Posts Tagged ‘Edward Nalbandian’

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


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Armenian FM Nalbandian, posted with vodpod

Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

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

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

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

MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: (In Armenian.)

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

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

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



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

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

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Remarks With Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton With Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Before Their Meeting.  State Dept Photo

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, what a pleasure to welcome the foreign minister of Sweden, who has been at the forefront of politics, both in Sweden and globally, for so many years. It’s a delight to have him. We have a great relationship with Sweden. We have had so many important issues that we have tackled together. Sweden will assume the presidency of the European Union, which will give an even greater emphasis to the leadership that Sweden shows on so many global concerns. And I’m just delighted that the minister could be here.
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: And I’m delighted to be here. Glad to see you. We’ve seen each other a couple of times already.
SECRETARY CLINTON: We have. We have.
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: And we have a spectacularly good bilateral relationship. But we also have, I think, one of the, or probably the most fruitful (inaudible) transatlantic relationship that I think we’ve had in living memory of an open and very constructive dialogue on what is, by all standards, an extremely challenging mutual agenda, where we need to move together on a lot of these issues. We’ve had x-numbers of meetings. There will be more. And as said, Sweden will be assuming the presidency of the European Union in the second half of this year, and the further strengthening of transatlantic cooperation, partnership, and dialogue on all sorts of issues will be very high up on our agenda.
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: So that will (inaudible) —
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.
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Remarks With Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton With Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin Before Their Meeting. State Dept Photo SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am very pleased to welcome to the State Department the minister for foreign affairs from Kazakhstan. We have a lot of good work going on between the United States and Kazakhstan. I will explore with the minister some additional ways that we can cooperate. And we’re very appreciative of the support that has been given to the United States in a number of areas. I had a memorable visit to Kazakhstan some years ago, and I am very, very much looking forward to our discussions. Thank you for being here, Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER TAZHIN: Thank you very much indeed. First of all, it’s a great honor and pleasure for me to have possibility to meet with you in State Department. Thanks. I remember one phrase that was said many years ago here in Washington, that foreign relations like human relations; they are endless, and usually the solution of one problem leads to another one. But fortunately, we have not any serious problems in relations between United States and Kazakhstan. And I hope, thanks to your activities, thanks to our joint activity, the relations between Kazakhstan and United States will be even more constructive, more stable, and more fruitful. So thank you very much again.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.

Remarks With Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton With Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov Before Their Meeting. State Dept Photo

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this afternoon, we have a great privilege of welcoming to the State Department the minister for foreign affairs of Azerbaijan. We have a very close relationship on many important issues. Today, we’re going to discuss how we can expand and deepen that relationship. I’m delighted that the minister could come so early in the Obama Administration so that we could begin these discussions.
As you know, Azerbaijan has a very strategic location that is one that is important not only to their country, but really, regionally and globally. And so they’re in a position to take increasing responsibility and leadership on these important matters.
Welcome, Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER MAMMADYAROV: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. I just want to add a few words. It’s a great pleasure to be back in Washington and back to State Department. I’m appreciative for this invitation. And I am absolutely sure that this meeting will move forward the strategic partnership which exists between Azerbaijan and United States. And I am ready to discuss all the issues of mutual interest; in our mind, it’s global or it’s regional or it’s bilateral.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister. Thank you all.


Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton meets with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian before their meeting.  © State Department photo by Michael Gross

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good morning, and it’s a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister here today. The relationship between the United States and Armenia is a very lasting and durable one. The Obama Administration is committed to broadening it, deepening it, working with Armenia to assist them in their continued development and aspirations. And it’s a great pleasure to welcome the minister. And I look forward to our talks, sir.
FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN: Thank you, Madame Secretary. Thank you very much for your warm welcome. Our meeting is a good opportunity to move forward our bilateral agenda and to discuss a wide range of issues. We are determined to strengthen, to deepen, to enhance our friendly partnership with the United States. This is the main message of my visit to Washington. And I would like to use this opportunity to express our thanks to the Administration of the United States, to Madame Secretary, and to the State Department for all constant efforts to help to support the normalization process with Turkey and settlement – peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s an honor to assist. Thank you, Mr. Minister.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.



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