join the Nigerian people in wishing him a full recovery.

Nigeria has expressed its resolve to adhere to constitutional processes during this difficult time. We commend that determination to address the current situation through appropriate democratic institutions. Nigeria’s continued commitment and adherence to its democratic norms and values are key to addressing the many challenges it faces, including electoral reform, post-amnesty programs in the Niger Delta, economic development, inter-faith discord and transparency. The gubernatorial elections in Anambra on 6 February will be a milestone in the journey towards electoral reform and a signal of Nigeria’s commitment to the principles of democracy.

We are committed to continue working with Nigeria on the internal issues it faces while working together as partners on the global stage.

In addition, she sat for an interview with Jill Dougherty of CNN.

Interview With Jill Dougherty of CNN

London, United Kingdom
January 28, 2010
QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for spending some time with us. I want to start with this idea of reintegration and reconciliation in Afghanistan. President Karzai today, in fact, said that he believes that the insurgents will definitely be invited to the peace talks. What do you think about that idea?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, in general, Jill, you don’t make peace with your friends; you make peace with your enemies. And I think what President Karzai is trying to do is to send some very clear messages. Number one, if you are one of the many, many Taliban members who is there because it’s a living, you actually are making money by being in this fight, or you were, in effect, drafted through intimidation of some sort, come off the battlefield and reintegrate into society. If you are a mid-level leader of the Taliban, not ideologically committed to their world view, then you too can rejoin society. However, there are very clear conditions: You must renounce violence, you must lay down your arms, you must renounce al-Qaida, and you must be willing to live by the laws and the constitution of Afghanistan.

So I think that this is the way peace usually gets made. You send out feelers. You see who’s willing to lay down their arms and abide by the conditions. You see how far up that will go. I do not expect Mullah Omar and those people to be at all interested in this. In fact, they’ve made it very clear that they’re not. But I think there are many members of the Taliban who will see this chance to reenter society under these very stringent conditions to be attractive enough to test.

I also think it’s clear that our commanders on the field, General McChrystal and his team, who are in the fight and reversing the momentum of the Taliban, they know, as we learned in Iraq, there is an opportunity to try to convince the insurgents to quit the fight and come back. And that’s part of this peace effort.

QUESTION: You mentioned Iraq. And in fact, the Sunni Awakening was what happened in Iraq. The United States was very actively involved in Iraq in that movement. In Afghanistan, what would be the role of the U.S., briefly? And especially when we get into the financial side of it, there’s going to be a fund, an international fund. Can the U.S. actually contribute money to that? Because after all, there are Treasury regulations that seem to preclude that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, just as we did in Iraq, the United States military will have funds available for these battlefield decisions. And all of the rules and regulations will be abided by, of course. But what our commanders tell us is that it is extremely useful when somebody shows up and says to a young lieutenant or captain, “I’d like to quit, I want to go home, I want to plant in my fields,” that happens a lot. And so to be able to say okay, and here’s what you’ll get if you meet our conditions and you go forward as a member of society – so we want to equip our military.

Now, on the civilian side, a number of countries today made commitments to what is being called the reintegration fund. And that will be a means also to make sure that the people who are now making more money as a Taliban fighter than they made as a farmer or doing something else within Afghan society will be able to support their families and contribute. I mean, that’s the way this works. We’ve learned a lot and we know much more today than we did five or six years ago in Iraq. And I have the greatest confidence in General McChrystal and his team to know how to pull this off.

QUESTION: But can the U.S. actually contribute to that fund without getting some type of a waiver?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, yeah. All the rules have to be abided by, yes.

QUESTION: Okay. Now, when you get into reconciliation, that would deal with the leadership, more important members. Five former leaders, in fact, have been delisted – as they say, taken off the UN list of suspected terrorists. Could they be part of the government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, one of the people who was on the list has already renounced the Taliban and has actually joined the government. So we’re kind of playing catch-up here, that the list has names of people who are irreconcilable – that is clear. The list also has at least one name we’re aware of, of someone who has already died. But there are people on that list who everyone believes, including the gentleman who has already met the conditions, who should be taken off the list and given a chance to be reintegrated.

QUESTION: But the irreconcilables – what if the government, the Afghan Government, actually did want to deal ultimately with Mullah Omar, thinking that perhaps he could bring them Osama bin Laden or something like that? What could the U.S. do in that case?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the U.S. is a partner with the Afghan Government. So we are going to be closely consulting on the structure of the fund, the standards for the fund. I had a long meeting with President Karzai last night and we went over many of these matters that are going to have to be addressed. It is the kind of situation that, by the very nature of it, is going to be somewhat fluid because we don’t know what’s going to happen, who will come forward.

But based on our experience in many areas of Afghanistan today, the Taliban is extremely unpopular. There was a recent poll that has a lot of credibility, pointing out that most people in Afghanistan now believe that they can have a better future, they do not want the Taliban back. But they’re scared and they are looking for some support. And one of the ways, as we saw in an article in The New York Times, I think it was today, is that the military is going in and not just talking to individuals, but talking to tribes, talking to villages. This is classic counterinsurgency, and everyone knows that, as General McChrystal has said, you’re never going to kill or capture everybody calling themself a Taliban. But you can change the political environment so that those who continue to call themselves Taliban become more and more isolated, and that’s what we’re seeking.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about women, because in – this is a subject that’s very dear to your heart, it’s very important.


QUESTION: We know the traditional approach that the Taliban have taken to women. So if you bring these people in, isn’t it ultimately a deal with the devil?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, not if they abide by the conditions, which they have to in order to be eligible. They have to abide by the constitution and the laws of Afghanistan. That means girls are entitled to go to school, girls and women are entitled to get healthcare. Girls are given the same rights that they should have to be trained. Women have the right to participate in the government. In fact, the new Karzai government has some very prominent women nominated for ministers.

So I think that that’s a concern that some people have raised, but I don’t think that it, in and of itself, is what will impact women’s future. We have to change mindsets. There are very serious continuing problems for many women in Afghanistan that still need to be addressed. And women are just like the men of Afghanistan; they don’t want to see the Taliban come back, obviously, but they still have to be given the opportunities to participate in society.

But a lot of progress has been made. I just was meeting with one of the Afghan women who was presenting at the conference, and she said we want to protect women’s rights, we want to continue to get what we deserve to have, we don’t want anything done in the name of peace to interfere with that. And I said neither do I. And I made that very clear in what I said publicly and privately at this conference.

QUESTION: Now, on Iran, to change the subject here, Iran did not send a representative to this conference on Afghanistan. What do you read into that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not sure yet, because the foreign secretary here in London had told me that he expected Iran to send a representative. There was a name plate for Iran. It may, Jill, be another example of the uncertainty, confusion, division within the existing Iranian leadership. On many issues, it appears that they aren’t quite sure the way forward because the leadership is being challenged and there are lots of forces at work within the society. But I don’t know any more than that.

QUESTION: So we understand that you have at least an outline of sanctions that you want to impose or – on – we understand that you have at least an outline of sanctions that you want to impose on Iran. How quickly will we see those?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I was meeting all day today not only about Afghanistan, but also about Iran, with many countries. I brought with me two of the experts who are working on the design of the sanctions and the enforcement of the sanctions, and we are beginning to share ideas. It is premature to talk about those because I don’t want to preempt the consideration that other countries will be given to this, but it is very much our agenda to move forward.

We want as much support as we can possibly muster, and we want to be sure that we are aiming at the mindset of the Iranians so that they understand that the international community will not be turning a blind eye to their continuing violations of Security Council obligations of International Atomic Energy Agency regulations. But it is premature to talk in specifics.

QUESTION: You have said that the sanctions are basically aimed at the Revolutionary Guard. The Revolutionary Guard, of course, control key elements of the Iranian economy. So in hitting them, how do you avoid hurting the Iranian people?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they have a lot of business interests, as we have discovered. And our assessment is that the sanctions will be tough and clearly aimed at the Iranian economy, but that the international community does not have a choice, that this is, unfortunately, a situation in which the behavior of the Iranian Government, not just in this instance but what they’re doing to protestors and demonstrators. I mean, one of the foreign ministers from a Muslim country told me with just total bewilderment, he said, “How can they have a death penalty to demonstrate?” I mean, that’s basically what they’ve come to.

So their society is under a lot of stress. We think it’s imperative to change the calculus of the leadership, and we think this is an appropriate way to proceed, so we are pursuing it.

QUESTION: But could that be a way – if you make it difficult for the people, could the aim ultimately be to get the people angry at their own government and, hence, have some type of regime change?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is not meant to punish Iran; it’s meant to change their behavior, and it’s not meant as a target at any one person. It’s meant to change the calculation of the leadership, where – whether that leadership is in the supreme leader’s office or in the Revolutionary Guard or the president or anyone else. And I think that it’s hard to sit here and predict exactly how Iran will respond, because we still are open to the diplomatic track, but we haven’t seen much to really prove that they’re willing to engage with us.

And I think the time has come for the international community to say, no, we cannot permit your continued pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is destabilizing, it is dangerous, and we’re going to take a stand against you.

QUESTION: But you seem to be changing – the United States seems to be changing the focus, at least broadening it. Originally, of course, it’s about the nuclear program; however, there seems to be now a desire to punish the people who are responsible for repression.


QUESTION: Isn’t that a broadening of —

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. I mean, if – for example, if the leadership had accepted the offer that we made on the Tehran research reactor to ship out their low-enriched uranium, we would not be sitting here talking about sanctions. It was their choice. They chose not to. And I think that the Iranian people are at a crossroads. They have the opportunity to demand more from their own leadership, which has, obviously, from the outside, appeared to have failed the Iranian people and failed the very principles that they claim to govern by. So the voices of protest, the voices of opposition, are going to continue to challenge this regime in Iran.

But the outside world is not involved in that. This is an internal societal matter for Iranians to decide. What the outside world is concerned about is their nuclear program. Absent a nuclear program, we would still be expressing our regrets and our condemnation of their behavior toward their citizens, but we would not be looking for sanctions. We are looking for sanctions because their nuclear ambitions threaten the rest of the world.

QUESTION: Well, Madam Secretary, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, good to talk to you.

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Remarks With British Foreign Secretary David Miliband After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary of State

Treaty Room

Washington, DC

January 21, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon. It is always a pleasure to host Foreign Secretary David Miliband here. We’ve had many productive meetings over the past year. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is rock solid. We are working hard to promote peace and prosperity, and it’s a pleasure to be working with David.

We went through a long list of issues. We’re going to cut our statement short because David has to be up on the Hill, actually, to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee. But we’re working together on our Haiti relief efforts. And I thank the British search-and-rescue teams that have played such an important role these – this last week. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development has pledged $33 million for Haiti relief, and private UK donations have surpassed $38 million.

We will also meet again next week when we have the conference on Afghanistan. We appreciate the UK’s leadership in helping to organize this meeting, which is at a very important time in our commitment together through NATO to Afghanistan.

The President will soon submit to Congress a request for the resources to implement a civilian strategy that offers the best prospects for stabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistan. I was very pleased that we were able to get this kind of important request into our budget. And next week in London, when the United States and the United Kingdom join – how many countries now?


SECRETARY CLINTON: Over 60. We will be discussing very specific ways that we intend to move forward.

We covered a lot of other ground, but in the interest of time I will turn it over to David.

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILBAND: Well, ladies and gentlemen, Madame Secretary, very good to be back in Washington. Our discussions today have been substantive as well as wide-ranging, and got into some of the big issues that confront us in 2010.

The first thing I’d like to do is acknowledge and applaud the leadership of Secretary Clinton on the Haitian disaster. The scenes in Haiti have touched hearts all around the world. And the response of the United States, civilian as well as military, has been of the highest order. And it’s something that we’re proud to be supporting very, very strongly.

We’ve discussed in detail the Afghanistan conference next week. It will come at a decisive moment in the Afghanistan campaign following the inauguration of President Karzai, the speech of President Obama on December the 1st. And there’s a very clear call, which is for every country to mobilize its civilian as well as military resources behind the coherent and credible agenda that has now been set for Afghanistan. That includes responsibilities for its neighbors, and that’s why it’s very, very important that we take forward the regional agenda as well as the agenda within Afghanistan.

We’ve talked also about the challenges in the Middle East, where the work of Secretary Clinton and Senator Mitchell is so important to try to restart talks, which are the only prospect of Israelis and Palestinians finding a way to live side by side in peace. And I look forward to meeting President Abbas in London next week.

We’ve always – we also talked about the pressing issue of the Iranian nuclear program, where our countries are working closely together as part of the E-3+3 to take forward our dual-track policy.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that we both remain very committed to working together on climate change. This is an issue where the Administration has changed American position in an important way and in a way that I think has made an important contribution to the international debate about climate change. We know that there is still a long way to go if the international system is to rise to the challenge, and that’s something that we are going to be working on very closely together in the months ahead.

MR. CROWLEY: From the U.S. side, Arshad from Reuters.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, just a short while ago when you were speaking to us, you said that the P-5+1 was unified in working toward additional pressure on Iran. It perplexed me slightly because, as you well know, the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations publicly said not a couple of weeks ago that this was not the time to be talking about or contemplating additional sanctions. Yesterday, I spoke to a senior European diplomat who was – who refused even to say the word “sanctions” in front of a reporter for fear of antagonizing the Chinese.

Help us understand where the unity is, because it would appear, at least from the outside, that the Chinese are not quite with the program.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, we know that the Chinese, as well as other countries have raised issues about the efficacy of sanctions. But we are unified in the position that we have to influence the Iranian Government’s behavior concerning its nuclear program. One of the reasons why we are meeting on an – just an ongoing basis, and talking in many different capitals with our counterparts, is because we believe there is a path forward to achieve a resolution at the United Nations Security Council.

Now, in addition to that path, other countries including our own, as you know, will be looking at steps that we can take. But our plan right now is to proceed to obtain the strongest possible language out of the United Nations. And what that is, I can’t stand here and tell you today, but it is all aimed at trying to influence Iranian Government behavior. And how it’s finally shaped is what the process of negotiations will determine.

QUESTION: Is the language (inaudible) actual sanctions, or is rhetoric alone acceptable?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We want the strongest possible resolution, so I’m not going to characterize it beyond that.

MR. CROWLEY: Kim Ghattas from BBC.

QUESTION: I am exceptionally sitting on this side of the aisle. (Laughter.) A question for both of you: Ahead of the conference about Afghanistan next week in London, how confident are you that the money that is being poured into Afghanistan is going to be well spent, considering the lack of coordination that has plagued the mission there all those years? And also, what about the idea of appointing an international coordinator for the civilian strategy?

And Madame Secretary, very quickly, on the Middle East, President Obama today said in an interview with Time magazine that had you anticipated the problems that you were going to face trying to make progress on peace in the region, you would not have raised expectations so high. Clearly, the Administration has lost round one. Are you ready for round two?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: On the Afghanistan front, we are a country which pays a large proportion of our aid through the Afghan Government structures, but we only do so when we’re absolutely confident that the money will reach the people that it’s intended for, and we audit the money trail to make sure it does reach the people that it is intended for.

Does the civilian mission need to be better coordinated? Yes. Does the international community need to up its game in the way it works in Kabul and in the provinces? Yes. And that’s why there are significant appointments that need to be made. The term of the UN – of the head of the special representative of the secretary general will come to an end in March. On the NATO side too and in the EU, it’s very important that we upgrade our civilian side of the mission as the military upgrade their side of the mission.

And that’s something that I think we’re all committed to following through, and I very much hope the momentum coming out of the London conference will contribute to that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: With respect to the Middle East, I think that you know we are absolutely committed. It doesn’t matter whether it’s round two or round 20. We believe that this is a situation that deserves constant, persistent attention, that the absence of such attention perhaps created some of the difficulties that we are now encountering.

But ultimately, as the President also said in his interview, this has to be between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The United States, the UK, the EU, the Arab League, everyone can work together to try to create the conditions for a resolution of the outstanding issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but at the end of the day, they must make that decision. So we are going to continue to do everything we can to create an environment in which that is possible. We have urged both the Israelis and the Palestinians to get back to the negotiating table and to start hashing out the very difficult, but we believe solvable problems that stand in the way of security for the state of Israel and a state for the Palestinians.

And one final point I would just add to what I said to Arshad: This is not happening in a vacuum, this whole effort that we’re engaged in regarding influencing and restraining the Iranians’ nuclear program. The prospects of the instability that would potentially ensue from Iran pursuing and achieving a nuclear breakout capacity or even a nuclear weapons program would be so intensely destabilizing, there is not a country in the world that is in the neighborhood, the region, relies on the oil markets, that would not be directly affected.

Thank you very much.

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Okay. Thanks very much, everybody. Thank you.

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Joint Press Availability With U.K. Foreign Secretary Miliband

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Carlton Gardens, London, United Kingdom
October 11, 2009

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for coming to Carlton Gardens. Above all, a very warm welcome to Secretary Clinton, to — her visit to — London stay, as part of her European tour, where we are absolutely delighted to have you. We have had talks which I would describe as warm, detailed, intensive, and productive. I think all those qualities would fit the sort of relationship that exists between our countries, and has existed between our countries for many years.

I think it’s fair to say that there is going to be a hot (inaudible) on the policy front. We are not short of big policy questions to address. And the transatlantic cooperation is going to be at a premium as we confront the shared challenges and the shared opportunities.

I think it’s fair to say that we spent the most time today talking about the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The shared strategy that has been set out by our Prime Minister and by the President is founded on some very clear principles — above all, the principle that we have a very strong stake in a strong, sovereign, independent Afghanistan that is able to defend its own people from the ravages of the Taliban.

Our resolve, joint resolve, shared with 40 other nations, is strong and clear. And the people of Afghanistan do not want the return to Taliban rule in Kabul, and we have determined to work with a new Afghan government to prevent that. We are especially conscious, I think, of the responsibility of — as leaders of our countries — diplomatic services to make sure that the civilian and political side of the strategy is as strong as the military side.

We have also discussed the situation in the Middle East. We are very strong supporters of the commitment from this administration to establish a Palestinian state that’s able to live alongside Israel. And we have also discussed the need for care and restraint from all sides on the particular flashpoint issues, including Jerusalem.

Obviously, we have also reviewed our position on Iran, where our countries work so closely together, including on the most recent revelation of the covert Iranian uranium enrichment site. My point on this is very, very simple, that Iran will never have a better opportunity to establish normal relations with the international community. And it will never have a better opportunity than to show that the peaceful intent that marks its words about its nuclear program is matched by its deeds.

I think it’s also worth saying that we have had an important exchange on climate change, where we are now less than 60 days away from the Copenhagen summit, which is a unique opportunity for the world to come together and address what is going to become our most press national question, if it is not dealt with in a serious way.

So I just finally say that Secretary Clinton’s determination to be her own envoy when it comes to the question of further progress in Northern Ireland is something that is deeply meaningful to the British government, and I think to the British people, as well. Your visit to Dublin, your visit to Northern Ireland today is a token, not just of America’s commitment to see through the remarkable progress that is being made there, but of also your personal commitment that has existed now for 15 or 20 years. And I am sure the reception that you receive from the business and community and (inaudible) leaders that you meet will be reflective of the esteem and the thanks that we want to give for the outstanding commitment to work for peace there.

So, thank you very much for being here. We look forward to (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, David. And it is a pleasure to be back once again in London, and to have this opportunity to enjoy both a wonderful breakfast and a very productive and detailed conversation over that breakfast. I am also looking forward to seeing the prime minister later this morning.

And first, let me just underscore how grateful I am for this opportunity to reaffirm the historic importance of the special relationship between our two countries. I have many fond memories of this beautiful city from visits over the years. And I remember well something that one of my personal heroines, Eleanor Roosevelt, said back in 1942, when she had come to visit both American and British troops, including her own son. And she spoke of that special bond that is formed between nations when their ideals and objectives coincide. That is still the case today. And both our ideals and our objectives on a broad range of challenges and opportunities that we see in the world give us the chance to continue to forge a better future for the people of our two countries.

The international agenda is broad and deep. And the United States and the United Kingdom are partners, working to advance our shared values on every front, from rebuilding the world economy, to combating climate change and fighting hunger, to facing down the threats of nuclear proliferation and violent extremism, to helping advance a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We stand shoulder to shoulder in the effort to build a global architecture of cooperation, and to develop the partnerships that are needed to meet these global challenges.

So, as the foreign secretary said, we have had a wide ranging discussion today, but we have had many such discussions over the last nine months, my tenure as Secretary of State.

British leadership was pivotal in the run up to the historic Security Council session chaired by President Obama that unanimously adopted Resolution 1887, and committed us to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. British leadership is important to the P5 Plus 1 process, as we work together to press the world’s great concerns about Iran’s nuclear programs.

We agree that the P5 Plus 1 meeting in Geneva was a constructive beginning. But it must be followed by action. Words are not enough. And we are speaking with a single voice, and delivering a clear message to Iran: The international community will not wait indefinitely for evidence that Iran is prepared to live up to its international obligations.

We also had an opportunity to discuss the ongoing review of our overall efforts, both civilian and military, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I again expressed my admiration for the incredible courage and commitment of the British troops who are serving in Afghanistan. We are deeply grateful for their service, and we honor their sacrifice. And both of our nations are committed to the cause in Afghanistan.

We understand how difficult this is, but we have no doubt that we must be both committed, and demonstrate leadership necessary to achieve our goals. At the same time, we are working to support the democratically elected government of Pakistan in its efforts to confront violent extremism, and to assist the people whose lives have been disrupted by that conflict. We want to help the Pakistani people and their government improve in the delivery of services. We share the same goals for the region that is affected by so much violent extremism, mainly, a peaceful and prosperous future for the people who live there.

And finally, as the foreign secretary said, we discussed the peace process in Northern Ireland, where I will be traveling later today. This remains an issue of great importance for both of our countries, and we are committed to seeing the full implementation of the Good Friday agreement, and a lasting peace in Northern Ireland that brings the benefits of peace to the people.

We always have a full agenda. We never have enough time to discuss everything that is on our minds. But it is a personal pleasure for me to be working with Secretary Miliband. So I thank you again for hosting me today, and I look forward to the work ahead.

MODERATOR: We will now take questions. Tim Marshall. (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Good morning. Foreign Secretary first. You talked about a shared strategy in Afghanistan. But, as you know, D.C. has spent the whole week talking about what they’re going to be doing in Afghanistan, drawing down troops, reinforcing troops, status quo. Have you been given a full briefing on the Americans’ intentions, and what are they?

Madame Secretary, welcome back in London. Remarks from you on that would be useful. But also, I did want to ask you about Northern Ireland. There has been a couple of terrorist instances recently. There have been bombs found, and it’s thought to be the real IRA. I wanted your message to the terrorists in Northern Ireland, and also to the people back home, any remnants of support they may still have in the United States.

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Well, thank you for that, Tim. We certainly have had a full discussion of the discussions that are taking place in Washington.

I think people are in danger — people around the world are in danger — of misunderstanding the discussion that is taking place. I am sure Hillary will want to comment on this. But when President Obama set out his strategy in March, he made it absolutely clear that, at the time of the election, the formation of a new Afghan government, it would be appropriate to review the civil and military components of the strategy, and, above all, to review the implementation mechanisms that exist for putting into practice the strategy that he announced, a strategy which is at one with the strategy that the Prime Minister has announced.

There are big decisions ahead, above all, for the new Afghan government which will be formed in the next few weeks. But there are also decisions for the whole of the coalition, led by the United States. And we are working very, very closely together in Afghanistan and in our capitals to make sure that the coalition effort is as clear and effective and as decisive as possible.

To repeat, that means a civilian and political strategy with means of implementation, as well as a military strategy. And certainly the candor and transparency that is at the heart of the special relationship that the Secretary spoke about has been evident in all of our discussions, both down to the detailed work that we do together in Lashkar Gah, in the heart of Helmand, and the discussions that we have had today.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I would only underscore the foreign secretary’s points. Our strategy remains the same. We are committed to Afghanistan. We are very clear that the conjunction of al-Qaeda and elements of the Taliban and other extremists pose a direct threat to our two countries, and really, to the world.

But we are also committed to ensuring that the implementation of our strategy on both the civilian and the military side is as effective as possible. And I think that is to be recognized and appreciated, as opposed to some of the discussion as to, “Well, why would you be rethinking,” or, “Why would you be looking hard,” or, “Why would you be asking tough questions?” Well, because we want to do it right, and we want to keep doing it right.

We have been in office about nine months. We obviously believe that the prior eight years were not as effective or focused as they might have been. I remember the first time I went to Afghanistan as a senator in 2003, I believe. And I was met by an American soldier at one of the bases I visited who said, “Welcome to the forgotten front lines of the war against terrorism.”

So, our challenge has been to take what we inherited, including an immediate request for troops that the President had to act on shortly after taking office, understanding that we wanted to integrate our civilian and our military approaches, that we wanted to see Afghanistan in the larger regional context, and to recognize the imperative of working with Pakistan in order to be successful in Afghanistan, as well as stabilizing and supporting the people of Pakistan.

So, I believe that we are engaged in not only a very important and, as David said, transparent process, but one that shows real leadership and commitment by the United States.

As regards Northern Ireland, and the continuing evidence of extremism in Northern Ireland — because, to me, terrorism is terrorism — and those who would try to disrupt the peace of people going about their daily lives, are out of step and out of time. But it is imperative that the process that was established by the Good Friday agreement be seen all the way to conclusion. And I know that Prime Minister Brown is very focused on that. I have met with the leaders in Northern Ireland. I will, obviously, be seeing them again tomorrow.

But there is no support coming at all from the United States. The best we can tell is that those who try to inflict harm on others and cause damage are funding their evil enterprise through criminal gains. So we hope to see an end to all of that.

MODERATOR: Next question, Jeff Mason, Reuters.

QUESTION: Thank you. Madame Secretary and Mr. Foreign Secretary, my question is about Pakistan. The West has always been confident that nuclear arms in Pakistan are secure. In light of yesterday’s attacks, how can you continue to be confident about that?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: I am happy to — sorry?

QUESTION: I would be grateful for responses from both of you.

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: I think it’s very important to underline, first of all, the concern everyone faces about the internal threat — (inaudible), if you like — that exists in Pakistan. That is the greatest threat to Pakistan’s security.

We both used the phrase that the insurgencies — plural — that Pakistan faces are a mortal threat to that country. But it’s a threat that, over the last three or four months, the Pakistani military and the Pakistani people have shown enormous resolve and determination and sacrifice in beating back. And it is a mortal threat that can and will be defeated by united action by the civilian and military leadership in Pakistan, with the support of their people, and the support of the international community.

In respect of the nuclear issue, there is no evidence that has been shown publicly or privately of any threat to the Pakistani nuclear facilities. I think it’s very important that alarmist talk is not allowed to gather pace, but that is — at no stage underestimate the nature of the insurgency that threatens the Pakistani people. And the loss of life in Peshawar on Friday is a stark reminder of what the Pakistani people face, and the sacrifice that is being demanded of them. And I think it’s important that those two issues are not confused.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I would agree with David, that we have confidence in the Pakistani government and the military’s control over nuclear weapons. The recent attack at Rawalpindi, that was right at a military installation, is another reminder that the extremists in Pakistan, whatever their titles, or whatever their affiliation, are increasingly threatening the authority of the state.

But we see no evidence that they are going to take over the state, it’s just that they will continue to cause a great deal of harm to the people of Pakistan, which is why the Pakistani military and the government is going after them so aggressively.

MODERATOR: Next question. Katherine Fillpot with the Times.

QUESTION: Foreign Secretary, Madame Secretary, can I ask you both if you are prepared to endorse a Karzai victory in the Afghan election, despite the extraordinary allegations of fraud?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: I think we have both said very clearly that our countries will never be party to a whitewash. That is not the way in which we work. That is why both of our countries have supported so strongly the Electoral Complaints Commission, and the work that they are doing. It is very important that that is followed through.

There are Afghan processes that need to be followed that require real engagement from all sides of the Afghan political system. We wait for the conclusions of the Electoral Complaint Commission’s work. As I said at our party conference 10 days ago, it is right that we wait, because the new Afghan government has big responsibilities that will require the engagement of the whole Afghan population.

And to repeat something I have said elsewhere, I think it’s striking that all of the leading candidates have made clear their view that they need to reach out to each other, as well as reach out to the Afghan population. And Afghanistan needs a concerted and consensus approach, and I very much hope that’s what they will get. But we are waiting for the results (inaudible) wait for the processes to be followed through carefully.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that’s correct.

MODERATOR: One final question to Jill Dougherty, from CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. This question would be to both secretaries, if you would.

Secretary Miliband, you have mentioned the covert facility at Qom. And in light of this annex to the IAEA report, do you — what is the possibility that that enrichment facility at Qom might be just one of a series of secret uranium enrichment facilities in Iran?

And then, just another quick question about these democracy protesters whom Iran says they are going to execute. How do you keep faith with the democracy supporters, while at the same time engaging with Iran to get what you want, which is the end to their nuclear program?

FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Well, I think that Iran’s history of covert secret programs before 2003, whether it’s their dispute with the IAEA, and more recently in respect of the Qom facility, explains why the international community does not have confidence in the Iranian regime’s protestations about the purely peaceful aspects, or purely peaceful purposes, of their nuclear program.

I think the IAEA’s role is particularly important, and I think it’s very important that we support them. I think both of our countries are pledged not just to support the IAEA, but to build up the IAEA as an organization that can do that. By definition, we don’t provide a running commentary on covert sites in Iran or in — anywhere else. But I think that the revelations, in respect to the Qom facility, are very significant, indeed.

Secretary Clinton referred to the unity of the international coalition, and I think it is very important to use platforms like this to say that the P5 Plus 1 — the United States, Russia, China, plus the three European countries — are joined as one in our determination to engage with Iran, but also to engage on very clear principles. Iran can be treated as a normal country, in respect to nuclear matters, when it starts behaving as a normal country.

And that really leads to the second question, which is that we just have to stick to our principles. And our principles, in respect of human rights, are very clear. Our insistence that it is not for us to choose the government of Iran is clear. But also our insistence that it is right to stand up for human rights around the world, for universal values, is also very clear. And I think that that message to the Iranian government, as well as to the Iranian people, that it’s their rights that need to be sacrosanct, is absolutely right, and is the right way to show our commitment and our engagement.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the whole premise of our approach to Iran is to pursue, wherever possible, the kind of engagement that will produce results, as we saw at the P5 Plus 1, on agreement for inspection of the site at Qom, the (inaudible), the agreement to have the enriched uranium shipped out of the country, and then returned for the Tehran research reactor, and an agreement for follow-on meetings that would be held soon.

So, it was a constructive beginning. But it has a long way to go before any of us are convinced that Iran is willing to abide by its international obligation, and to cease and desist any efforts toward a nuclear weapons program.

But, you know, we have negotiated with many, many countries over the years — the former Soviet Union, for example — whose human rights record and behavior toward their own people was of great concern to us, and that we spoke out about it at the same time that we negotiated arms control agreements.

With Iran, it is tragic that a country with such a great history, with, you know, so much to give to the rest of the world, is so afraid of their own people. And the way that they are utilizing secret prisons and detentions, show trials, is a reflection of the discontent that they know people feel toward the current leadership.

So, as David said, you know, we know that decisions about the future of Iran are up to the Iranian people. But we will continue to speak out on behalf of human rights, on behalf of democracy, on behalf of freedom of expression, that are really at the core of human freedom. And it’s important that the people in Iran know that the United States, the United Kingdom, and others in the international community, are watching very closely as to what is happening, and standing on their side when it comes to their willingness to take great risks on behalf of the kind of future that they would like to see for their country. Thank you.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, David.

PRN: 2009/T13-2

Following a spectacularly successful performance in Zurich yesterday, where she helped negotiate a last minute hitch that threatened the signing of the Armenia Turkey Protocols, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to London last night for a series of meetings with Foreign Minister David Miliband and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  Among the topics they discussed was the terrorist attack on the Pakistani Army HQ yesterday.  Both Clinton and Miliband stated that there was no danger of the government failing or nuclear weapons falling into terrorist hands.

Clinton: terrorists increasing threat to Pakistan

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Remarks at the Transatlantic Dinner


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 22, 2009

Date: 09/22/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton with UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband at Transatlantic Dinner with EU and NATO Foreign Ministers at the Waldorf-Astoria in the Empire Room. © State Dept Image by Michael Gross SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me welcome all of you to this Transatlantic Dinner. It is a real pleasure to see so many friends and colleagues both from the EU and NATO. We have the opportunity several times a year to come together to talk about the important matters that we are all concerned with, and tonight, I hope we can cover a number of issues that are of significance to each of our countries and, of course, to the EU and to NATO.
But I mostly just want to thank you for taking time out of what is an overwhelmingly busy schedule to share this time. And we’ll be efficient, because there are some, like David and Lawrence, who have other dinners, and I’m sure there are many of you who have consecutive obligations. So I think with that, we’ll ask the press to go have dinner, and we’ll be able to both start dinner and start our conversation. Thank you all very much.


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With Hillary on a brief vacation beginning last Wednesday in Bermuda, there has not been much to post here. These dry news times routinely generate memory photo albums on Hillary blogs, so here are a few cute ones. Here’s Hillary with her good friend British Foreign Minister David Miliband back in March at the NATO conference.

With HBO famously making a movie called “A Special Relationship” about the bilateral friendship between President Bill Clinton and then British PM, Tony Blair, the relationship between Hillary and Miliband appeared from the outset to reaffirm the special alliance between the U.S. and the U.K. despite a rather bumpy start when the Obama team decided to redecorate the White House by returning a bust of Winston Churchill to the Brits. Things got bumpier still when current PM, Gordon Brown, et famille visited the new First Family. But Hillary came through to save the day forming a firm and, by all indications cordial friendship with Miliband…cordial, that is until this happened:

David Miliband calls Hillary Clinton to voice anger over Guantánamo inmates’ transfer to Bermuda By Toby Harnden in Washington Published: 6:34PM BST 12 Jun 2009.

Ooohhhh, noes! Hillary! How could you! Actually, Hillary and David have met since then, and we have not seen frost on the friendship. We have to remember that this was not a decision made within the State Department and although Hillary was certainly consulted, the decision was not hers to make.

Now the choice of Bermuda as a vacation spot is interesting! The Clintons only had a few days there making a quick getaway in advance of Hurricane Bill (I know! You can’t make this stuff up!) closing the airport (and we haven’t heard a whisper since of where they might be). But Bill did play some golf on the course where the Uighurs are groundskeepers, and Hillary has a penchant for making statements just by her presence. Maybe they DIDN’T go there to celebrate the 30th anniversary of …um… the beginning of Chelsea (or maybe they DID!), but if there was a second good reason for Bermuda, I can see a reflection of Hillary’s decision to stay at the Taj Mahal in Mumbai in this choice. “It’s fine! You can still vacation here. See?” She probably promised David she would gladly make this gesture despite:

Release of Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, Washington, DC, August 20, 2009

When that statement was released, she was already in Bermuda.

Over the weekend, and in total Hillary-blackout, the rage over Al-Megrahi grew legs:

FBI boss Robert Mueller rips Scots who released Lockerbie bomber: “Comfort to terrorists” by Christina Boyle, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER, Sunday, August 23rd 2009, 2:18 AM

So what is the take-away from all this? I think it’s like when Scott Beckett hits Derek Jeter so next inning Andy Pettitte hits Big Papi – no harm meant just a little payback…and a compulsory warning.

One thing, though: You appoint and confirm Secretaries of State and Foreign Ministers to maintain diplomatic relations. Before any further moves of this kind are considered, the administrations would do well to consult and heed the advice of their top diplomats who seem to have a special enough relationship to get us past this bumpy patch.

Meanwhile, Quadaffi, the guy who gave Al-Megrahi the hero’s welcome in Libya, is planning to pitch a tent here in New Jersey – not far from me! I told you, you can’t make this stuff up! Stay tuned.

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Remarks With British Foreign Secretary David Miliband


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
July 29, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone.

It’s a real pleasure to welcome once again my friend Foreign Secretary David Miliband back to the State Department. And today we had a substantive and far-ranging discussion about the wide range of challenges and opportunities we are facing together and how to build on our special relationship to advance our shared values and interests. I updated the foreign secretary on my recent travels to India and Thailand, and our just-concluded Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China. We reviewed recent developments in North Korea and Iran. I thanked him for the leadership that the British Government has been providing on issues like climate change, human rights, and the Middle East peace process.
We also talked at length about our common efforts in Afghanistan, and I commended the foreign secretary for the important speech he gave in Brussels earlier this week. His analysis of the way forward is very much consistent with ours, and we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in pursuit of our common objectives.
I also want to state publicly what I mentioned to the foreign secretary, my admiration for the incredible courage, service, and sacrifice of the British troops working for stability and peace in Afghanistan. This has been a very challenging period for American and British forces alike, and for the American and British people who are standing behind them. Thanks to the bravery, skill, and sacrifice of these troops, we have made significant gains in the recent operations, but there remains much work to be done.
Both of our countries are still threatened by the same enemy, an enemy that has attacked London, New York, and Washington. We know they’ve attacked us in the past, and, unfortunately, we know that they plot against us even today. With commitment and resolve – qualities in great supply in both of our countries – we can succeed in confronting this enemy and achieving our goals. On this, as on so many other issues, our special relationship is a driver for greater peace, progress, and prosperity not only for our own people, but around the world.
So once again, David, I’m grateful for this opportunity that we had today in a series of conversations and meetings that we’ve enjoyed since I took this office to discuss joint solutions to our shared global challenges.
FOREIGN MINISTER MILIBAND: Well, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be back in Washington. We have had really excellent talks today, deep and broad. I just want to touch on a couple of issues. The issue of Afghanistan and its relationship with Pakistan is obviously at the top of both of our agendas, and it’s a tough phase for all the countries that are in Afghanistan at the moment. But I want to be absolutely clear that we went into this together, and we will work it through together, because we are stronger together.
We are approaching a very important moment in Afghanistan, the first Afghan-led elections for 30 years, on August the 20th. Those elections need to be credible, and I think they will be especially important, because they are a chance to reaffirm that our purpose in Afghanistan is to support a credible, democratic Afghan Government. There is a lot of talk, rightly, about burden sharing within the coalition, but the greatest burden sharing must be between the international community and the Government of Afghanistan, which increasingly needs to take the lead, the security lead as well as the political lead, in shaping the future of that country.
The contract between the winner of the August 20th elections and the people of Afghanistan is the most important contract of all. The importance and centrality of the Middle East peace process is shown by the range of senior American diplomats and officials in the region at the moment, and we applaud the systematic and sustained way in which the Administration is engaged on this absolutely vital issue for all of our national interests.
On Iran, I think it’s very important to say that on the important nuclear question, the ball is in Iran’s court. And as soon as the new government is formed in Tehran, we look forward to that government addressing the clear offer, the clear package that was put to Iran some 15 or 16 months ago.
I’ll just mention briefly that we also touched on climate change, because I think both of us are clear that today and in the future, climate change will be a major foreign policy issue, and it’s going to be an issue that needs sustained international political leadership from foreign ministers as well as environment ministers, and that’s what we’re determined to offer.
Finally, with great sadness, I have to repeat the condolences that have been offered by my prime minister today to two families of British hostages held in Iraq. I can confirm that on July the 20th, the Foreign Office informed the families of Alec and Alan that it was very likely that their loved ones were dead. This is something that is based on credible information. It is putting the families, obviously, in a horrible position, but we thought it was essential that we continued the open dialogue that we’ve had with them over a traumatic two years.
This leaves one British hostage in Iraq. We are in contact with those who are in contact with the hostage takers. And all of our efforts are working to ensure the safe release of that hostage. Hostage taking is never justified. It belongs to a dark past in Iraq.
We call, as the hostages’ families did today in an incredibly dignified way, for the release of Peter Moore and for final clarity about the fate of Alec and Alan. We do not offer substantive concessions to hostage takers. We cannot do so. It would be the wrong thing to do. But the hearts of every British person will go out to those families today. Thank you very much, indeed.
MR. KELLY: The first question to Arshad Mohammed.
QUESTION: Foreign Secretary Miliband, you both spoke about the challenging time that it has been and you are obviously well aware of the increases in casualty rates. Are you confident that given the skepticism in the British population that you can retain sufficient popular support to work this through, as you said?
And Secretary Clinton, this is the most deadly month, or this will have been the most deadly month, for coalition forces since the war began nearly eight years ago. Do you believe that the U.S. Government could – one, has done enough to prepare the U.S. population for what may be more and more casualties to come, and secondly, could increase its commitments, if necessary, should you see your allies start to quail?
FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: Well, I think that the British people understand the vital nature of the mission that’s taking place in Afghanistan. They know that Afghanistan was the incubator for global terrorism that struck with such deadly effect in September 2001. I think the British people will stay with this mission because there is a clear strategy and a clear determination on behalf of the United States and other coalition members to see this through.
The military side of the equation is essential. The sacrifice and effort and skill of the forces on the ground – British, American, but also from other countries – has been extraordinary over recent weeks. But we also know that a sustainable solution needs to be a political solution, and that is why we put such emphasis on a political track, reaching out to the Afghan population, a political strategy for the insurgency, but also a political strategy for the neighbors. And I think that is in lockstep with the strategy that’s been set out by President Obama and by Secretary Clinton. And what we need to make sure is that there is a sufficient and clear Afghan drive to provide the governance that that country needs at national and, critically, at provincial and district level.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Arshad, we are deeply saddened by the loss of life of our young men and women as they begin this military effort that is in accordance with the strategic review that the President ordered and whose conclusions he adopted. And we are grateful for the strong support that we have received from the British Government, and particularly, the bravery of the British troops who are fighting alongside our own.
The early reports from our commanders are encouraging – that there has been significant gains made in the areas where they are present. And we know that this is a challenge that is not going to be easily resolved in a short period of time. But we believe that we are pursuing a strategy, both military and civilian, that holds out promise for achieving our principal objective; that is, to destroy, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida and their allies in the syndicate of terror that has, unfortunately, taken root in Afghanistan and spilled over into Pakistan.
I think the American people, like the British people, as David just referenced, know that we are seeking to uproot the enemy that we have been pursuing now since 9/11 in concert with our allies, and that this is a mission that is very much in the interests of the American people and the British people, as hard as it is. So I think the early reports are promising, but we know we have a long way to go.
MR. KELLY: Next question, Dan Dombey, Financial Times.
QUESTION: A question to both the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary, if I may. As the war in Afghanistan continues, how important is it to increase the size of the Afghan national security forces even beyond the levels that are currently projected so that those forces can step up in the fight against the Taliban and to secure populations? And how important is it to get more than the current level of international funding so that the world can be convinced that actually such an increase in size is sustainable over the medium and long term?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I think your question goes to the heart of the matter. Our military strategy to clear, hold, and build requires holding, and it requires holding ultimately by the Afghan people themselves through the Afghan National Army and through a trained and well-deployed, professional police force. We have always seen this as our central goal for long-term success in Afghanistan. And the President, in his orders directing additional troops, included 4,000 trainers who will be arriving in September. So we see this as an absolute essential role for us and for our allies to play.
Again, we think that this is a good case for us to be able to make, not only for our own people but for others, that what we’re trying to do is to create the conditions in which Afghan people can have a more normal, ordinary life, going back to farming, going back to businesses – we’re seeing that in some of the territory that is being taken back by our joint military operations – and then to introduce the rule of law, particularly the use of a homegrown military and police force to consolidate the gains and to protect the people and to stand against the return of the Taliban and their allies.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) the financial (inaudible)? Do you need more financing, more international commitments, to make —
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have to get started on it. We have to get started on it. We’ve got a big commitment for training. We obviously have talked about it with not only those like the British troops and government who are so supportive, but those who don’t have troops on the ground but understand the importance of this. And I think that as we move forward, we’ll be able to make the case and actually produce the levels of commitment that are needed.
FOREIGN SECRETARY MILIBAND: I strongly agree with that. The obvious point is that Afghanistan is not just a country plagued by an insurgency, but also by extreme poverty – one of the poorest countries in the world, an economy that so desperately needs a period of stability in order to grow. And I think that’s a further reason for the sort of comprehensive military, political, and economic approach that is at the heart of everything that we are doing, that the United States is doing, and that the whole coalition is doing.
And General McChrystal’s words that the test of success is not the number of Taliban killed but the number of the local population who are protected, I think gets to the heart of these issues of sustainability. And that is certainly what we are trying to achieve.
MR. KELLY: Charlie Wolfson, CBS News.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, in Iraq, can you talk about the U.S. policy towards the MEK in Iraq, and can you also talk about the events of yesterday and whether or not the U.S. has any responsibility towards the people in Camp Ashraf?
And for both of you, in Iran, next door in Iran, there are reports of abuse of political prisoners coming out of Iran and also reports of a fracture among the political leadership in Iran. Can you address those issues, please?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first with respect to the MEK at Camp Ashraf, we are urging restraint on both sides. The Government of Iraq has stated that the residents of Camp Ashraf will be treated in accordance with Iraq’s constitution, laws, and international obligations. The Iraqi Government has assumed security responsibility for Camp Ashraf and its residents, which obviously largely consists of MEK members, the full transfer of security responsibility from the coalition forces in Iraq to the Iraqi army forces occurred on February 20th, 2009. This is part of the turnover of responsibilities to a sovereign nation.
And although the U.S. Government remains engaged and concerned about this issue, it is a matter now for the Government of Iraq to resolve in accordance with its laws. And we are very clear that we expect that the Government of Iraq, now that it has assumed this security responsibility, will fulfill its obligations, to show restraint, will not forcibly transfer anyone to a country where such a transfer might result in the mistreatment or the death of that person based on their political affiliation and activities. But it is now the responsibility of the Government of Iraq.
With respect to the stories coming out of Iran concerning the abuse of political prisoners, we deplore that. We believe that it is imperative for the Iraqi authorities to release political prisoners, to treat them appropriately and humanely, and it is something that is very much telling, because their continuing detention and abuse of political prisoners certainly suggests that the political situation inside of Iran has not yet resolved itself.
And we are very much, as you’ve heard me say before, supportive of the people of Iran being able to express their opinions, being able to demonstrate freely and openly and engage in peaceful protests, for freedom of the press so that journalists are not picked up, detained, deported. And it’s part of the overall concerns that we have expressed for weeks now about what we’ve seen in the behavior of the authorities in Iran and the incredible courage of the Iranian people in standing up against what they view as infringements on their rights.
FOREIGN MINISTER MILIBAND: I think it’s important to say that ever since the elections, Secretary Clinton and I have been at pains to say that it is for the Iranian people to choose their government, but it’s for the Iranian Government to protect their people. And we have refused to fall into any trap that suggests it was for anyone other than the Iranian people to choose their government.
But equally, there are universal values, universal values that need to be stood up for, and obviously, we await further details of the alleged abuses. But it remains a signature part of our approach that without fear or favor, we do point to human rights abuse wherever it takes place. And the most recent Foreign Office Annual Report on Human Rights highlighted Iran as one of the countries of concern, and obviously, we’ve been looking with very great care at the latest revelations that have come out.
In terms of the situation within the government, I think that the world has seen a remarkable testimony to the strength and education and desire of the Iranian people for greater freedom. We’ve seen that in the run-up to the election day when the debate was passionate and engaged, but also since then. And I think it’s very important that we continue to say very clearly that the Iranian Government has responsibilities to the international community, which we want to see them uphold, but it also has responsibilities to its own people that its own people want to see upheld.
MR. KELLY: Last question, James Robbins from BBC.
QUESTION: James Robbins from the BBC. On Afghanistan, to both of you, please, you’ve outlined a comprehensive political and military strategy. Do you accept that there can be no guarantee of success? And to increase the chances of success, is it likely within the future, both countries – both your countries are going to have to commit further troops to Afghanistan?
And specifically to you, Madame Secretary, this morning in London, British judges who want to publish a summary of the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed were told in court that you personally have said that such publication would damage intelligence-sharing relations between the United Kingdom and the United States. So may I ask you, is that correct? And are you at all concerned that the judges think that justice would be better served if the material was published?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not going to comment on the last question. Obviously, the issue of intelligence sharing is one that is critically important to our two countries, and we have both a stake in ensuring that it continues to the fullest extent possible.
With respect to your first question, we are just at the beginning of this campaign. We’ve been in office for six months. One of the very first things that President Obama ordered was a complete comprehensive review of where we were. It won’t surprise you to hear that we thought that there were some problems with the approach that had been taken over the previous nearly eight years, and that we then set forth a very clear path forward as to what we believed would be in the best interests of our goals in Iraq.
We are in Iraq because we were attacked from – I mean, Afghanistan – we are in Afghanistan because we were attacked from Afghanistan. And we are obviously pursuing what we think to be a much better thought out, more comprehensive strategy. But we’re just at the beginning. As I said earlier in response to an earlier question, we think that there are some promising results from the military campaigns ongoing at great cost to our military, to the British military, and our other allies who are with us in Afghanistan.
But we’ve got an election to see through. We want it to be as fair, free, and legitimate as possible. It’s difficult to hold an election during a conflict. And we are attempting to assist, with the help of many, many countries and organizations, for the execution of that election. We’ll then have a government that we look forward to working with. We’ve taken no position. We are actively impartial in the election. And so we’re looking for the chance to actually implement the strategy.
The troops that the President ordered are not even all in Afghanistan yet. So I think some of these questions are kind of getting ahead of themselves. I mean, let’s just bear down and do the hard work that we are attempting together and try to see the results as they come.
FOREIGN MINISTER MILIBAND: I think that it’s important to remember that the biggest increase in troop numbers in the next few years is not going to be Brits or Americans; it’s going to be Afghans. And the heart of the strategy is to build up the Afghan security forces. And that’s why the training role as well as the combat role that Secretary Clinton has referred to is so important.
In respect of intelligence sharing, our two countries have a uniquely close intelligence-sharing relationship. I think I’m right in saying that the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee has said that that relationship saves British lives. It’s a relationship which is based on deep trust, as the Secretary has said. And a fundamental principle for both of our countries is that we don’t disclose publicly each other’s intelligence. And that is a fundamental principle of intelligence sharing between any countries, and it’s one that I think is of enormous benefit to both of our countries.
Thanks very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you want to say something about your trip to India last week?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I had a wonderful trip to India. Thank you.

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