Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Today, at the Egyptian Ministry of Defense Hillary Clinton met with Egypt’s head of the military council,  Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.  According to a senior state department official, Mme. Secretary spent the remainder of the day meeting with factions from Egyptian civil society.  The American Embassy hosted entrepreneurs, members of diverse religious groups, and women leaders.  As always, she met with embassy staff prior to departing Cairo, and while we have no public schedule yet, we can expect Mme. Secretary to make a stop in Alexandria for the dedication for the new consulate there before leaving Egypt for the last stop on this marathon trip – Israel.

Remarks to Flat6 Labs


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Chief of Mission Residence
Cairo, Egypt
July 15, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Can I just say how excited I am at what all of you are doing, and how thrilled – thrilling it is to see young people like yourselves working on these new ideas, new concepts, new services, new products, new way of organizing. It’s so enterprising, entrepreneurial, as you would say. So thank you for Flat6, and thanks to USAID for being a partner. But mostly, thanks to all of you for having the ideas and being willing to take a risk to do this. And I will be sure to get updates about how you all are doing. And if I ever need a doctor in Egypt – (laughter) – or a game for my children or some beautiful product from somewhere in the country, there’s just so much that you’re doing that can not only be satisfying to you but change people’s lives for the better. So let’s give them a round of applause. (Applause.)

Thank you all very much. Take care.


Remarks to Egyptian Women Leaders


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador’s Residence
Cairo, Egypt
July 15, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me say how pleased I am to have this opportunity to visit with some longtime acquaintances and people I’ve known and people that I’ve met recently, and some new faces, to talk about the way forward here in Egypt. I just had a lengthy meeting with a group of Christian leaders who had many issues that they wanted to raise directly with me. And I came to Cairo in part to send a very clear message that the United States supports the rights – the universal rights – of all people.

And we support democracy, but democracy has to mean more than just elections. It has to mean that the majority will be protecting the rights of the minority. And here in Egypt, we are committed to protecting and advancing the rights of all Egyptians – men and women, Muslim and Christian. Everyone who is a citizen of Egypt deserves the same rights under the law. And I conveyed this to President Morsi in our meeting yesterday, that we’re going to look to any elected government to support inclusivity, to make sure that the talents of every Egyptian can be put to work in building a new future for this ancient and incredibly important country, and that we are also going to be looking to the government to respect the rights, and as the new constitution is written, to enshrine those rights in it.

Egyptians have sacrificed so much to get to this moment. And we think a strong, durable democracy that respects the rule of law, that protects the rights of all, is the best way forward for Egyptians to realize your aspirations and to meet your own goals for development. So today, now I have the opportunity to meet with a group of women who are active in Egypt in many different venues, on many different issues. And I’m looking forward to this conversation because I don’t think there’s any substitute to hearing firsthand what is on people’s minds and also what the United States can do to be a better partner as Egypt makes its transition to real democracy.

Thank you all very much.


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OK – let’s take a step to the lighter side of things on this marathon trip – her longest so far as SOS.  This picture was taken as she exited her meeting with President Morsi today, and it seems to be begging for a caption.

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Remarks With Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Cairo, Egypt
July 14, 2012

FOREIGN MINISTER AMR: (Via interpreter.) I’m delighted to have Mrs. Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State here for the first time to Egypt since the revolution. It’s a very important visit, and especially in light of the U.S.-Egyptian historic relation, which serve the interest of both countries and which go back to 40 years ago.

Today, Mrs. Clinton had a very prolonged meeting with the President, and she addressed – they addressed several issues concerning bilateral relations and also the situation in the region and both parties’ visions on these issues. With respect to these issues, the talks were amicable and friendly and frank.

Without much ado, I’ll give you the way to – the chance to speak now, and afterwards we’ll take two questions from both sides.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister. And I want to thank you and President Morsi for a warm welcome and a very thorough conversation about a number of important issues confronting Egypt and the region.

This is, of course, a time marked by many historic firsts, and it is very clear that Egyptians are in the midst of complex negotiations about the transition, from the composition of your parliament to the writing of a new constitution to the powers of the president. Only Egyptians can answer these questions, but I have come to Cairo to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for your democratic transition.

This afternoon, President Morsi and I began a constructive dialogue about the broad, enduring relationship between the United States and Egypt for the 21st century. We discussed the challenges ahead and how the United States and Egypt can work together in a spirit of mutual respect and mutual interests.

First, we discussed how the United States can support the Egyptian people and their aspirations and in particular the economic package outlined by President Obama to relieve up to one billion dollars in Egypt’s debt as its democratic transition moves forward. In close consultation with the United States Congress, the Obama Administration is preparing to provide budget support to help Egypt stabilize its economy and to use debt relief to foster innovation, growth, and job creation. As Egypt takes these steps to shore up your economy, we will support you with international financial institutions and other donors.

We are also focused on increasing trade, investment, and entrepreneurship to create jobs and are ready to make available $250 million in loan guarantees to Egyptian small-and-medium-sized businesses. We are sending a high-level delegation of American businesses in early September to explore new investment and trade opportunities, and we will be creating the U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund. We’ll launch that fund with $60 million. We have prominent Egyptian and American business leaders who will run it. It is modeled on what we have done that has worked in other countries before.

Second, the President and I discussed the importance of keeping Egypt’s democratic transition moving forward, and I commended him on his pledge to serve all Egyptians, including women and minorities and to protect the rights of all Egyptians. President Morsi made clear that he understands the success of his presidency and, indeed, of Egypt’s democratic transition depends on building consensus across the Egyptian political spectrum, to work on a new constitution at parliament, to protect civil society, to draft a new constitution that will be respected by all, and to assert the full authority of the presidency.

And thirdly, we discussed Egypt’s role as a leader in the region. I commended the President for going to the African Union Summit to reassert Egyptian leadership in Africa and emphasized the importance of upholding Egypt’s international agreements. More than three decades ago, Egypt and Israel signed a treaty that has allowed a generation to grow up without knowing war. And on this foundation, we will work together to build a just, comprehensive, regional peace in the Middle East based on two states for two people with peace, security, and dignity for all.

We believe America’s shared strategic interest with Egypt far outnumber our differences. And we know that Egypt’s future is up to the Egyptian people, but we want to be a good partner. We want to support the democracy that has been achieved by the courage and sacrifice of the Egyptian people and to see a future of great potential be realized for the nearly 90 million people of Egypt who are expecting that to occur.
Thank you very much.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) Mohamad Soliman from Nile News. You say that the U.S. supports the democratic transition in Egypt, but some believe that some statements made by U.S. officials have a negative impact on efforts to reach consensus among the various Egyptian parties. What’s your comment to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we do support the democratic transition, but we know that it is for Egyptians to decide your way forward. And what we have tried to do, President Obama and I, is to stress democracy is hard. We have been at this for more than 236 years, and it requires dialogue and compromise and real politics. So we are encouraged, and we want to be helpful, but we know that it is not for the United States to decide. It is for the Egyptian people to decide, and we will continue to support the Egyptian people making these decisions in the best way that we can.

MS. NULAND: On the U.S. side, Reuters, Arshad Mohammed, please.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, do you regret in retrospect that successive American administrations supported the Mubarak government, which for so many years repressed and sought to marginalize the Muslim Brotherhood, including at times imprisoning President Morsi, whom you just met? And secondly, did President Morsi raise with you the case of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the cleric who is in prison in the United States? And if so, what was your response?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The answer to the second question is no.

Answer to the first question is we worked with the government of the country at the time. We work with governments around the world. We agree with some of them; we disagree with others of them. We were consistent in promoting human rights and speaking out for an end to the emergency law, an end to political prisoners being detained. So I think you have to put this in context.

The United States has relations with every nation in the world, and we stand for democracy and human rights, but it’s not always easy for countries to transition from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones. Sometimes it’s very bloody, with great loss. Egypt took a different path, and we now are doing all we can to support the democratically elected government and to help make it a success in delivering results for the people of Egypt.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) It’s two questions. And first one concerns have – has the U.S. or yourself taken any steps to bring President Morsi and Netanyahu together, especially that some people raise the possibility of amending some of the provisions of the peace treaty? And the second question concerns the U.S. position vis-a-vis the Palestinian reconciliation efforts. And there’s an understanding that the U.S. is opposed to that and also opposed to the Palestinians turning to the United Nations. So the question is if you were in President – in the Palestinian President’s shoes, what exactly would you do with regard to this issue?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we – as to the first question, it is up to the two nations and the President and the Prime Minister to make their own scheduling plans. We have done nothing. That’s not our role; that would not be appropriate. Obviously, we think it’s important for all the nations in the region to try to maintain peace and stability, especially with so many economic challenges facing the region. And we certainly support the continuation of the peace agreement, because we think, as I said, it has brought great benefits to Egypt and will continue to do so, enabling the President to focus on the economic conditions and the internal political situation here in the country.

And as to your second question, I’m in very close communication with President Abbas. I met with him last Friday in Paris. Our goal is to help bring about the two-state solution. And we know that it can only happen if there is a negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and that can only happen if all Palestinians are committed to seeking a political resolution and renouncing violence.

So reconciliation is up to the Palestinians, and I commend the Egyptian Government for all the work that Egypt has done. But at the end of the day, the factions of the Palestinians themselves have to determine whether they are committed to a negotiation that will result in a state which they deserve and which the Palestinian people have every reason to expect, or whether there will be diversions and other actions that do not promote that. And I personally believe, having watched this closely now for more than 20 years, that it’s imperative there be a negotiated resolution. And I will continue to do everything I can to bring that about.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMR: (Via interpreter.) I would like to add something about the peace treaty. Mr. President has repeatedly reaffirmed, and on all occasions, that Egypt continues to respect all treaties signed as long as the other party to the treaty respects the treaty itself. And today, he once again reiterated this issue and also reiterated that Egypt’s understanding of peace is that it should be comprehensive, exactly as stipulated in the treaty itself. And this also includes the Palestinians, of course, and its right to – their right have their own state on the land that was – the pre June 4th, 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital.

MS. NULAND: (Inaudible) CNN, Elise Labott, please.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. You spoke last week about the parties needing to – in Egypt – needing to get together and settle their political differences. And today you spoke about President Morsi needing to assert the full authority of his office. But I’m wondering if you’re equating the SCAF, which seems to have undemocratically overstayed its welcome in the political sphere, with an elected president and parliament that you yourself said was brought to office in a free and fair election. I mean, is there a moral equivalence there, or should the SCAF be kind of pulling back now? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, again, Elise, this is first and foremost a question for the Egyptian people. But the United States supports the full transition to civilian rule with all that entails. And we have commended the SCAF for representing the Egyptian people in the revolution, as compared to what we’re seeing in Syria, which is the military murdering their own people. The SCAF here protected the Egyptian nation, and we commend them for overseeing a free, fair election process. But there is more work ahead, and I think the issues around the parliament, the constitution have to be resolved between and among Egyptians. I will look forward to discussing these issues tomorrow with Field Marshal Tantawi and in working to support the military’s return to a purely national security role.

And I would only add that this is not an uncommon issue in these transitions. If you look at Latin America, you look at Asia, you look at the former Soviet Union, other countries have gone through these transitions, especially from authoritarian, military-dominated rule. So I am confident that the Egyptian people, acting in the interest of all the people, can resolve these questions themselves.

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

MS. NULAND: Translation please.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Can she translate my answer, please?


QUESTION: (Off mike.)

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, this is great evidence of a free press, which is part of democracy. Thank you.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton peaks with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr at the Foreign Ministry in Cairo

Public Schedule for July 14, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
July 14, 2012



Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Cairo, Egypt. The Secretary is accompanied by Acting Assistant Secretary Jones, Assistant Secretary Posner, National Security Council Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa Steve Simon, Spokesperson Nuland, Director Sullivan, and VADM Harry B. Harris, Jr., JCS. Please click here for more information.

5:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Egypt.

6:10 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a joint press availability with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, in Cairo, Egypt.

7:25 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in a working dinner with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, in Cairo, Egypt.

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There is no public schedule available at the moment, but this background briefing, held on the plane en route to Cairo provides a pretty thorough picture of what Mme. Secretary’s visit to Egypt will involve.  She has already had a meeting with President Morsi.

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Background Briefing En Route to Cairo


Senior Official, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 14, 2012

So we are headed into Cairo a couple of weeks after President Morsi took the oath of office because Secretary Clinton thought it was very important to have early engagement with him and with all the stakeholders in Egypt. She wants to underscore how important this relationship – U.S.-Egypt relationship – is to us and how the United States would like to support Egypt as it moves forward with its transition to democratic, civilian rule. And she intends to engage with President Morsi, with civil society, with Field Marshal Tantawi on this question of what the United States can do to support a complete transition.
She also intends to speak with the President and the other stakeholders about how the United States and Egypt can work together on a range of shared interests that are important to both Egypt and to the United States. And she believes that taking this opportunity early on provides the chance to begin a serious engagement and dialogue with a new president and to carry on a dialogue with all of the other stakeholders there at a very important time of change and transition in Egypt.

She’s going to be focused on three areas. The first is economic and how the United States can bring a variety of economic tools to bear to help Egypt deal with two sets of problems – short-term problems related to the need for economic stabilization, to help them deal with their finance gap, to help them contend with some of the economic challenges that have been created over the past year or so as a result of the transition, including a loss of growth, a loss of tourism, and other economic dislocations, and then long-term challenges chiefly related to unemployment and underemployment as a very large cadre of young Egyptians come of age and come into the workforce with education but not necessarily with skills that are matched to the jobs that are actually available. That and other structural questions about the modernization of Egypt’s economy will be very much on the agenda.

And so many of you will recall that a year ago the President said that we would provide a billion dollars to support the new Egyptian Government as it began its work. And now that we have a new President, she will be speaking with him and with other stakeholders in Egypt about the component elements of that billion dollar package, which will include budget support to help with Egypt’s financing gap and help them deal with the support (inaudible) and then a debt swap, which essentially translates into relieving some of Egypt’s debt over the coming period and taking that money to put it into job-creating programs in innovation, in technology, in technical and relational training, especially focused on Egypt’s young people.

She’ll be announcing that we have named a chair of the board of the U.S-Egypt Enterprise Fund that the President also announced. His name is Jim Harman. We’ll get you more information on him. He’s a well-known quantity in the region, and he’s somebody who is familiar with how effective these enterprise funds can be in emerging democracies. We have had very positive experiences with him elsewhere in the world. We are doing an initial capitalization of $60 million with the expectation that, over the course of the next few years, we will be adding to that endowment to grow the size of the fund. And Jim Harman will be out in the region soon to begin the process of actually making investments and doing deals.

She will speak with the Egyptian leadership about an OPIC fund of $250 million focused on small-and-medium-sized enterprises and about the steps that the Egyptian Government needs to just complete in order to begin to have access to that fund. And then she will tell President Morsi that she’s being responsive to the requests of the Egyptian Government by sending out Tom Nides, her deputy, with a large delegation of American businesses in September to try to deepen and extend ties and to generate American investment in Egypt.

In the course of those conversations, she will also talk about how the United States can support Egypt as it works with international and financial institutions and with other donors and how we can support Egypt with technical assistance as it makes the reforms and takes the modernization steps to bring its economy kind of fully up to sort of 21st century standards, something that President Morsi himself has talked a lot about. So that’s on the economy.

On the political transition, the Secretary will be eager to hear from President Morsi, from civil society, from Field Marshal Tantawi, from across this spectrum about the steps that the Egyptians are planning to take and how they are intending to answer the questions that are confronting them right now on the constitution, on the parliament, and on the other aspects of institutions that will ultimately result in a full transition to democratic, civilian rule. These are questions that only the Egyptians can answer. She’s not coming with prescriptions or with a specific set of proposals, but rather is going to seek to understand better from them how they intend to proceed and is going to underscore her view that dialogue among the stakeholders to develop consensus on a way forward is crucial to avoid the kind of confrontation and instability that could derail the transition.

So that will be her message both in private and in public, and she will be focused not so much on what these specific elements are, which are things the Egyptians need to work out, as on the principles that have guided the U.S. approach to the transition all along – a fully representative parliament, a constitutional process that is inclusive and produces a document that protects the rights of all Egyptians, and all of the other attributes, from an independent judiciary to a thriving civil society, that make up a sustainable democracy over time.

She, in the context of this, will also stress her deep belief that Egypt’s democracy can only be successful and that the aspirations of the revolution can only be redeemed if the rights of all Egyptians are protected, including the rights of minorities, including religious minorities, and the rights of women. And that’s also a message that she will carry both publicly and privately. And in that regard, she will welcome President Morsi’s commitments and his public statements and be eager to hear from him on how – what he plans to do to carry out those commitments and to follow through on them.

The third area —

MODERATOR: What about the meetings?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Oh, right. Yeah. So just to give you a quick run of play, today she’s going to see President Morsi in a small meeting, and then she will see Foreign Minister Amr, where she’ll have an opportunity to talk about the next areas here, regional security, regional issues.

And then tomorrow, in addition to having a meeting with Field Marshall Tantawi, she will be meeting with women civil society activists from a range of walks of life, some who work on democracy and education and health, some who work in the business sector, so a cross-section of women who also reflect the kind of deep diversity of Egypt’s civil society. And then she’ll be meeting with more than a dozen Christian leaders from across Egypt, who represent a variety of denominations – Coptic Christians, but other Christians as well – to hear from them about their concerns and to talk to them about what they plan to do to contribute to the democratic transition and to a new Egypt over time.

And then she will visit a sort of business incubator, a technology incubator, where young entrepreneurs are looking to grow new businesses and are getting seed money and technical assistance to do so. And this is, in part, financed and supported by a U.S.-Egypt partnership. So this is a way in which we’re trying to help contribute to opportunities for young people to become entrepreneurs and the engine of economic growth in the new Egypt.

So from entrepreneurs to civil society to women to religious minorities, her business kind of reflects the breadth of engagement across all of the main constituent groups and stakeholders in Egypt.

Then we’ll go up to Alexandria, which is the economic hub of Egypt. Eighty percent of Egypt’s trade comes in through Alexandria’s port. It is the economic engine of the country. And while she’s there, she’ll have an opportunity both to open – reopen the American consulate, which was closed in 1993, and to give remarks on that occasion, where she continues to talk about how the United States can play a positive role in supporting Egypt’s transition and in supporting the future of Egypt’s economy. It’s appropriate to be in Alexandria because of its role as a business and economic hub, and it’s a place where she can get out of Cairo and speak to another kind of different audience of Egyptians than the one that you find in the capital city.

So taking us to the third major area, which is regional security, again here she has heard very positive statements from President Morsi in terms of his commitment to upholding the peace treaty and his desire for Egypt to remain an important source – a cornerstone of regional peace and security. And she will stress her view that Egypt’s leadership is crucial to the future of the region, to its peace and security, and to the future of Egypt itself, that over the course of the last 30 years you had a generation of Egyptians grow up without war or conflict and that that has been a boon to Egypt and to the Egyptian people, and the new Egyptian President should have the vision and the leadership to be able to carry that forward.

She’ll talk about some of our shared security interests, including counterterrorism and counter-piracy and also concerns about developments in the Sinai, which she recognizes ultimately a matter that the Egyptian Government itself has to work out as it’s obviously Egyptian territory. But the United States is prepared to support Egypt in this with resources, equipment, technical capacity, training, and other things. So she’ll want to speak with the President and other stakeholders in Egypt about that subject.

But above all, her message is really going to be about Egypt’s historic role and about the ways in which the U.S.-Egypt partnership has provided great benefits to both our countries and that during the period of transition and after the period of transition we should maintain that partnership and continue a lot of the good work that has been done to secure better futures for the Egyptian people, for the American people, and for all of the people of the region.

I think it would be fair to say that she will be very much eager to listen and to hear from President Morsi. This is the first opportunity she’ll have to meet him, and so part of it will be an opportunity for the two of them to understand each other better at a personal level and for each of them to understand the perspective that they bring – she on behalf of the United States, he on behalf of a changing Egypt – to what the future of this partnership will look like. And I think you will also find that in her public comments, both later tonight and tomorrow, she will sound a lot of the themes that I just talked about, but ultimately will sound a note of optimism about her view both of what Egypt can achieve and what the U.S.-Egyptian partnership can achieve as we move forward, and that note of optimism comes even in the context of challenges that exist today and will continue to exist and that we are very much mindful of.

So that’s all I’ve got….

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… and looking SMASHING!

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Cairo international airport on July 14, 2012. Clinton arrives in Cairo for talks with new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, amid a power struggle between the Islamist leader and the generals who ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was ousted. AFP PHOTO/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Cairo international airport on July 14, 2012. Clinton arrived in Cairo for talks with new Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, amid a power struggle between the Islamist leader and the generals who ruled Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was ousted. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages)

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Well finally the State Department has released details about Mme. Secretary’s current travel itinerary.  Here goes – it is extensive – just under two weeks.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Travel to France, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Egypt and Israel

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 5, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to France, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Egypt and Israel departing Washington, D.C. on July 5.

In Paris on July 6, Secretary Clinton will attend the third meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People. At that meeting, the Secretary will consult with her colleagues on steps to increase pressure on the Assad regime and to support UN-Arab League Special Envoy Annan’s efforts to end the violence and facilitate a political transition to a post-Assad Syria. Secretary Clinton will consult with French leaders regarding next steps on Syria as well as on a number of other key areas of global concern. As part of her ongoing consultations with senior Palestinian and Israeli leaders, the Secretary will also meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss both parties’ efforts to pursue a dialogue and build on President Abbas’ exchange of letters with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Secretary will then travel to Tokyo to attend the July 8 Conference on Afghanistan, where she will reaffirm our enduring commitment to the Afghan people and join the international community in supporting Afghanistan’s development needs for the “transformation decade” to begin in 2015. As part of the mutual commitments made by the international community and Afghanistan at the Bonn conference last December, the Afghan Government in turn will lay out its plan for economic reform and continued steps toward good governance. She will also have discussions with Japanese Government counterparts on bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual concern.

In Ulaanbaatar on July 9, Secretary Clinton will meet with President Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Batbold and address the meeting of the Governing Board of the Community of Democracies, as well as an international women’s conference.

In Hanoi on July 10, the Secretary will meet with senior Vietnamese leaders. She will witness the signing of several agreements covering education exchanges and commercial contracts and meet with representatives of U.S. and Vietnamese business communities.

Secretary Clinton will arrive in Vientiane on July 11. This groundbreaking visit to Laos marks the first by a Secretary of State in 57 years. The Secretary will meet with Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and other senior government officials to discuss a variety of bilateral and regional issues, including the Lower Mekong Initiative and ASEAN integration efforts.

Secretary Clinton will arrive in Phnom Penh on July 11 to participate in regional conferences, to both chair and attend ministerial events and to participate in bilateral meetings with Cambodian officials. Regional conferences include the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting, and the U.S.-ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference. Secretary Clinton will co-chair the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) Ministerial as well as chair the Friends of the Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting. Secretary Clinton will also participate in bilateral meetings with senior Cambodian leadership. After Phnom Penh, Secretary Clinton will travel to Siem Reap to lead the largest delegation of U.S. business representatives to Cambodia for an ASEAN event at the ‘Commitment to Connectivity – U.S.-ASEAN Business Forum.’ While in Siem Reap, Secretary Clinton will deliver the keynote address at the Lower Mekong Initiative Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Dialogue on July 13.

On July 14, Secretary Clinton will travel to Egypt to express the United States’ support for Egypt’s democratic transition and economic development. From July 15-16, she will meet with senior government officials, civil society, and business leaders, and inaugurate the U.S. Consulate General in Alexandria.

This will be followed by a stop in Israel on July 16-17, where she will be meeting with the Israeli leadership to discuss peace efforts and a range of regional and bilateral issues of mutual concern.

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This morning, dear friend, Hillary Clinton loyalist, and fervent reader PCFS sent me the NYT Magazine article, Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat,  released today,  along with a comment about how sad she feels that Hillary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department is winding down.  Certainly this prospect saddens her followers here who like to keep up with her work, but I believe I am not alone in my ambivalence.  While I love following her, I also sometimes notice the toll it takes (pictures I refuse to post – sometimes refuse even to collect) and wish for her the R and R she so richly deserves  and has more than earned in these years of service from the White House through the Senate to the State Department.   Other times I feel a certain frustration with some foreign policies that I wish she did not have to implement (or lack of real policy when I know she would have a clear one).  At those times I feel she cannot get away from Foggy Bottom fast enough.

The infernal fact of life is that no human can sustain indefinitely the pace at which Hillary Clinton has carried out her tasks, and next to nothing will jar her from her post earlier than she has  said she would leave. No one knows who will replace her.  (The truth is that HRC is irreplaceable.)

I rarely – very rarely – use secondary sources in announcing her planned travel.  Perhaps I have done that three times over the lifetime of this blog, but when I saw this headline  I was stricken with a moment of gratefulness.  Dr. Morsi is going to be a very tough nut for American diplomacy to crack, the fact that his children are American notwithstanding.  Thank God, I thought, that Hillary Clinton is still Secretary of State.  Thank God it’s Hillary.  I cannot think of anyone else who has a chance of winning him over to our way of seeing things.

Clinton will be first foreign official to visit President-elect Morsi

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to visit Egypt’s President-elect Mohamed Morsi to discuss Camp David and rights of Christian minority among other matters, say sources

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Jun 2012
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the first foreign official to visit Egypt’s President-elect Mohamed Morsi, sources at Cairo International Airport told the Al-Ahram Arabic language news website Wednesday.

She has managed to befriend Lavrov.   In the beginning, many thought that would be impossible, but they teamed up and got the New START treaty done.  Dr. Morsi reminds me, in some ways, of Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman – her counterpart – with whom she has met,  as SOS, many fewer times than with Peres, Netanyahu, and Barak and who appears impermeable to her personal qualities.  I wonder how she will succeed with Morsi.  Better than Obama did with Putin, I hope.  I am having second thoughts, as a result, on my long-held disdain for the Hillary Nutcracker.   Sometimes she has had to be just that with certain tough nuts.

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Egyptian Presidential Election

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
May 24, 2012

Today, the Egyptian people concluded a historic two days of voting in the first round of their presidential election, marking another important milestone in their transition to democracy. We look forward to working with Egypt’s democratically elected government. We will continue to stand with the Egyptian people as they work to seize the promise of last year’s uprising and build a democracy that reflects their values and traditions, respects universal human rights, and meets their aspirations for dignity and a better life.

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On the Passing of Pope Shenouda III

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 17, 2012

Today, Americans stand alongside Egyptians in offering our deepest condolences on the passing of Coptic Christian Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church for more than 40 years. Pope Shenouda III was a beloved leader of Egypt’s Coptic Christians and an advocate for national unity and religious cooperation. As we reflect on his life and legacy, we reaffirm our support to the future peace and prosperity of Egypt. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Egyptian people and all those who mourn Pope Shenouda III.

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