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As always, before departing, Mme. Secretary met with the staff and families of Embassy Singapore, and this time we have a few pictures!

Meeting With Embassy Singapore Staff and Their Families

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
St. Regis Hotel
Singapore
November 17, 2012

AMBASSADOR ADELMAN: Well, Madam Secretary, you are in the presence of an all-star team. And that is really what we’re about here in the U.S. Embassy Singapore, and that is teamwork. We’ve got 19 U.S. Government agencies working hard every day. And you saw some of their good work over the last couple of days. U.S.-Singapore relations, as you know, have never been better, and that’s a result of the work of these extraordinarily talented people and their families, who have all served the public. And, if you don’t mind, I will add following in your good example.

I know they want to hear from you, and we sincerely hope you will have some time to greet some of the families individually.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely. Absolutely.

AMBASSADOR ADELMAN: So, once again, please join me in thanking our United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you, David. Thank you. Thank you all. Well, it is wonderful, being back here in Singapore, and having this chance to thank each and every one of you for the great contributions you are making to this important relationship. I want to thank the ambassador and Caroline and their entire family for representing our country so well, so enthusiastically, and so positively. And it is a special pleasure for me to thank you for what you’ve done to help make this trip of mine successful, and what you do every day to bring the people of our two countries closer together.

I have had excellent meetings here in Singapore. I just gave a speech about an hour-and-a-half ago at Singapore Management University about the nexus of economic power and global influence, and explaining what I call our economic statecraft agenda. I raised these issues in the meetings with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. And we couldn’t do what we are doing without all of you supporting American businesses, including the more than 2,000 who have their regional headquarters here. I was just out at the GE facility that does aircraft parts repair, and it was great to see what they are doing here in this region. And I also want to thank you for coordinating the efforts, as David was saying, of 19 agencies represented here. That’s a lot of coordination. From State and Defense to Commerce, Treasury, USDA, and so much more.

But that represents the depth and breadth of our relationship. And this embassy has led the way with regional trade missions to Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, most recently Burma, that ended with at least five American companies either opening an office or landing a sale there. And I am proud to say that today U.S. exports to Singapore are at an all-time high, as are American investments. That’s a testament to the ambassador’s leadership and the talent and energy of so many of you in this room.

I know you’re also reaching out to the community, helping to clean up one of Singapore’s beautiful beaches, volunteering at the Special Olympics or the Ronald McDonald House, serving meals at a retirement home, building connections which, after all, are the base of any strong relationship. That is every bit as important as security and economics for the long run.

I also want to thank all the family members who are here today. I know that there is a lot of you who are far from home. But I am glad that you are part of this team. Some of you have served unaccompanied time in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which I greatly appreciate. The President and I are very grateful for what you do.

I also want to take a moment to recognize our locally-engaged staff. Could all of our Singaporean staff raise your hands so we can thank you for what you do every single day? (Applause.) I want to congratulate your FSN of the Year, Susan Mok. (Applause.) And there are 3 staff members — I did a double-take when I saw this number — there are 3 staff members who, between them, have put in a combined 120 years of service at this post. (Applause.) Now, they all started when they were in kindergarten. (Laughter.) But let me thank Yahya Rahmat, Amy Ho, and Helen Jen. (Applause.) Because I know very well that ambassadors come and go, and secretaries come and go, but our locally-employed staff provide the continuity, the memory bank that keeps our mission going year after year.

So, it is wonderful for me to be able to come and take this chance to celebrate and thank you for all you’re accomplishing on behalf of the American people and this critical relationship. And now I’m going to shake as many hands as I can, and thank you personally for the great job you are doing. Thank you all. (Applause.)

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There are no pics from this, but these meet-and-greets are great.

Meets with Staff and Families of Mission Perth

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Perth, Australia
November 14, 2012

 


Well, I’ve been introduced in lots of ways, but the Pope has never been (inaudible). (Laughter.) I am so grateful to be here with all of you and to have this chance to thank you in person for what you do every single day.

And Jeff, I want to really, in front of part of your team, thank you for the extraordinary energy, creativity, intelligence, determination that you’ve brought to your work as our Ambassador. It’s really made a difference. We’ve seen the results, and we have, thanks to you and this amazing team, built such a strong foundation for this critical relationship. Aleisha, thank you for your service. The Ambassador was bragging about you when we were driving in because of the way that you have demonstrated leadership and extraordinary commitment here in Perth. Jeff and Becky have been great ambassadors for our entire country, and it’s a big country that you came to, so you’re representing one big country to another big country. And you have been everywhere and, from my observation, so well appreciated by the people of this country as well as the leaders.

It’s great to be in Perth. I was kidding Stephen Smith, who of course reminded me every 10 seconds that he represented the constituency we were in. (Laughter.) I said, “My goodness, Minister, you have a lot of Perth-sistance. You do. ” (Laughter.) But then, of course, I was in the Premier’s district just now. So all politics is local. (Laughter.)

But it’s great being in a country with so much dynamism and vitality. We have a deep relationship. It’s about our great military alliance; it’s about our wonderful and growing commercial relationship; but most of all it’s about the people, the personal connections that really are the core of everything that we do and can do.

We had an excellent AUSMIN today and last night, covered all the bilateral, regional, and global issues. It’s wonderful now that Australia will be on the Security Council, where its voice will be even more prominent in the debates of today.

It’s also exciting, as Jeff reminded all of us, that this mission has done so much to take advantage of the growing market for U.S. exports. I have these factoids here that exports to Australia have jumped more than 40 percent between 2009 and 2011. And in just the first nine months of this year, it’s up another 20 percent. As you know, President Obama has set the goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years, and I think Australia is going to get most of it done for us. (Laughter.)
But it’s not just about trade statistics. What you’re doing by helping to promote exports is really important on a personal level – the farmer in Washington state who starts sending part of his cherry harvest to a merchant in western Australia; inviting members of this community to the cherry pie bakeoff – (laughter) – showing that the United States is a good friend and the consulate a good neighbor; finding ways to illustrate, dramatize even, what more we can do together. Your one team, one mission approach has really worked, and it’s something that I hope more missions worldwide will consider adopting.

And I know you face some challenges. Five weeks of renovation by the help of Jlsinc.net here in Perth, 19 months of construction in Canberra, haven’t stopped you from getting the job done.

I want to thank all of our Foreign Service families who are here, working on behalf of the importance of this mission. And I particularly want to thank our local staff. Will all of our Australian employees raise your hands so that we can give you all a round of applause? (Applause.) Consuls general and ambassadors and certainly secretaries come and go, but you’re here year after year, providing continuity and kind of that nerve center and memory bank that makes such a difference.

And I know that whenever somebody like me shows up, when two of us show up, two Cabinet secretaries at the same time, that’s double the work at least, so I especially appreciate everything you’ve done for the success of this visit. And I just hope that I’ll be able to come back as a private citizen and see more of this beautiful country sometime in the future. But I’ll be coming back as a very proud American and someone who highly values the relationship that we have built with Australia and hoping that it goes from strength to strength.

So again, planet maids, thanks to you. Thanks to this great team that has done such a bang-up job, the envy of others, who I shall not name. (Laughter.) But people are watching, and they know what you’ve done. And let me now take a moment to thank as many of you in person as I can.

Thank you. (Applause.)

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As always, on her final swing through the Balkans as Secretary of State, Mme. Secretary held meet-and-greets at the American embassies before departing each country. Here are her remarks to staffs and families.

Meeting with Embassy Zagreb Staff and Their Families

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten
Esplanade Hotel
Zagreb, Croatia
November 1, 2012

AMBASSADOR MERTEN: Good morning, everybody. I have the great pleasure to introduce someone who needs no introduction, as you all know.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR MERTEN: We are, Madam, Secretary, on behalf of my colleagues here at the Embassy and also for our operation host, we’re delighted to welcome you to Zagreb. We and the Embassy team had a great time preparing for your visit, and I think – I know our Croatian hosts were very delighted to welcome you here. It means a lot to all of us.

Without any further ado, our Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ken. (Applause.) Well, it is wonderful to be here in Zagreb and to have a chance to visit with all of you. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for actually four years, so I’m glad I’m finally here. And it’s also a great pleasure to be here with Ambassador Merten. Before joining you in Croatia, Ken was our Ambassador in Haiti. Before that, he helped fly me around the world by providing all kinds of logistical and other support. He has been a great leader because he was our Ambassador during the earthquake in Haiti and all of the work we did afterwards to try to rebuild Haiti. And I also know he’s had a smooth transition thanks to Hoyt Yee. Is Hoyt here? Hoyt, thank you. Thank you for your leadership as chargé. We really appreciated it.

Yesterday when I met with the President and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, we spoke about how much progress Croatia has made on the path to European integration. We look forward to final EU membership next year. And we are delighted at our relationship, which has never been closer. You’re doing so much to promote educational opportunities for bright young Croatians to study overseas. You’re working with Croatian leaders to help strengthen rule of law to fight corruption. You’re working with Croatia on behalf of change in the rest of the region so that other nations can follow the Croatian model.

I also very much appreciate the annual Ron Brown Forum that the Embassy hosts. Ron was a dear friend of my husband’s and mine, and as you know, he was on a mission to bring economic empowerment and opportunity to the Balkans, and he died along with 34 others, Americans and Croatians, in that 1996 plane crash. But his memory and legacy live on with the forum and we greatly appreciate the work that you are doing.

I also brought with me wandering around back there the highest-ranking Croatian American in the Obama Administration, Ambassador Croatia Marshall – I feel that’s her name – (laughter) – Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, right there in the blue, who has been a great friend and associate. But I’d like all the Croatian staff to raise their hand now. Will everyone, all of our Croatian staff – well, no, no, Capricia, you’re actually – (applause) – you’re on the American staff side. But let’s give a big round of applause to our Croatian staff. (Applause.) We’ve had strong relations for 20 years. Have any of you been with us for 20 years? Any of our Croatian team been with – ah, these two young women who – I think we started them and there’s another one; we started when you were 10. (Laughter.)

But I have to say, as you have learned, ambassadors come and go, certainly secretaries come and go, but what remains are our locally employed staff who truly are the brain trust, the memory bank, of every single post. So this is a full team effort. I want to thank all of our American team, civilian and military, Foreign Service and Civil, State and USAID and every other agency. I also want to thank the families. I know that these young people are getting a little anxious to get a picture and I’m going to hurry up because I want to do that for them. But then I want to shake as many hands as possible in order to express personally my gratitude to you. We’re very, very grateful. We see this as a consequential, important relationship going forward. And we want to see Croatia really anchor further progress in the region.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Meeting with Staff and Families of Embassy Tirana

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Sheraton Hotel
Tirana, Albania
November 1, 2012

Thank you. Thank you very, very much. It is absolutely wonderful to be here and have a chance to see each and every one of you in person to thank you for everything you are doing on behalf of this incredibly important and valuable relationship between the United States and Albania. And thank you, Ambassador, for your leadership here in Tirana and thanks also to your wife and your daughter, and let me also express appreciation to DCM Henry Jardine.

Thank you all for the work you put into my visit here, because I’ve been wanting to come – I told the President and the Prime Minister that I usually go to places we have some kind of problem with. We don’t have any problems with Albania, and so I – (applause) – really had to advocate hard and say, “We must go to Albania.” And the Ambassador is right – it’s a very busy and active time back home in the United States, but I am thrilled to have this chance to be here. It’s much too short a visit. It’s kind of like the appetizer, so I have to come back for the full banquet sometime in the future.

But I think you know how much the United States values our partnership and our friendship, not only with the Government of Albania but with the people of Albania, and it is something that I hold particularly dear. We share important military ties, we strongly supported Albania’s membership in NATO, we are now strongly supporting Albania’s membership in the European Union. What you’re doing, every one of you, is to help us deepen and broaden that, to strengthen democracy, to promote and protect human rights, and to create more economic opportunity.

As I just said in the parliament, the elections next year will be very important for the advancement of democracy in Albania. And I know that elections have posed some challenges in the past, but the role that this Embassy and each of you, American and Albanian alike, can play in monitoring polling places, helping to tally votes, making it clear to our friends here that having a good, free, fair, credible election that meets international standards will skyrocket Albania forward on the path to EU accession.

And just as important as the friendship and partnership we have is what you’re doing to promote social issues and civic engagement. I love the program called Albanians Coming Together Now, because this is a program the Embassy launched to bring together business, civil society, and concerned citizens to help strengthen the ties between the people and their government. And I also want to thank those of you who helped to make Tirana’s recent LGBT conference such a success. We stand for human rights. We stand for relationships between people. And we believe that that serves as the core and foundation of a strong, lasting relationship.

I’m also pleased to be here on the first day of the month that marks the centennial of Albania’s independence. I hear you are preparing a special surprise for the gala concert. I wish I could be here to see what it is, but Ambassador, let me know as soon as you can. And I also want to thank especially our Albanian colleagues. Will all of our Albanian colleagues who work here at the Embassy raise your hand, please, so we can give you a round of applause? (Applause.) I am so grateful to you. Many of you have been with us for years, decades, and as I say everywhere around the world, ambassadors come and go and secretaries come and go, but our locally employed staff provide the continuity, the memory bank, for every single post. And that’s especially true here.

Will those of you have been with the Embassy since we opened our doors in 1991, will you raise your hands? Who’s been here since 1991? We hired you right out of grade school. You have a – (laughter) – so 1991. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

I know that we have our State Department and USAID and our military and civilian agencies represented here. We also have some Peace Corps volunteers, I’m told. Do we have some Peace Corps volunteers here today? Thank you back there. Thank you for what you’re doing. (Applause.)

And I was delighted to walk into a group of beautiful children who are part of our Foreign Service families and our Embassy family here. I bet a few of them might have gone trick or treating on the ridge last night and are probably still suffering from sugar overload. (Laughter.) But when I see that, when I walk into a room like this, it reminds me of why we do the work we do. And that was really my message in the parliament. We all have in a democracy an obligation to try to leave the country that we serve better off for the next generation. And really looking at the faces of those children reminded me of why I do the work I do, and why all of you do what you do, and make such a contribution to a better future for Albania, a better future for our relationship.

I know that my coming, even for a short visit, adds a lot of work to what you do every single day, and I understand the Marine Corps Ball is tomorrow, so I hope you get to relax a little bit. But I want you to know that even though we are far away, we follow closely what you’re doing at this post. We care deeply about this relationship. We want to see Albania become a model not just for the region, but the world. We think it can. We think that the role that Albania can play, is playing, can really shape the history of Europe. The religious tolerance, the role women are playing, the vibrant democracy and economic activity since your freedom from Soviet oppression – all of that is such a strong foundation to build on.

But now the next steps have to be taken, starting with good elections that reflect the will of the people. But then that’s not enough. Whoever gets elected – and we don’t take sides in anybody’s election – we are just on the side of free and fair elections that reflect the will of the people – and once people are elected, holding them to a high standard to produce results for the Albanian people, that’s especially important for young people.

Young people the world over are wondering what kind of future they’re going to have. There is no reason , after everything Albania has gone through – with your independence a hundred years ago, all of the challenges and suffering the parents, grandparents, great grandparents, endured – there is no reason that the future for young people in Albania should not be as bright as it could be anywhere in the world.

And so I am here to express full confidence and optimism in what is possible and to pledge that the United States, through a very active Embassy, will continue to provide support as you grow your democracy and make a real difference first for you, and now next for the rest of the world. Thank you all. (Applause.)

Meeting with Embassy Pristina Staff and their Families

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Swiss Diamond Hotel
Pristina, Kosovo
October 31, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ambassador. Thank you all so much. Well, I have to say it is wonderful being back here in Pristina and having a chance to see all of you and thank each and every one of you for the work that you are doing. I was here in 2010, and I already have had good reports from the Ambassador about all of the progress that we’re seeing here and that we’re helping to facilitate.

I want to thank you, Ambassador, for your leadership. This is the third time Ambassasdor Jacobson has been an ambassador, and your ears should have been burning in the car ride from the airport as she spoke glowingly about the team here and the work you’re doing, and how significant it is. So her introduction just now was by no means only for public consumption. She is extremely proud, and we are proud of her. And we’re delighted to have her husband David, a British diplomat, lending a hand in this very exciting post.

I also want to thank DCM. Kelly, where – there you are Kelly. Thank you for your hard work. And I think that the exciting aspect of being here at this time is because we can see the progress that is taking place, and we can also work to facilitate the dialogue taking place between Kosovo and Serbia. I will be speaking about that with the leaders that I will be seeing later today.

I also want to recognize someone else. And that is Tristan DeWitt. Where’s Tristan? There you are, Tristan. Tristan and I both have the same birthday. (Laughter.) And Tristan was the first young person to arrive at post since Embassy Pristina opened to family members, so he represents all of the children and the family members who are here now as part of this important community.

I want to also recognize how significant the economic growth has been, and I know that you’re working to promote that, just like you are working to help empower women to be part of the economic and political future of this very young country. I know that many of you had the opportunity to work with Ambassador Larry Rossin, who was our first representative in Kosovo, and he will be certainly missed.

Now today is Halloween, I’m told, so I don’t know what it is planned, but I hope that all of the children here have a happy Halloween. And I especially want to thank our locally employed staff. Will all of our locally employed staff raise your hands, all of our Kosovo colleagues? Thank you so very much. (Applause.) Ambassadors come and go, as do Secretaries, but locally employed staff are the nerve center and the memory bank for every mission, and that’s especially true here as well.

Now as we move forward, I want to emphasize how important it is to have the interagency, whole of government approach, because that’s what we’re standing for in the State Department, that is, as the Ambassador said, the QDDR’s call that diplomacy development work together, our colleagues, military and civilian alike, are part of this great effort to help support this new young country, and to a better future. I’m very proud of what you’re doing. I know the significance of it. And I thank each and every one of you for your contributions.

Now I want to shake some hands and thank you personally. And I’ll start down there and have a chance to do that, but Ambassador, again thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your leadership. (Applause.)

Meeting With Staff and Families of Embassy Belgrade

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Belgrade, Serbia
October 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s a great pleasure to be back here in Belgrade. Some of you I know were here when I was able to visit two years ago for a longer visit, but I’m delighted that I was able to come this time to thank each and every one of you for the work that you are doing on behalf of this vital relationship.

And this was a special unified visit, because Cathy Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union, and I started in Bosnia-Herzegovina, came here, will end the night in Pristina, where we’ll meet tomorrow with the leadership of Kosovo to emphasize a single message – that the future of these three countries is in Europe and in the Euro-Atlantic alliance, and that the United States strongly supports their aspirations.

I want to thank Ambassador Kirby and his wife Sara; I want to thank DCM Lee Litzenberger, and the entire Belgrade team for everything you did to prepare for this short visit, but I know that the work goes on day in and day out on so many fronts.

We’ve been clear that before setting a date for accession talks with the EU, Serbia does need to make progress on normalizing its relations with Kosovo. We recognize that Serbia cannot and will not formally recognize Kosovo, but there are lots of steps that the two countries must take together. And I thank you for sending that message on a regular basis.

We’ve also seen the bilateral relationship deepen and broaden. For example, two years ago when I was here, I committed to encouraging American businesses to invest in Serbia, and many of you in this room are making that happen. In fact, we have an economic team winner here today. American auto parts suppliers are key partners in the Fiat factory. Two American companies have opened call centers in Serbia, creating more than 400 jobs. There are a lot of win-win investments.

And I want especially to congratulate the chief of your economic section, Doug Apostol. When I was here two years ago and I spoke with the Prime Minister about a disagreement over risk insurance that was holding up a multimillion-dollar hotel project, Doug and his team got to work, and he was instrumental in helping to get that dispute resolved. That project is now going forward, bringing a number of new good jobs to Serbia. So for these and other efforts, later this year, Doug will receive the Department’s highest award for international economic work. It’s a rare honor and richly deserved. Congratulations, Doug. (Applause.)

Let me also commend each of you who worked so hard in the passage of Serbia’s new property restitution law, making sure it would cover victims of the Holocaust, many of whom are now American citizens. I thank all of you who stood up for the rights of Serbian Americans and helped the government bring this difficult issue to a successful conclusion.

In fact, I cannot imagine that we could be making the progress we are without our dedicated local staff. And I would like all of our Serbian staff members to please raise your hands so that we can recognize and thank each and every one of you. (Applause.) Because one thing I know for sure is that ambassadors, DCMs, secretaries come and go, but our local staff remain. You serve as our institutional memory bank, and we know how important you are.

I also want to thank all the family members who are here. I had a great opportunity to take a picture with some of the children, and they really did show great patience, because our meeting and press conference went a little long, but I was so happy to see them and have a chance to thank them and all of you who support those who serve.

I understand our local staff and FSOs have put together a basketball team, and soon you’re headed to Sarajevo for a tournament with other posts from around the Balkans. Now as Secretary, obviously I can’t take sides in such a competition – (laughter) – but I do want to just note that this is a great way of creating more public diplomacy and outreach as well as some healthy competition.

Now I know that there have been some difficult and risky moments in your service here in Serbia. We saw this when the Embassy was attacked four years ago. But this mission never skipped a beat. You kept doing what needed to be done. And I am very committed to your safety, and when you finally move in to your new Embassy compound, I’m confident it will give you a very safe place to work, as well as a more comfortable one. You will actually even, many of you, have offices with real windows once again. (Laughter.)

I want to thank all of you who serve the United States here in Serbia – civilian and military, U.S. Government across the board, every department and agency, in particular the State Department and USAID. And I’m very grateful to you, because I think this is a consequential relationship. We want to see the people of Serbia have an opportunity to participate fully in Europe and eventually in the Euro-Atlantic alliance. We want to see the people, particularly the young people of Serbia, have a chance to fulfill their own potential and aspirations. And the United States is very firm in our support of that kind of future for Serbia. We can’t do it from Washington; it has to be, done day in and day out, right here in Belgrade and across the country. And in order to do that, we look to each and every one of you.

So thank you for your service. I’ll start down there and shake a few hands and have a chance to thank you personally. Thank you all. (Applause.)


Secretary Clinton Addresses the Staff and Families of Embassy Sarajevo
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, with U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Patrick Moon, meets with the staff and families of Embassy Sarajevo, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 30, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

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The photos are not from the embassy meet-and-greet but rather from an event with FM Medelci when they inspected an honor guard.

Remarks at the Meeting With Staff and Families of Embassy Algiers

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Embassy Algiers
Algiers, Algeria
October 29, 2012

 AMBASSADOR ENSHER: Good afternoon. Thanks very much, and we are just so honored again to have the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with us again, the second time in a year. It’s only a very small number of countries who have the privilege of hosting the Secretary twice in a year, and it’s a reflection on all of you that she chose to come back here again, and because you’ve done such a splendid job and we’ve made a lot of progress.

I’m going to take one more second to say something that I hope will not embarrass you unduly, ma’am, but I’ve been in this business for 30 years. It’s more than half my life. And I can tell you that this is the best Secretary of State I’ve ever worked for or hope to work for – thought about that a lot – stands as a peer with the great predecessors of the past, including at least one who has gone on to higher office; I can say that. But it’s a privilege and a historical moment to have the Secretary of State with us here today. Thank you, ma’am. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, I have to say it is wonderful to be back here, and it is because of this relationship and how critically important it is, and because of you, starting with the Ambassador who has worked so hard, and all of you, every single one of you, because it’s clear to me that we are building a stronger and deeper relationship.

I seem to have a habit of visiting at busy times, and the last time I was here you had just weathered a blizzard. I had to rush out of Washington before the hurricane came, so we were both struggling with weather. And later this week, you will have the privilege to help celebrate the 58th anniversary of Algeria’s independence movement, an anniversary that reminds us of how important freedom is and how significant the progress that Algeria has made as a nation, and the extraordinary aspirations and hard work of the Algerian people to achieve that.

I understand from the Ambassador that, next week, you’ll be hosting an election-watching party for people as we have our presidential elections. And I know, too, that it’s not just what you do here in Algiers; it’s what you do across the country. In fact, I think that you’ve been personally to all 48 provinces.

AMBASSADOR ENSHER: Working on it.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Working on it, good. And I think that none of us goes alone. We all go because of the support that we receive from such a great team.

I’d like to also thank you for the work that went into the first-ever U.S.-Algeria Strategic Dialogue in Washington last week. The Algerians were extremely happy, all of the officials that we met with, and we were extremely happy. We thought it was an important exchange of views on a range of issues, and it’s impressive how much you’ve done to help advance our bilateral relationship in such a short period of time.

I think that there is no limit to what this relationship can become, and it’s one that we particularly value. Just over lunch now with the President and others, we were talking about how our relationship actually goes back to 1795. There have been some differences along the road, but that is a long time back, at the very beginning of our nation, when the then-leadership and people of Algeria recognized us and we reciprocated.

I also want to recognize our Algerian staff. Will all of our Algerian staff please raise your hands so we can give you a round of applause that is very, very (inaudible) deserved? (Applause.) Because I have to confess, that despite the very nice comments by the Ambassador, secretaries of State come and go, and ambassadors come and go, and DCMs and political officers and economic officers and consular affairs – really, it’s our locally employed staff, our Foreign Service Nationals, who form the heart of any mission anywhere, and that is particularly true here. You are the memory banks, the nerve center, of what we do year after year.

You also know that diplomacy is inherently risky in today’s world. There are so many – unfortunately, so many people and organizations and forces that don’t want people to learn to understand each other better, who don’t want people to live peacefully together, who just don’t understand that we’re all here doing the best we can, and we need to help each other. And I think that what you do in diplomacy and outreach sends that message every single day.

So I thank you all. And to the Americans who are here, I thank you and I thank your families. Being posted far from home, whether you are civilian or military, whether you are Foreign Service or Civil Service, whatever agency or department you represent, I am extremely proud of you and very grateful. And what I’d like to do now is, starting down there, shake as many of your hands as I possibly can to express my appreciation personally.

And you also have an RSO who I know very well. (Laughter.) Nicole was one of my (inaudible) Diplomatic Security people. (Applause.) I was very sorry to lose her to Algeria. She was very happy to go. (Laughter.) She had been looking forward to it, and I’m delighted to see her here. Thank you.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Remarks at Swearing-in Ceremony for U.S. Ambassador to Poland Steve Mull

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
October 24, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have put this off about as long as we could. We’ve dragged our feet, we did some private diplomacy with the Senate saying, “You know, you really don’t want to confirm him.” (Laughter.) But unfortunately, here we are. And it could not be for a more deserving professional – someone who has in every way represented the United States so well for so many years. And I’m delighted that Steve’s wife, Cheri, and his son Ryan, and his extended family can be here because we know that behind all that hard work, Steve, were a lot of people cheering you on and supporting you as you undertook your various assignments. And to Poland’s new ambassador, we welcome you, and I can say I welcome you to the neighborhood. And we look forward to working with you.

I am a little concerned about one thing that has been making the rounds of the State Department. Ryan is by all accounts pretty tech-savvy – (laughter) – and when we saw a recently Photoshopped depiction of Steve’s head on Captain America’s body, we at first were hardly affected because that is how we think about Steve. The superhero Executive Secretary – and Captain America has nothing on you, Steve.

But think about it: Forty-nine trips. One hundred and one countries. Five thousand memos and documents last year alone, which he made me read. Spur-of-the-moment missions to far-flung places around the world. And yet Steve, at least in my experience with him, never broke a sweat. Okay, we need to leave tomorrow. We have to clear the following a hundred obstacles, we have to get then to a next place that is about 20,000 miles away. No worry. No worry.  It just always got done. And it was just another day’s work for Captain America. (Laughter.) And I know that because Steve was running a tremendous operation, it was easier for everyone in the building to do the jobs we were expected to do.

But that was just the day-to-day. Then crises would erupt. And they have occurred, unfortunately, all too frequently. Steve was always the first to spring into action, standing up task forces, managing rapid response personnel. Whether it was after the earthquake in Haiti, the terrible natural and nuclear crisis in Japan, or, most recently, the awful assault on our post in Benghazi and other diplomatic posts that were threatened, we never doubted we’d get the best response, the most professional response because of Steve’s leadership and hard work.

Now he learned that, I’m told, from his parents, who themselves have worked hard all of your lives. And no one comes here on his or her own. You are here because you were someone who wanted to make a difference in the world and instilled with values that have stayed with you to this day. And I’m sure that when you were a young Foreign Service Officer stationed in Warsaw, and you were literally carrying messages from President Reagan to Lech Walesa, you were someone who remembered where you came from and where you hoped the Polish people would be going, the opportunities that they would have, ending oppression and tyranny, and making clear the United States would be their partner and friend.

Now, full disclosure: a long time ago when Steve was much younger and I had a different hairstyle – (laughter) – I visited Poland as First Lady. Steve Mull was my Control Officer –  (laughter)  –  showing me around the country with a deep understanding of how far things had come, but also what challenges lay ahead. And during his prior service and in the years since, he has built a deep connection with Poland and with the Polish people. He has been a champion and advocate of their freedom and the future that they are so successfully charting for themselves.

And as sorry as we are – and you heard Cheryl really speak on behalf of all of us — to see Steve go, we cannot think of a better person to represent the United States at this point in our relationship with Poland. We have a lot of work to do on everything from energy diversification to missile defense to democracy promotion to security in Afghanistan. So Steve was there seeing firsthand Poland emerge from Soviet domination and grow into a model of a young democracy, a vital free market economy, a leader on the global stage. And I’m thrilled that he’ll be going back to continue building that essential relationship. So if you are ready, Steve, I am now ready to swear you in. (Laughter and applause.)

(Whereupon, Steve Mull was sworn in as Ambassador to Poland.)

Congratulations. (Applause.)

AMBASSADOR MULL: Well, thank you all for coming. My voice is, unfortunately, broken, so my son Ryan has agreed to read my comments for you. So Ryan, over to you. (Laughter and applause.)

MR. MULL: Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Schnepf, and beloved family, friends, and colleagues. Today is a dream come true. And I am so happy to be able to celebrate it with the people who mean so much to me. I especially want to thank you, Secretary Clinton – laughter – for your support for this job, for the extraordinary honor of swearing me in today with such kind words, and for the amazing opportunity to serve on your team these last few years.

Your leadership of and loyalty to this institution and its people have enriched us beyond measure. And I know I speak for all of us with these three heartfelt words: Please don’t go. (Laughter and applause.)

Poland has been such an important part of Cheri’s and my life over the years. That’s where we spent the first years of our marriage in the 1980s and that’s where, in 1995, we became parents of our son, Ryan – (laughter) – of whom we are so proud. (Applause.)

We have only the happiest memories of this amazing land and its people. A people who know and live every day the true values of freedom, loyalty, and friendship. When Cheri and I left Poland the first time in 1986, no one – least of all me – would have predicted that someday I would return as ambassador. Just before our departure, Poland’s communist government accused me of running a NATO spy ring, probably as a means of embarrassing my contacts in Poland’s democratic community.

It was a difficult time for my family. My hometown newspaper that day led with a banner headline reading: Local Man Accused of Spying. (Laughter.) When my mother was in line at the local supermarket, the shopper in front of her gestured angrily at the newspaper and said, “Look at that. That boy should be shot.” (Laughter.)  “Hey,” my mother yelled out. “That boy’s my son, and I’ll shoot you if you don’t watch out.” (Laughter and applause.)

In the 23 years since it regained independence, Poland has proven itself as an unshakable ally of the United States standing shoulder to shoulder with us on the front lines from Iraq to Afghanistan, shining the light of democracy on those dark corners of the world that have not yet won their freedom, and volunteering to be among the first in helping the NATO alliance defend against the threat of ballistic missiles.

While our ties of blood and common values have endured for centuries, I am convinced the greatest rewards of America’s friendship with Poland are yet to come. As Ambassador in Warsaw, I will work hard to build new friendships between Americans and Poles in academia, business, culture, and diplomacy. Together, we will tighten our cooperation to expand opportunities for energy independence, drawing on the vast reservoirs of talent and innovation that our people possess. We will expand and intensify our two-way trade and investment bringing economic benefits to us both. And we will work even harder to promote democratic values and respect for basic human rights in parts of the world that are still shaking off the bonds of oppression, even as we rededicate ourselves to the principles of justice and fair play in our own societies.

Madam Secretary, I pledge to pursue this agenda with all the tools that you’ve given us through the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. I’ve got a head start on engaging with the Polish people on a more personal level, by opening a Twitter account just a few weeks ago. (Laughter.) One of my first tweets asks about what bike paths are like in Warsaw these days. A few days later, I asked what beers are now the most popular. One of my newfound followers was skeptical. “Wait a minute,” he said. “This ambassador is going to be riding around our country on a bicycle drinking beer?” (Laughter.) “He must be a fake.”

Before we finish, I want to say a special thanks to those who made today possible, including the extraordinary Sharon Hardy and Heather Samuelson and our terrific colleagues in the Bureau for Legislative Affairs, Josh Blumenfeld and Rob Fallon, all of whom worked together to pilot through this nomination in almost record time. I want to thank my outstanding team of colleagues in the Executive Secretariat, including Pam Quanrud, Julieta Noyes, Ted Allegra, Tuli Mushingi, Paco Palmieri, and Marcella Hembry, Darlene Namahoe, Diane McBride, Nancy Walker, Robin Hartle, and Ned Filipovic for being such rocks of support.

Thanks also to my new colleagues in the European Bureau, including Mike Morrow, Kate McGeary, Mara Vento, and Eleanor Chamberlin, all of whom have been enormously helpful in preparing for this assignment. A special thanks to John Dowd for his selfless and decisive friendship over the years. And to my Friday lunch crew, Ruth, Rich, Liz, and Dick, your laughs and support were enough to power me through every crisis. You don’t know the half of how much I will miss you.

I also want to take a moment to recognize two very special colleagues who have had such an enormous impact on me over the past years: Deputy Secretary Bill Burns is already so well-known as the most gifted, professional American diplomat of our generation. And working with him closely over the past four years has benefited me in ways I realize every day on the job. And then there’s Counselor Cheryl Mills, who inspired me every day with her razor sharp mind, unshakable commitment to justice, and amazing fighting spirit. If you’re ever in a fight, you need to make sure Cheryl is on your side . (Laughter.) Cheryl, thank you for making today possible.

I also want to mention the people who mean so much who are not here with us – my high school teacher Mrs. Jess Cwiklinski, the daughter of Polish immigrants herself, whose health did not allow her to travel today; my friend Peter Gazda, who fled Poland with his wife Kasia in the 1980s when their friendship with Cheri and me brought the communist secret police to their door. Peter tragically passed away much too early three years ago, but I am so glad that his wife Kasia and son Michael can be here with us today from Toronto. Ambassador Nick Rey, who also was taken from us too early three years ago, was such an influential mentor and friend for me when we worked together in Poland in the ’90s, and I am so glad his beloved wife Lisa can be here with us today. And finally, my stepfather Frank Spracklin, whom we lost just over a year ago. He would be so proud to be here today to hold your hand, mom, and to give us all hugs.

And finally, a word of thanks to the two people who bring all meaning to my life, Ryan – (laughter) – you grew up too fast – (laughter) – and I’ll miss you so much – (laughter) – as you get ready to move away to college. But don’t forget, it will be just as easy to harass you about finishing your homework from Poland – (laughter) – as it is in the dining room. And to my beautiful bride Cheri, who vowed to her parents after growing up in the Foreign Service that when she was an adult, she would never move again – (laughter) – forgive me for making you break that vow once again. I will be waiting for you in Poland with a heart full of love and open arms, so grateful that you said yes.

Thank you all for coming to share this day with us. As the Poles say, “May you all live 100 years.” Thank you.  (Applause.)

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Deputy Secretary William Burns was in Tripoli today to participate in a memorial service for our fallen heroes.  Here are his words

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Remarks at a Ceremony Honoring Fallen Americans

Remarks

William J. Burns
Deputy Secretary
Tripoli, Libya
September 20, 2012

DEPUTY SECRETARY BURNS:Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, distinguished guests: We gather with heavy hearts today to remember four remarkable men – Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty – who gave their lives serving their country and trying to build a better future for the people of Libya.Last Friday, I accompanied my fallen colleagues on the long, sad plane flight home, where their families and friends, joined by President Obama and Secretary Clinton, gathered to honor their sacrifice – the ultimate sacrifice. I am proud and grateful to be able to join all of you this evening, here in Libya, to mourn their passing.

This is a hard moment, for all of us. It is a moment of shared loss. And it is a moment of shared hope, and shared responsibility.

We have lost four wonderful colleagues. We have lost a brilliant ambassador, full of courage and skill and passionate determination to help Libyans, to help all of you, realize the promise of your revolution, to make a reality of a free Libya, of “Libya al-Hurra.” I last saw Chris Stevens during a visit to Libya in July, just after the elections. His sense of commitment and possibility was contagious, drawing him to Libyans from all walks of life, from senior officials to students to street vendors. He was a very fine diplomat, and an extraordinary human being. He really was America at its best.

This is truly a shared loss. I can see that sense of loss on the faces of all those gathered here this evening . . . the loss of a tireless friend and advocate, a man who dreamed your dreams and wanted deeply to help you achieve the dignity you deserve, after so many decades of tyranny. I could see that sense of loss, as well as a profound sense of honor and decency, in the bravery of the Libyans who risked their lives to try to fight off attackers and rescue Chris . . . in the grief-stricken faces of the doctors and nurses who did all they could to try to save his life . . . in the outpouring of condolences and support from your leaders . . . in the simple, heartfelt, hand-printed signs of ordinary Libyan citizens, urging the world to understand that the extremists who did this do not speak for them and do not speak for Libya.

Tonight it’s difficult to see beyond that sense of loss. But the truth is that what Chris Stevens embodied most of all was a sense of shared hope. He was an optimist, about Libya and about the potential for friendship between Libyans and Americans. He saw the promise of a free Libya, of a better future for Libyans and their children and their children’s children.

Chris saw the promise of a free Libya even in the hardest days of the revolution in Benghazi, when so many others couldn’t see it, when so many others began to waver, when so many others began to doubt. Chris never wavered. He believed in Libya. He believed in all of you. He believed in what you could build, in what you could overcome, in what you could become as a nation.

Neither Chris Stevens nor our three other fallen colleagues were naïve. They were not blind in their optimism. They knew the troubles Libyans faced, and the risks they had to endure. Chris understood better than most that it was only through a shared sense of responsibility that those hopes could be realized. If Chris were here this evening, I know he would be the first to say that – for all the pride and jubilation of the revolution, for all the pain we feel tonight – it is the days ahead which matter most.

Chris would be the first to remind us that dignity, respect, hope, and freedom are powerful words and noble aspirations – but translating them into reality takes hard work and great sacrifice. That is the responsibility before all Libyans, and before all of us in America and around the world who remain committed to supporting you in this crucial effort. There are formidable tasks ahead: to build democratic institutions to safeguard human rights for every Libyan; to build security institutions to protect your own citizens and the diplomats who serve here; to build an economy which realizes the full potential of all Libyans.

None of this will be easy. It will take time. There will be more difficult moments along the way. But you have already achieved so much, and so much more is possible. Libyans will have to continue to make hard choices, to live up to your responsibilities, and to ensure that violent extremists don’t hijack the promise of your revolution.

Chris Stevens would have had no doubts about your ability to do that. He would not have wavered. And he would have drawn strength from your resolve, which is so evident this evening.

Chris would not have let the profound sense of loss we feel tonight obscure the hopes we share, or the responsibilities we must accept. The best way to honor his memory, and the memory of Sean and Tyrone and Glen, and the memory of all the Libyans who have sacrificed so much for the revolution, is to renew our shared determination to build a free Libya, “Libya al-Hurra.” We owe them – we owe ourselves – no less.

Thank you.

 

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Remarks With Indonesian Foreign Minister Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 20, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good afternoon, everyone. And it’s such a pleasure, as always, to welcome the Indonesian Foreign Minister, and I believe the largest delegation that has ever come from Indonesia, for the purpose of our third meeting of the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Commission.This commission is the result of a vision by our two presidents for a comprehensive partnership, and the agreement to that effect was signed in 2010. Thanks to this partnership, the United States and Indonesia are working more closely than ever on a range of issues from global security to clean energy and climate to regional trade and commerce.

And today, Marty and I had the chance to take stock of where our teams have come in the time of the last year, because we had our meeting in Bali a year ago. And I must say, I was very impressed. We covered a great deal today.
But before I start, I’d like to say a few words about the protests in several countries around the world. We have condemned in the strongest possible terms the violence that has erupted from these protests. And as I have said, the video that sparked these protests is disgusting and reprehensible, and the United States Government, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with it.

But there is no justification for violence, and I want to thank the Foreign Minister and his government for speaking out against violence. We have to look to reasonable people and responsible leaders everywhere to stand up to extremists who would seek to take advantage of this moment to commit violent acts against embassies and their fellow countrymen.

Today’s meetings have highlighted the strong foundation that we have built together. And one of our most important concerns is promoting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific. Today, I’m announcing that the Obama Administration has informed Congress of the potential sale of eight AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters to the Indonesian Government. This agreement will strengthen our comprehensive partnership and help enhance security across the region.
On growth and prosperity, we are increasing our trade relationship that topped $26 billion last year. Investments in transportation, energy, and infrastructure are creating jobs and supporting economic growth in both countries. For example, the deal between Lion Air and Boeing alone represents $21 billion in trade over the next decade. Indonesia’s Government has announced half a trillion dollars in infrastructure improvements, and we recently signed a memorandum of understanding to make it easier for American companies to bid on these projects.

And yesterday, we signed an agreement for implementing our Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact with Indonesia. Over the next five years, the United States will invest $600 million in clean energy development, child health and nutrition programs, and efforts to help make Indonesia’s Government more transparent and open.

The United States is also looking forward to Indonesia hosting APEC in 2013, and we are confident that Indonesia will come to this role with a commitment to promote greater economic integration across the Asia Pacific.

Both the Foreign Minister and I believe that strong education is essential to compete in a modern global economy. That’s why the United States has expanded the Fulbright Program and supported partnerships between dozens of American and Indonesian universities. Academic exchanges between our countries are up and applications from Indonesian students to visit the United States have increased by one third. USAID has recently expanded its basic education program to provide $83 million for teacher training and literacy programs for young children. And we’re providing $20 in scholarship funding for Indonesian graduate students.

I also thanked the Minister for Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN. The Foreign Minister’s personal leadership has helped lay the groundwork for diplomacy between ASEAN and China as it relates to the South China Sea. And we continue to support ASEAN’s six-point principles, which we believe will help reduce tensions and pave the way for a comprehensive code of conduct for addressing disputes without threats, coercion, or use of force.
Finally, Indonesia and the United States have stood together on a range of global challenges, from democratic reform in Burma to combating climate change, to working to end the violence in Syria. We are also coordinating efforts to further develop south-south and triangular cooperation, such as enhancing disaster preparedness in Burma and convening a conference on women’s empowerment.

We believe that as the second and third-largest democracies in the world, the United States and Indonesia have a special responsibility to promote democracy and human rights. And for the last four years, Indonesia has hosted the Bali Democracy Forum to promote peaceful, democratic transitions through example and open dialogue. Last year, more than 80 countries attended. And once again, the United States will be sending a high-level delegation.
So, Minister, thank you for everything. Thank you for the great partnership we’ve had between us and between our countries.

FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. I’d like to begin by, once again, before members of the media, this afternoon to acknowledge and to thank you personally and as well, of course, through you, the government and the – of United States, and the delegations of the United States, for welcoming us in such a fine manner here in Washington.

I concur with you fully in your description of the state of Indonesia-U.S. relations. It is, as it is often described, a comprehensive partnership, comprehensive – underscore the fact that our relations is a very broad ranged one covering many areas and sectors and fields of endeavor and cooperation. And throughout this morning, and of course throughout the year, as a matter of fact, the working groups established for the purpose of promoting our comprehensive partnership have precisely done that. They have worked very hard and we have heard just now, throughout our meeting this morning, the kind of progress – concrete, real, progress has been made in the areas of common concern, whether it be on trade, on education, on promotion of democracy and human rights, and many other fields – including, especially, and not least, in the defense and security area as well.

What remains for us now is, based on the discussion that we’ve had today, to ensure the working groups and the Joint Ministerial Commission continue to be enhanced, continue to sustain the pace of its work so that once we meet again next year in Indonesia, we can similarly enjoy and raise witness important progress in the promotion of our bilateral relations.

The point that I wanted to make at this occasion, Madam Secretary, is to reinforce and recall and reaffirm the fact that the importance of Indonesia-U.S. relations extends beyond the bilateral. Our two countries now have worked very closely in a very productive and very mutually beneficial way, not only bilaterally, but increasingly within the regional setting as well.

Just now, Secretary Clinton was so kind enough to acknowledge the kind of efforts Indonesia is trying to make in trying to create an environment in our region that is peaceful and stable and thus, therefore prosperous, as well. But is a process, it is a common endeavor by all of us, and I have to say that over the recent years, the United States engagement in the Asian Pacific have truly been part of that creation of such a benign, peaceful and stable environment.

But much work remains ahead of us. We have, of course, the New York United Nations meeting coming up this coming week. No doubt Indonesia and the United States will continue to work very closely. During the course of our discussion today, both in the plenary and especially in the more tete-a-tete setting, we discussed many a global issues, regional issues as well, whether it be in Southeast Asia, in East Asia, Asia Pacific, as well as, for example, in the Middle East, including the developments in Syria. What I wanted to say, basically and essentially, is that the strength of our bilateral relations is one that is becoming even more evident and it is a relations that is not only beneficial to the United States, beneficial to Indonesia, but no doubt I am sure beneficial to the region as well.

Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, for welcoming us to Washington, and I look forward to continuing our strong partnership. Thank you. Thanks very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Marty. Thank you very much.

MS. NULAND: We’ll take two questions today, we’ll start with Ros Jordan of Al Jazeera English.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, Mr. Foreign Minister. Madam Secretary, my question is about the ongoing investigation into last week’s attack at the consulate in Benghazi. You are meeting this afternoon with members of Congress to discuss the progress and the concerns that they understandably have. First, there is the federal mandate to establish an accountability review board. Have you done so? Who would you like to see chair it? Are there certain questions that you desperately want to have answered in order to safeguard the safety of Foreign Service Officers around the world?

And related to this, given the political instability and the successes of the past year and a half, are you satisfied that in light of those political changes, enough was done to protect those working in the Middle East and North Africa? And then finally – and this is perhaps going into the area of rumor and speculation – but there is at least one report suggesting that Ambassador Stevens felt that he was on a, quote, “al-Qaida hit list.” Is this a scurrilous rumor? Is this gallows humor when one is working in a period of difficulty and great challenge, or is there something more to what he allegedly – and I stress that word – said?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go up to the Congress today. I will be briefing in two separate sessions, the House and the Senate, in a classified setting, along with my interagency colleagues, as we continue to work together, and with governments around the world, to ensure that our people and our facilities are safe. I will be joined today by the Director of National Intelligence, General Clapper, by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, by the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sandy Winnefeld, along with experts from the FBI, the State Department, and elsewhere in the government.

Now, I anticipate that this briefing will cover our security posture before and during the events, and the steps we have taken since to do everything we can with host governments to protect our people and our embassies and consulates. The Director of National Intelligence will speak to the intelligence issues surrounding these events in Libya. Deputy Secretary Carter will brief on the superb support we have had from the U.S. military in the wake of these events, and we are at the very early stages of an FBI investigation. The team from the FBI reached Libya earlier this week. And I will advise Congress also that I am launching an accountability review board that will be chaired by Ambassador Thomas Pickering.

I will also talk about the importance of the broader relationships with these countries in light of the events of the past days. There are obviously very real challenges in these new democracies, these fragile societies, but as I said last week, the vast majority of the people in these countries did not throw off the tyranny of a dictator to trade it for the tyranny of a mob. And we are concerned first and foremost with our own people and facilities, but we are concerned about the internal security in these countries because ultimately, that puts at risk the men, women, and children of these societies on a daily ongoing basis if actions are not taken to try to restore security and civil order.

And let me just conclude by saying that there can be no doubt where the United States stands. We continue to support those who are fighting for universal values – values that we see at work in Indonesia – the third largest democracy in the world. We believe that these values of universal rights, of justice and accountability, of democracy, are there for every person regardless of where that person might live. So I will look forward to having a chance to talk with members of Congress.

As to your final question, I have absolutely no information or reason to believe that there’s any basis for that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MS. NULAND: Last question. Victoria Sidjabat from Tempo Magazine, please.

QUESTION: Yes. Madam, thank you. My question is: Starting today, U.S. Embassy and Consulate are closed in Indonesia as the Muslim movie become wild fireball, which could be designed as a weapon to attack U.S. by raising sentiment anti-U.S. from the countries which has Muslim majority population like Indonesia.

Madam Clinton, how do you see this threat as on the long run? If it’s continuing happen, it’s – obviously could give impact to the implementation of (inaudible) program in Indonesia. What is the reason U.S. Government closed the Embassy and Consulate in Indonesia? What is your expectation from Indonesia Government, for my Minister Marty Natalegawa? How Indonesia Government respond to the closing of this Embassy and Consulate, it’s starting today? Is U.S. – Indonesia Government has capability to protect U.S. Embassy and Consulate. So the (inaudible) program implemented – could be implemented successfully in Indonesia. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by saying how grateful we are for the excellent cooperation we have received from the Government of Indonesia, and in particular, from the law enforcement and security institutions in Indonesia. We are very grateful for not only the cooperation and protection that has been provided to our facilities, but also to the strong statements condemning violence from the President, the Foreign Minister, and others.

In consultation with the Government of Indonesia, we have temporarily, for tomorrow, closed our facilities. We want to be sure that law enforcement in Indonesia has the ability to do what it needs to do to make sure that there is no disruption of civil order and security. So we are cooperating completely, and we’re very grateful for the strong leadership provided by Indonesia.

FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Hello, (inaudible), if I may just also respond. Precisely as the Secretary had said, the decision by the United States Government to close temporarily its embassies and consulates tomorrow in Indonesia is a decision that’s been made based on communication and conversation between the authorities in Indonesia and the United States as well. So in other words, it is an informed decision, a decision that is not intended to show any unfriendly intent on the part of anyone, but it is what it is, and it’s quite some – it’s the kind of step that governments actually carry out when situations requires it, even in our case. Some of our embassies abroad, when the situation requires us to have a temporary closing of the embassy, we do that as well. So it is something that is quite regular and something that is actually coordinated as well.

But if I may just broaden the subject matter, I think as our President had said in the past, Indonesian Government – the Indonesian people, even, obviously cannot and would not condone the – any acts of violence against diplomatic premises, against diplomatic personnel, because that is, truly – would be a challenge to the efficient and a proper conduct of relations among states. So that’s our point of departure.
At the same time, of course, beyond the immediate issue of protection of the embassies, we have still ahead of us the challenge of how to prevent the kind of situations where we are now at in terms of the kind of incendiary and the kind of statements or, in this instance, films that cause – that is now we have all deplored and condemned for these kind of activities not to be repeated. So we have a lot of homework to work towards in the future as well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER NATALEGAWA: Thank you.

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