Posts Tagged ‘Germany’


Secretary Clinton to Travel to Berlin, Seoul, and Tokyo

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Acting Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 11, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Berlin, Germany, April 13 to April 15. Secretary Clinton will join foreign ministers from NATO and partner countries for an informal NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting. They will meet separately with Operation Unified Protector and ISAF partners to discuss Libya and Afghanistan as well as counterparts in the NATO-Georgia Commission, the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the NATO-Russia Council. While in Berlin, the Secretary will attend a memorial service for Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke at the American Academy in Berlin and receive the Walther Rathenau Prize for outstanding contributions to international understanding and cooperation.

The Secretary will continue to Seoul, Republic of Korea from April 16 to April 17. The Secretary will meet with President Lee Myung-bak as part of our ongoing efforts to strengthen the alliance and to discuss cooperation on regional issues.

Secretary Clinton then will visit Tokyo, Japan, on April 17, to show the United States’ support for the people of Japan and to highlight our long-standing commitment to the alliance. While there, Secretary Clinton will meet with Prime Minister Naoto Kan and with Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto and other Japanese senior officials. The Secretary also will meet with Embassy staff in Tokyo to express her gratitude for their services and support during this crisis.

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I have nothing official from the State Department, but a few news stories popped up to give us an idea of what early February is going to look like with regard to travel plans for the Secretary of State.

Mideast Quartet to meet in Munich next month

BRUSSELS (EJP)—The Quartet of Mideast Peace Process mediators are to meet in Munich, Germany, on February 5, on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said this week.

The Quartet is made up of Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend the meeting with Ashton, who is also European Commission Vice President, and Quartet Mideast envoy Tony Blair.

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And Cafebabel used one of my all-time favorite pictures of the lovely HRC for this story.

Hillary Clinton to visit Greece and Turkey on February

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State is about to visit Athens in early February. Although still no official announcements have been made, the U.S. Secretary probably will be in Athens on Sunday the 6th.

Clinton is going to visit Greece and Turkey, according to the Turkish newspaper «Zaman», where she programs meetings with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu.

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Remarks With German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
September 29, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the Treaty Room of the State Department. I am delighted to welcome the foreign minister back to Washington. He and I have gotten to know each other over the course of the last year since his appointment, and I very much appreciate the chance to work with him. We talked a lot over lunch about the many issues that Germany and the United States are concerned about and how we can together strengthen security and foster prosperity, not only in our own countries but throughout Europe and the world.

The partnership between Germany and the United States is very strong. It’s vital and it is essential to our respective citizens. We see that in Europe where Germany has led the effort to sustain and strengthen European integration, including the expansion of NATO and the European Union. And I congratulate the foreign minister and Chancellor Merkel and the people of Germany on the upcoming commemoration of unification.

In Afghanistan, Germany has shown a continued commitment to the international mission and the future of the Afghan people. Whether it is in the wake of an earthquake in Haiti or a devastating flood in Pakistan, Germany is there with support to assist the people who are so devastated by these natural disasters. We see so much evidence every day of Germany’s leadership and the critical role that the German-American partnership plays in the world to promote peace, defeat common threats, further economic growth, reduce poverty, and defend democracy and human rights.

Today, the foreign minister and I discussed several priorities, including the Middle East peace process, ensuring that Iran meets its international obligations, the upcoming NATO and U.S.-EU summits in Lisbon. It is always a great pleasure to work with the foreign minister.

And on Sunday, October 3rd, the world will be reminded of all that Germany has accomplished in the last two decades to heal its wounds and to reconcile its people. German unification is a remarkable story. It is testament to the vision of Germany’s leaders and the strength of the German people. I often talk about it, Minister, with others who are not yet able to overcome past differences in order to build a better shared future. But Germany has shown the world that walls can be torn down, that communities can be stitched back together, that lasting peace is possible even after long periods of division and discord, and that cooperation is the best way to achieve peace, progress, and prosperity.

So on behalf of the American people, let me extend congratulations to the people of Germany on this upcoming anniversary, thank you for your many years of friendship and partnership, and pledge that the United States will continue to look for ways to deepen and broaden the work we do together. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Thank you very much. Madam Secretary, Hillary, it is a great pleasure to be back in Washington. Thank you very much for your warm hospitality. We had a very good conversation, intensive dialogue, and it was very good to exchange our ideas and our perspectives, of course.

Please allow me, first of all, a few words to a very special occasion. On Sunday we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of German unity, and it is something what you mentioned, and you expressed your appreciation what the German people did in those days. But I, by myself, I would like to thank you. I would like to express our gratitude to the Government of the United States of America, but also to the people of the United States of America for their great support over so long years. You stand with us in the painful time when we have been divided as a country. You worked with us for our unification, and the German unification was also the European reunification.

And I really want to express our gratitude to the people of America. We really are very grateful about your support and we are now in a very, very close friendship like we saw in our meeting here. Once again, without your unconditional support, our freedom and our unity would not have been possible, and this is something the German people will never forget to the American people.

Thank you very much, first of all, to this. And now I would like to change for some short remarks into my native language.

(Via interpreter) I would like to repeat in my very own language too that I want to express my heartfelt and strong gratitude towards the American people for having cooperated with their government to contribute to German reunification. That is something that Germany, that the German people, and the German Government will never forget, especially as we are looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of that very date of reunification.

We are facing important foreign policy decisions this autumn. Our intention is to use the NATO summit on 19th and 20th November this year to pass a new Strategic Concept of NATO. Secretary General Rasmussen has circulated a draft that we believe provides a good basis for further discussions and that takes up many of the suggestions that we have made in the process of preparing this new Strategic Concept.

The very important topic of Afghanistan too will be a point where the Lisbon summit will provide an important milestone. Our intention is to prepare the ground to throw the switches, so to speak, to prepare the ground for a step-by-step handover of the security responsibility, the responsibility for the security into Afghan hands. We want that to begin next year.

We also talked about the Mideast, and I assured my colleague once again of the very strong support that we intend to show and that we have shown for the American effort in the peace process.

(In English) I told Secretary Clinton that we wholeheartedly support the American efforts to take the Middle East peace process forward. The renewed direct talks are a historic change that must not be missed, and therefore we welcome the engagement of the American Government, of Secretary Clinton, of the President Obama. We think this is very important. The strong leadership in this process is so important and it is in our common interest that we bring this peace process to a successful and peaceful end, and therefore I also welcome the engagement of our High Representative of the European Union, of Cathy Ashton, and I think it is very, very supportable and very – we appreciate really her visit now to the region in the Middle East which she will start tomorrow.

(In German.) (Laughter.)

INTERPRETER: He was saying I don’t have – there’s no need for interpretation.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: Yeah, I really waited for the translation. I’m sorry. (Laughter.)

Finally, we discussed also the relations with Turkey. The relationship clearly has a strategic dimension for both of us. Turkey is not only a NATO ally; it is also an important player in the region. We want to cooperate closely and it is in our own interest that the perspective of Turkey remains European and Western.

Thank you very much for your (inaudible) and thank you very much once again for your hospitality.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Guido. Thank you very much.

MR. TONER: We have time for just two questions. Kim.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary, I have two questions for you, if I may. The first one is on Iran. You met Mrs. Ashton this morning. She has offered to meet with the Iranians. I was wondering whether you have any sense yet – whether she has any sense yet of what the Iranian response is going to be, and how are you going to take this forward?

My second question is about one of your former counterparts. The former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that he’s leaving frontline politics. You worked very closely with him when he was still in office. I was wondering if you had any reactions. And he’s going to be looking for a job. I wonder if you have any advice for him. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Cathy Ashton has consistently conveyed to Iran the readiness of the P-5+1 to meet with Iran over its nuclear program. And that is a standing invitation. Guido and I were in New York together last week. Lady Ashton held a meeting for the P-5+1 foreign ministers, and we all agreed that we wanted to see the diplomatic process begin again but the ball was in the Iranian court, that they had thus far not officially confirmed to Lady Ashton their willingness to meet in the P-5+1 or offered any dates for such a meeting. So we continue to hope that we will be able to see that meeting occur.

And I have no advice for anyone in politics. (Laughter.) I’m out of politics. I obviously wish him well and I am very intrigued by the interesting political dynamics that are occurring inside the United Kingdom. But we are very, very pleased that our relationship with the current government of Prime Minister Cameron is very strong and focused on all of the important issues that we are working on together.

QUESTION: And a few words about (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I enjoyed working with him and I wish him well.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: I agree. (Laughter.) So once again, an excellent (inaudible) for American-German friendship.


FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: No, we will miss him, of course. He was an excellent colleague and the last year I could work with him together, and we really appreciated his work, but one door was closed and other doors will get opened.

QUESTION: My name is Christian Wilp. I’m with N-TV, RTL German Television. I have a question for both Madam Secretary and (inaudible) minister. How would you describe the current terror threats in the United States and in Europe, and are you especially concerned about terrorists with a German passport?

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) Relations between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany are excellent, and I think that is also important to mention because we are standing together in combating terrorism. We exchanged views and we also exchange intelligence where available. And we do so in order to better coordinate our actions in fighting terrorism. We’ve done so in the past and our intention is to continue that practice into the future, which is to say, in other words, that the cooperation between both our countries is to the benefit of the citizens of both our countries, which is to say that we’re providing for their very own security, that we’re protecting them against terrorist threats, against the use of violence. And our intention is to continue that excellent cooperation.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I can only say I agree. (Laughter.) It’s a very important part of our cooperation. We don’t comment on any specific threats or specific intelligence, but there is a very positive level of exchange of information that goes on constantly. And we are very grateful for that strong partnership.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t comment on any specific threats or any specific question about intelligence.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: And once again, we agree. (Laughter.)

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These two trips were packed together with only two days home in between. Just posting about them was pretty intense, and the dazzling SOS came through the whole thing glowing as usual. Here’s a look back at almost a month of diplomatic travel.

Afghanistan 11/18-11/19

Beijing 11/17

Shanghai 11/16

Singapore APEC 11/14-11/15

Phlippines 11/12-11/13

Singapore APEC 11/11

Berlin 11/8-11/10

Morocco 11/1-11/3

Israel 10/31

Abu Dhabi 10/30

Pakistan 10/27-10/29

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While in Germany, Secretary Clinton followed her signature practice of making herself available to the local media. Here are a few interview transcripts released by the State Department earlier today.

Interview With Marietta Slomka of ZDF Television
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hotel Adlon
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you remember where you were on that very special day in Berlin 20 years ago and how you got the news?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I was in Arkansas, and I was just talking to Tom Brokaw, who was one of our major TV anchors in 1989 in the United States, and the word came and I turned on the TV, and my husband and I were just glued, as we say, to the TV. And it was so exciting to see history unfolding before your very eyes. It wasn’t something that happened off-screen that you later heard about and was reconstructed. It was there. And Tom Brokaw famously said, “The war is over, the wall is down.” It was an exciting moment.

And as someone who grew up in the Cold War and had a lot of teachers who cared deeply about what happened and parents who were committed to freedom for people, it was a wonderful moment.

QUESTION: Now that you mention the war is over, the international system has changed. If you look at really for Germany from a foreign policy point of view, what does our – what is the German role on global stage nowadays?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think in the last 20 years Germany has assumed not just a role in Europe but a role in the world. A reunified Germany in a unified Europe is really the heart of Europe. And I think the German leadership that you’ve had over these last 20 years has understood that while the challenges of reunification were difficult and there was a need to continue to work to integrate East and West, that Germany would be called upon to exercise more responsibility outside of its borders. And that’s what I see Chancellor Merkel doing. She came to the United States, delivered a very important speech to our Congress, was very well received. I had breakfast with her this morning.

And of course, we talked about Germany and Europe, but we talked about Afghanistan and Iran and climate change and so many other important global issues.

QUESTION: As you just mentioned, the heart of Europe, your predecessors in the State Department considered Germany as Old Europe. (Laughter.) But that perception has changed, I assume.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, that has more than changed. That was one of the strangest comments. But no, for me personally and for the Obama Administration, I think it was telling that during his campaign President Obama came to Germany, that I am here today because we care deeply about celebrating this historic moment with the German people and people everywhere who are freedom loving. But it is important to look at Europe now and see Germany as one of the real decision makers, not only in a regional way but globally as well. And that’s what I see happening.

QUESTION: You mentioned more responsibilities. Are there hopes and – or even expectations from your side towards Germany and the policies of Germany?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but of course, that’s up to the German Government and the German people. But I know how significant a role Germany played in the G-20 efforts on recovering from the global recession. Germany has taken a leading role on climate change. We stand shoulder to shoulder in Afghanistan under very difficult circumstances with your soldiers and our soldiers. We see Germany’s very strong position with us vis-à-vis Iran and their nuclear program, and Germany, of course, is very committed to a two-state solution and peace in the Middle East. So on many of the most difficult issues of the day, Germany is playing a very important role.

QUESTION: And on the key issue, Afghanistan, is there expectations about – in terms of more support, more military engagement?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is, of course, up to Germany itself. But we believe that during the consultations that the President and I and our Defense Secretary and others have carried out, it’s been a very useful discussion with our German counterparts. And we, of course, would hope for continuing support. We would hope that Germany would be not only a partner but part of the group that would really explain why this is important to the United States, to Germany. I think that we are fighting a common enemy. The United States doesn’t go to Afghanistan because we hope for just a better circumstance in the future for that country, although that would be very welcome, but because we think our security is affected and we think the security and the values of our friends and our allies like Germany are also impacted.

QUESTION: Could Germany do more?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s going to be up to Germany. And we – when we are at the point where the President has made a decision, we will, of course, consult with the German Government and see what their reaction is.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It’s a pleasure.

QUESTION: And have a nice day in Berlin.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It’s always nice to be in Berlin. Thank you.

Interview With Mathias Müller von Blumencron and Dr. Erich Follath of Der Spiegel
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hotel Adlon
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

QUESTION: So you’re just about to send more troops into Afghanistan. Why? For what? Is it to establish democracy, the western civil society, or is it just to prevent the establishment of new bases of terrorism?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, President Obama has not made any final decision. He has conducted a very deliberative process which has explored every assumption underlying every action, and I think it has been quite productive. But I think it’s fair to say that in the course of our examination, our goal is to defeat al-Qaida and its extremist allies, and that is a very clear goal. We’re hopeful for the future of the people of Afghanistan to have a better life, to have political, social, economic development.

But we are in Afghanistan because we believe that we cannot permit the return of a safe haven or a staging platform for terrorists. We think that al-Qaida and the other extremists are part of a syndicate of terror, with al-Qaida still being an inspiration, a funder, a trainer, an equipper, director of a lot of what goes on. In the last two months, we have arrested a gentleman who was plotting, it’s alleged, against the subway system in New York who went to an al-Qaida training camp in Pakistan. The porous nature of that border is one that we consider to be very dangerous. The government and military of Pakistan are now moving against some of these extremist allies. But we think that we have to prevent the return of a – I think an extremist state in Afghanistan in order to be able to control this threat.

QUESTION: Our soldiers are dying, almost daily. On the other hand, the Afghan Government, in specifically the last election, were clearly based on fraud. How can we justify towards our people here in the West that we still send troops and have people there dying for a corrupt government?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, but I don’t think they are fighting and sacrificing for the Afghan Government. They’re there, in the case of American troops, for the American people and the American Government. We recognize, however, that our chances of success in this struggle are enhanced by a government in Afghanistan that can be a partner, that can help to train and deploy a bigger and more effective security force. The soldiers who are in the Afghan army are also sacrificing. They are willing to fight. They are often dying alongside our soldiers.

And so the expectations that we have for President Karzai and his new government are very clear and high, that in order to accomplish the goal we set of having a country that is able to stand up and defend itself, there has to be an effort against corruption; more accountability, the rule of law, the kind of basic expectations that a government should produce. It’s very clear that the people of Afghanistan do not want the Taliban back. In every single survey that we’ve ever seen, they reject the extremism that they lived with from the Taliban.

But they also want a government that gives them some security, that doesn’t leave them at the mercy of the Taliban. So we’re going to try to better organize our efforts and try to demand more from the Afghan Government itself.

QUESTION: Shouldn’t you demand a government of unity, including Abdullah Abdullah, after these elections?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that what we’re interested in is an effective government that can deliver for the people. And we believe that there do have to be a number of people in the government. Who the personalities are is not as big a concern as having competent, effective, honest members of the government.

But we’re not only looking at the government in Kabul. We’re also looking at the government throughout the country. Because very often, it is local governance, as it has historically been in Afghanistan, that delivers services, that provides security. So we think more has to be done with the local governance structures, not just keeping all the attention on Kabul.

QUESTION: Would that mean that America would get much more involved with the local governments and also with the appointments of the local governments? Does it mean you put more pressure on the central government to point the right people in the local areas?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that a number of us – not just the United States, but a number of NATO members as well as allies in the international forces – agree with what Prime Minister Brown said last week, that there has to be more accountability. I mean, we do see this as in our national security interest, but part of being successful and protecting our interest is having a better partner in Afghanistan.

And we will be making our views known. We will have certain measurements of accountability that we expect. And we don’t think that’s interference. We don’t think that is out of bounds since we are committed to helping the people of Afghanistan themselves be able to withstand the threat from the Taliban. The most common kind of formulation that I and others have heard from the Afghans themselves is we need your help to get us in a position where we can defend ourselves against these threats, and then we need you to go.

Well, that pretty much summarizes what we want to do as well. (Laughter.) So we want to be more effective, but we have no intention of staying or holding territory or occupying. That is not any objective of ours. We want to leave a stable enough situation behind that the Afghans themselves can be the front lines against the Taliban and the al-Qaida extremists.

QUESTION: For these purposes, do you have to support President Karzai?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, he is the elected president, and I think once he decided to stand for the second round, he legitimized the outcome of the election. Dr. Abdullah decided not to pursue, which has happened in other places. It’s happened in my own country, when somebody looks at a runoff election and doesn’t think they have much of a chance and don’t feel like it’s worth going through it.

So there’s no doubt that he is the duly elected president of Afghanistan. But it shouldn’t be that he just holds the title in name only. He has to perform for his people. And he has to demonstrate a commitment to the wellbeing of the people of Afghanistan. I’m not underestimating the dangers he faces and the threats, as we saw with the terrible attack on the UN headquarters. This is a very difficult situation. But he has to show the leadership that we should expect from him.

QUESTION: You’re clearly unhappy with his efforts to fight corruption. How do you want to put more pressure on that, and how do you want to force him to be more tough on this? He probably has to fight against his own brother?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that there are several aspects to this. One, we need a formalized mechanism to be investigating corruption inside Afghanistan that is an independent entity that is independent of the existing power structure. We also have to be more careful about what we – namely the West, NATO, other donors – do, because a lot of the corruption is fueled by the amount of money we put in and don’t have appropriate measures of accountability ourselves. And we have to be tougher.

But at the end of the day, what we need to do is measure results on the ground. We need to set some standards about where money should be going and what the results should be, and monitor those and hold the people in government accountable.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, your real concern – the real concern for Western security is not Afghanistan alone anymore, but a nuclear-armed Pakistan, as you very well know. And you yourself recently voiced doubts. You said you – in your recent in Pakistan, it’s hard to believe, and I quote you, that members of the Pakistani Government did not know the hiding places of al-Qaida and could not get at them if they really wanted to. What did you mean by that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there are two issues here. On the one hand, the nuclear arsenal that Pakistan has, I believe is secure. I think that the government and the military have taken adequate steps to protect that. On the other hand, the safe haven that al-Qaida has found in Pakistan is very troubling. They are still actively engaged with the elements of the Pakistani Taliban that are threatening the state of Pakistan.

And it was only recently that Pakistan, through its civilian leadership and its military leadership, actually made the decision that this was a threat to them. We had been saying it was. Others had been telling them the same. But they are now committed to going after those who have attacked their army headquarters, intelligence, the Islamic University in Islamabad, so many targets that really exemplify the authority of the state and the culture of society.

So I think that my point really was to say, look, you have concerns about what we do – we, the United States, and the West. Well, we have concerns about what you do. And it is a very high priority for my government to capture or kill the al-Qaida leadership, and we need more help from you in order to be able to achieve that.

QUESTION: You’re referring to the intelligence people in Pakistan when you make this claim that they should know when everybody knows that in Qatar, Mullah Omar is having his headquarters, or at least there are some people around him who – was that – are you still – do you still fear that intelligence services in Pakistan are not reliable?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Not at the highest levels. I am convinced that at the highest levels, we have a good working relationship. But we have tens of thousands of people in our government in sensitive positions. Every so often, we uncover somebody who’s a traitor. We uncover somebody who is selling classified information or giving it to an agency of another country. So I know how governments work, and I know that it takes constant vigilance to try to root out those who might not share the values or the program of the government. And there are thousands of people in that government, and I would like to see a real effort made on the part of the top leadership to make sure that no one down the ranks is doing anything to give any kind of support or cover-up to the al-Qaida leadership.

QUESTION: Tehran is obviously not willing to accept the newest proposals. How long, how – when is your patience ending for (inaudible) Iran?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we don’t have a formal response from Iran yet. Our —

QUESTION: They’re trying to renegotiate again, again.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And we – yeah, we don’t intend to do that. I mean, we’ve been willing to give them more time to work through their internal political debate, because we know there is a lot of turmoil in the Iranian political system coming after the election. But our patience is not unlimited. We continue to urge them to show good faith, as they had said they would adopt this agreement in principle. It would provide an opening for us to discuss not just the nuclear program, but other matters as well, and we still are hopeful that they will decide to accept it.

QUESTION: Why don’t you take the military option off the table? Nobody is believing in it anymore anyway.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Because we don’t take any options off the table. I don’t think that strategically, it is smart to begin cutting your options when the other side doesn’t move at all. Let’s see some good faith from Iran, let’s see some action on their part. President Obama has reached out to them, both publicly and privately. We have tried to change the discussion so that they could participate with us, we could have a diplomatic engagement. But that’s not a one-way street, and we have to see some reciprocity coming back from Iran.

QUESTION: Israel, one question I have to ask about Israel: Are you capitulating in front of the hardliners? Some people said Obama, your president, was asking for a total freeze. When you were in Israel, you were praising the Netanyahu government for much less.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it has to be seen in context. There’s never been a settlement freeze prior to any negotiations conducted by anyone – any Israeli government, any Palestinian government, facilitated by any American government. In negotiations, you often ask for a maximalist position, which is what we would prefer. We are very much in favor of ending settlement activity of all kinds.

The Israeli Government made a fair point, which is that in their legal system, they’ve already permitted the start of construction on certain units, but they were willing to do something no Israeli government had ever done, which was to say no new settlement activity, period. Now, ultimately, this can all be taken care of once a state’s borders are determined. Then Israel does whatever it wants to do on its side of the border, and the Palestinians do whatever they want to do. But it was a positive step, and I have praised the Palestinians for positive steps they’ve taken on security, which the Israelis did not think was enough.

So in a situation like this, I think it’s important to make clear your position. Our position is settlement activity is not legitimate. But to go ahead and say it’s a positive step to end new settlement activity, something that has never been done, and to then get into negotiations so that we can discuss what the borders of a new state would be – and that would moot all of this discussion of settlements.

QUESTION: So this was not a change in policy, but in tone?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It was absolutely not a change in policy. There was no change in policy at all. And it is something, of course, that is disappointing to the Arabs and the Palestinians because they would like to see a total end. But it would be very difficult to go and use the Israeli army, or the legal process of Israel, to go around to people who have already been given this permit, short of a final settlement on borders, and tell them to stop construction.

So from the Israeli perspective, they thought it was a big concession. From the Palestinian perspective, it was not enough. We don’t think it’s enough. It doesn’t correspond with what we want to see eventually. But I think it’s only fair to say that it went further than anyone has before.

QUESTION: Thank you. It’s enough for starting negotiations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we think it is, but we’re the facilitator. The parties have to get into the negotiation. And I was very pleased when I was in Egypt last week that the Egyptians said they would be more than happy to host the Israelis and the Palestinians. But of course now, there are a lot of other issues that are at work. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Yes. Perfect, perfect.


Interview With Dr. Sebastian Hesse-Kastein of MDR Radio
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hotel Adlon
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you still remember when you heard for the first time that the wall had come down?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I do. I was living in Arkansas with my husband and my daughter. He was the governor of Arkansas at the time. And it seems like a very long time ago, because televisions were much smaller, they were in boxes, not in flat screens hung on walls. And we were just captivated because both Bill and I had been interested in international relations, and of course, as children of the Cold War we had followed the history of the Berlin airlift and President Kennedy’s visit and so many of the events, including the building of that wall. So it was an extraordinary moment. And Tom Brokaw, who was a famous TV anchor, was in Berlin and reporting, and memorably said, “The war is over, the wall is down.” It was an extraordinary moment, and we were just glued to our television sets.

QUESTION: Did you think back then this is the beginning of a new era?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have to be honest; back then I didn’t know what it meant. I thought it meant the unraveling of the Soviet Union. But would there be rearguard actions? Would people break up? Would East – the Eastern part of Germany become their own state? I didn’t know any of that. But the exhilaration of the freedom and the people, particularly the young people who were literally tearing down the wall with picks and hammers and bare hands, said so much about the yearning that people have to be free and to make their own decisions. And I was very pleased to watch the smart leadership that Germany had during that time.

And then when Bill became president, I got to know Chancellor Helmut Kohl. We talked often about his commitment to reunifying Germany. And yet I still don’t think I could have predicted you’d have a reunified Germany in a unified Europe, with not only a unified Germany but the other countries of Central and Eastern Europe being part of the EU and part of NATO. It’s remarkable what has happened in a short period of time.

QUESTION: In what way has the world changed since then? Is it a safer place now or a better place?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, in many ways it’s better. It is certainly better in Europe. The peace in Europe, the social contract that has been developed, is a model. The fact that countries that warred against each other twice in the last century are now working together, partners and allies, is a great accomplishment. It was a bipolar world. The Cold War seemed very simple in retrospect. You had the Soviet Union and the West that were, in a sense, facing off right here in Berlin and elsewhere in the world.

So there is not that sense of certainty and clear rivalry now. It’s much more diffuse. It is non-state actors like the terrorists as well as rogue states. So the complexity is greater, the danger a different kind of danger. We don’t face the threat of nuclear annihilation as we did then, but we have to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons so we never face that again.

QUESTION: As you probably know, a vast majority in this country is for pulling out the troops out of Afghanistan, the German troops, as soon as possible. This year the mandate has to be renewed in the German Bundestag. What is your message to the decision makers why should the German army stay?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, this is a decision for the German Government and the German people, and I respect that. So let me talk about America. The President has had us going through a very thoughtful, deliberative process, asking all the hard questions. We didn’t want to accept any assumptions. We don’t believe that enough progress was made in the last eight years under the prior administration. But at the same time, we do think that we have to prevent Afghanistan from becoming, once again, a haven for terrorists who will use it to attack the United States, Germany, other friends and allies and interests around the world.

How do we best approach that? That’s what we are studying and working on now. We would hope to have Germany as an active partner, because we really do believe it goes right to our security interests. This is not about whether Afghanistan makes economic or social progress. We think that would be important. We would like to see it happen. But that’s not why American troops are there. American troops are there because we face a threat, and the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the syndicate of terrorists headed by al-Qaida, including elements of the Taliban, are plotting against us all the time. They are opportunistic. They will seek the opportunity to do harm to the German people, the American people, the British, the French, those who represent the kind of modernity and values that they stand against.

So I hope that whatever President Obama ends up deciding, that we can make a case to the American people, and to Europe and others, that we’ve got to continue to stand with each other.

QUESTION: Is there any idea out there what the new strategy is going to be like?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re getting close. I obviously can’t preempt the President to talk about his decision. But it will be based on a very careful assessment of what is in the security interests of the United States and our allies around the world.

QUESTION: What can Germany contribute?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Germany has already contributed. Germany has contributed not only troops and had losses and sacrifices among those troops, Germany has contributed civilian assistance and financial assistance. We have a big task to accelerate the training of the Afghan security forces. Germany has expertise and experience doing that. So there will be a number of ways that Germany can participate. But of course, ultimately, it is up to the German people.

QUESTION: Our new Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has announced in D.C. last week that he wants to support President Obama’s disarmament initiative, not only by words but by acting as well. How could help – what kind of help would you need or would you like Germany to add?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that there is a great commitment by President Obama to try to stem nuclear proliferation. And we can certainly use Germany’s help in preventing nuclear materials around the world from falling into the wrong hands. The United States is negotiating a reduction in its nuclear arsenal with Russia. We want to have NATO carefully study all the different aspects of the nuclear posture that we have through NATO. I think we want to demonstrate good faith, but we also have to be careful and thoughtful about how we proceed. And that’s something we’ll be discussing not only with Germany, but with other of our partners in NATO.

QUESTION: I wonder if the disarmament ideas our new government has is disarming another country as well, like getting rid of nuclear weapons. Can you tell us when the U.S. might pull out its nuclear bombs out of Germany?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that has to be considered in the context of NATO strategy. But I also think we have to be very careful about how we evaluate the different threats, the need for deterrents. So it’s a complicated issue. And I think NATO is the appropriate forum to consider all of the ramifications, because we have obligations to states further east. We have obligations to states in the Balkans and further south. So we have to bring everyone’s opinion to the table as we consider what to do.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about climate change.


QUESTION: What will the U.S. bring to Copenhagen to the UN summit there?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the United States will bring a climate change bill based on a cap-and-trade model that was passed by our House of Representatives, a very vigorous effort going on in our Senate that we think will bear some fruit. But more importantly and more immediately, the Obama Administration has taken a number of steps through regulation to limit car emissions, utility plant emissions. We put $89 billion into clean energy technology. So we are doing a lot, in just eight months after the prior administration denied the problem for eight years.

But I think it’s very important for us to rise to the challenge, and that developed countries like Germany and the United States have responsibilities, but so do the developing countries like China and India. And we have to expect more from all of us.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you very much for this interview.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed being with you.

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As we all know, Secretary Clinton Meets and Greets Embassy personnel in every country she visits, and she did so today in Berlin. Here are her remarks.


DV601428Secretary Clinton Meets with Embassy Personnel and Their Families

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Embassy
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009


I am absolutely delighted to see all of you. I want to thank you for the work that you do every single day, and I am thrilled that this Embassy is right in the middle of Berlin and that it has a presence for America representing that vital relationship that the ambassador mentioned. And to see it and to be able to walk into it is absolutely thrilling personally and in every other way.

I am really pleased to have seen Ambassador Murphy. He hit the ground running here in Germany – and I don’t mean just on the field as part of soccer diplomacy. (Laughter.) And both the President and I are grateful for your service and really look forward to a lot of close consultation over the next several years.

And this evening, I am very excited to be joining Chancellor Merkel, as well as many others, to commemorate that day 20 years ago when the Berlin Wall gave way to a new era of peace in a united Germany, in a united Europe.

I spend my time going around the world talking with people who are very much at loggerheads over conflicts that happened 100 or 200 or 500 or 1,000 years before. And then you come here, and you think about how horrific the conflicts of the 20th century were, right here in Europe. And tonight, we will have the chancellor of Germany and the president of France and the prime minister of Great Britain, because they are leading a Europe that understands how imperative it is to move beyond the history that we have all lived.

It doesn’t matter how hard we try, we’re not going to change the past. It is the past, by definition. That doesn’t mean we forget about it or marginalize or trivialize it. But it does call all of us, leaders and citizens alike, to think about the kind of future we can create. And that will be on display this evening.

We’re celebrating the triumph of democracy and freedom, and the important role of the German-U.S. relationship. And it’s very strong today. I had breakfast with Chancellor Merkel. We did a kind of round-the-world tour. And we are grateful that German and American troops have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in international peacekeeping and security efforts in the Balkans, throughout Africa, and now also in Afghanistan, where Germany has contributed more than 4,000 troops.

We are appreciative of the solidarity that our German counterparts have shown in the P-5+1 negotiations with Iran. And we have worked closely together on a range of transnational threats: from the global economic crisis to climate change. So we appreciate greatly our relationship with Germany, and we want to continue to grow and develop it so that it will be the strong platform for the kinds of changes that people are looking for in our world in the future.

I don’t think that our relationship would be as strong as it is without all of you and the work of this Embassy. Day in and day out, you lead one of the most complex missions we have at the State Department. The five consulate general units – Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Frankfurt – along with the liaison office in Bonn, reflect the breadth of our engagement with not just the German state – the German states and the people of Germany. And your coordination of the 11 federal agencies represented here ensures that all of our government is working toward common objectives.

I am very appreciative of those of you who have embraced the commitment that we’ve made to robust diplomacy and public outreach, engaging not only with representatives of the German Government, but civil society, business leaders, teachers, students, ordinary Germans. That outreach effort conducting town halls and interviews, public discussions, and yes, soccer diplomacy, has helped introduce the United States to a newer, younger, and more diverse generation of Germans.

Certainly, President Obama’s leadership and the message that he exemplifies is very well received here in Germany. And we have to build on that, and translate it into institutional change, and create the environment in which we can do even more to help formulate and implement policy, and organize in the cultural and educational exchanges.

Yesterday at the dinner that the Atlantic Council sponsored, two of the leading German speakers – one from the past, one the foreign minister, very much from the present and the future – talked about what it meant to them to have participated in the International Visitors Program in the United States. I would like to see us redouble our efforts, particularly reaching out to young Germans, and particularly those from the east, to build a strong foundation of understanding and respect.

I want to pay special tribute to the nearly 500 locally employed staff, comprised not only of German citizens and resident American citizens, but also third-country nationals, who serve as the backbone of this mission. And I understand that 56 locally employed staff have worked here for more than 25 years. And two, Ishaq Mohammed – Ishaq, and Michael Hahn, have served this mission the longest, for 40 and 39 years, respectively. (Applause.)

That’s a long time of service. And of all the embassies I visit, I’m not sure which can claim the longest serving employee, but Embassy Berlin must be right up there. Because the fact is that the level of dedication and skill that I have seen around the world, and what I know is present here in Germany, is absolutely critical for our mission.

This trip is too short. Lots was jammed into it. And it is at a moment when all the eyes of the world are focused on Berlin, as well it should. But I look forward to working with you as we broaden and deepen our engagement with Germany. With Chancellor Merkel reelected, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

And I know that even though it was a short trip, it was a demanding one because of all the moving parts that you’ve assisted with. And there is a tradition, Ambassador Murphy, that when I take off for Singapore tonight, and you see that plane finally clear – (laughter) – it’s time for a wheels-up party – (laughter and applause) – because I then become somebody else’s responsibility. (Laughter.) And everybody can go back to doing the work you’re supposed to be doing every single day, right? Instead of all of the interruptions and the hurry-ups, and this and that.

But this is a beautiful Embassy. And I will end where I started, by saying it’s truly thrilling for me to see one of our new embassies right in the middle of a city. As you know, so many of our embassies are now in the outskirts. They are not accessible for security reasons, which we know are very serious. But this Embassy, with its historic location, with its beauty, is a real symbol of the seriousness of our commitment to our relationship with Germany.

And when I am privileged to speak tonight at the commemoration, I will be thinking about all those who served the United States, going back many, many years, who did their parts – diplomats and soldiers, Foreign Service officers and civil servants, locally employed staff, citizens of every kind and plight from our country, who contributed in their own and your own way to the remarkable accomplishment of what we see today.

So I thank you. There was never any doubt in my mind that someday Germany would be free and reunified, but I had no idea when. And it is such a great personal privilege to be joining with the German people, and people throughout Europe and the world, to celebrate this occasion.

Now we have to turn our attention to the challenges of the 21st century. A wall, a physical wall, may have come down, but there are other walls that exist and we have to overcome. And we will be working together to accomplish that as well. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Here’s the Big Party! Many of us remember this night 20 years ago for its stunning drama. Tonight, in Berlin, in front of the beautiful Brandenburg Gate, they celebrated once more with drama. This time a symbolic wall fell like dominoes, just the way the Eastern Bloc fell away from their harsh governments 20 years ago.

Secretary Clinton was there with dignitaries and heads of state several of whom played a part in the Fall of the Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Revolution. Angela Merkel, now Chancellor of Germany, crossed that night. Nicholas Sarkozy was one of many who took a pickaxe to the wall. Lech Walensa helped inspire the East Germans with his Solidarnosc movement in Poland. And, of course, there was Mikhail Gorbachev – the man who ordered the borders opened and changed history.

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As you know, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Berlin today for the 20th Anniversary of The Fall of the Wall. Here we see her meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. They even wore matching outfits! Great minds think alike. These pictures are priceless.

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Remarks With German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Berlin, Germany
November 9, 2009

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) Madame Secretary, ladies and gentlemen, I extend a very warm, warm welcome to all of you here, and a very warm welcome goes out to the Secretary of State of the United States of America. Dear Hillary Clinton, once again, I’d like to use this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to you. It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, and the members of her delegation to Berlin.

Today, on a day that is of historic importance, we thank you for your visit (inaudible) very much of the importance of the contribution of the United States of America and the American people to the freedom of the country I represent. Since the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany, the United States of America has, in a hands-on manner, stood up for our freedom and for our security. This is why the Germans are deeply grateful to the United States of America and its people. Allow me, dear Hillary, to use this opportunity to once again express the gratitude of the Federal Republic of Germany and of its people here in Germany, and speaking on behalf of my people, thank you, and you represent your country, the United States of America.

It’s our third (inaudible). Last week, I paid my first introductory visit to the United States of America, to the American Government when I came to Washington. Yesterday, we both enjoyed a dinner at the Atlantic Council and we enjoyed the honor of receiving the Freedom Award from the Atlantic Council. That was a deeply moving moment, a very touching moment.

Today, we focused on a number of political issues and discussed them in detail. We exchanged views on climate policy issues. Both the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany want to ensure that Copenhagen becomes a success. We would want to see an improvement in the field of climate protection. What we want to achieve is concrete results at Copenhagen so as to better protect our climate, and we’re (inaudible) to believe that if we do so, we stand a chance to achieve good results. Europe and the United States of America have to closely coordinate their policies and have to act together using their strengths and their force to (inaudible) outcome.

We talked in detail about security issues, development of (inaudible), and of course, we also touched on Afghanistan. Afghanistan, we’re really focused (inaudible) the exchanges we had last week. Here again, there is agreement on (inaudible) necessary to make the Afghan Government, to make President Karzai realize that good governance has to become (inaudible). We want to see improvement here. We want the Afghan Government to be a government for the people as a (inaudible) who are (inaudible) to make our contribution towards reaching this objective.

We want to ensure that a good and peaceful development can occur within Afghanistan; and in return, we expect of the Afghan Government that it makes its own contribution towards this objective and that it becomes a government of the people as a whole and that it adheres to the (inaudible) that underlie good governance. Last week already, we talked in detail about this issue.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear Hillary, once again (inaudible) welcome to you. I had indeed very interesting exchanges with you. They were more than interesting, though. Some were characterized by the inclusive atmosphere, and I want to thank you for that. Personally, I’d like to thank you for that. It’s not (inaudible) something which (inaudible) ultimately (inaudible). Having come to (inaudible) a brief time ago, we can only expect to receive such a friendly welcome and to develop such close contact. I’m looking forward to close cooperation with you, and I’m confident that American-German friendship will continue to deepen and to be developed further. When we talk about Germany and the United States of America, we’re talking about more than a friendship and partnership. It’s a deep and heartfelt friendship between those peoples and countries.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. I can only echo exactly what the foreign minister had said. We have had three very productive and personally rewarding meetings over the last week. I particularly appreciate the words that I heard from Guido last night about his own personal experience as a young boy of 13, when his father took him to see the wall, and how emotionally that affected him and I’m sure influenced his values in politics and his personal commitment. It was a remarkable story and one that I will long remember.

We had constructive and productive discussions starting in Washington last week, continuing here in Berlin. The United States is eager to work with the new German Government on a full range of shared challenges. We face complex threats that cannot be stopped by borders or oceans. Global recession, violent extremism, nuclear proliferation, climate change, hunger, and disease are only some that are the transnational threats of our time. And only by working together in close partnership can we meet these challenges. So I want to recognize Germany’s leadership and applaud Germany’s work for peace and prosperity in Europe, in NATO, and around the world.

Germany and the United States are working together to rebuild the global economy, to forge a strong international agreement to combat climate change and chart a clean energy future. Chancellor Merkel made a very important speech to the Congress last week, and called the test of climate change one of the greatest that humanity has faced.

In Afghanistan, German soldiers are working to bring stability to a troubled land and hope to people who have known too much violence for too long. We honor their service and their sacrifice. And we recognize the commitment that it takes, not just from the men and women in uniform, but from their families and indeed the entire German nation.

We also appreciate Germany’s generous support for the Pakistani people who are working to turn back violent extremism and try to ensure a more democratic, prosperous future for themselves and their children.

And we are grateful for Germany’s leadership and partnership in our efforts to ensure that Iran lives up to its international obligation, that it complies fully with UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA directives on its nuclear program. In her moving address before Congress, Chancellor Merkel urged us to come together as partners to tear down the walls of today. As one of the millions of Germans who grew up in East Germany, she knows what it is like to yearn for freedom long denied. And she knows that there are no walls that cannot be torn down when people stand up and work together.

So here in Berlin on this important anniversary, I am more confident than ever that we are up to the challenges we face. I had an opportunity to discuss these challenges at breakfast with the chancellor, at lunch with the foreign minister – I am certainly well informed and well fed – and to underscore that we are united by core values of democracy, tolerance, respect for human dignity. These are the principles on which Germany and the United States stand today. In fact, they’re enshrined in Germany’s basic law.

But equally importantly, they are in the hearts of the brave men and women who took control of their destinies 20 years ago and gave the world a new birth and burst of freedom, and they exist in the hearts of men and women around the world today. We are very grateful that this partnership is one of our strongest and most important. I am personally looking forward to working with the foreign minister and this new government, because even though we meet today to honor the past, our eyes are squarely on the future, our minds are focused on the challenges we face, and our hearts are beating faster at the possibility that we will be able to meet the challenges of today, as those who came before us met theirs.

So thank you so much for your commitment to freedom and democracy and the values that we think belong to all people, and which are exemplified by our two nations today.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) I’m (inaudible) from the (inaudible). I have a question for both of you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: See, the foreign minister and I talked in English, so I have to stick these in my ears.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: You can tell this – them, but they won’t believe it. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am a witness. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Madame Secretary, you stressed in your speech that we must continue fighting for freedom (inaudible). Could you be somewhat more concrete as far as the role of NATO is concerned and your expectations regarding Germany?

And Mr. Foreign Minister, could you mention for us what you perhaps have offered on behalf of the federal government and Afghanistan above and beyond what has already been provided? And another question regarding Ms. Steinbach. Do you reject her chairmanship of the foundation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say that we have consulted continually with our German partners and our allies in NATO. There was an important defense ministers meeting in Bratislava about 10 days, two weeks ago. As you know, Chancellor Merkel met with President Obama on her trip last week. The foreign minister and I have been discussing the way forward. And I think as the foreign minister rightly said, any commitment by the governments and the people of the United States, Germany, and others who have joined with us through both NATO and the international forces has to be met by an even greater commitment on behalf of the new government of President Karzai to deliver services for the people of Afghanistan, to begin the effort to root out corruption, to have more accountability and transparency in the way that the government operates.

We are very clear that we will be expecting more from the Government of Afghanistan. And it is certainly a mutual commitment that the foreign minister and I feel on behalf of our two countries. The United States would not be in Afghanistan, the President would not be engaging in such a thoughtful, deliberative process if we did not believe that conditions in Afghanistan directly impact and threaten the security of the American people and our friends and allies like Germany.

We are not in Afghanistan because it’s a good thing to do or because it’s a nice way to show our concern for people around the world, and particularly to try to help with the development of the people of Afghanistan. Those are important and worthy objectives. We are there because we view the syndicate of terrorism directed and led, funded, and inspired by al-Qaida to be a direct security threat to our values, our way of life, and to our interests and our friends and allies.

So any decision that President Obama makes is premised on that fundamental security assessment. And I believe that the German Government and this new government in particular is conducting its own analysis, and we will be continuing to consult. The President will be reaching out to the chancellor and we will be talking as well. But we are going to present to the Government of Afghanistan and President Karzai a clear set of expectations and of accountability measures, so there can be no doubt as to what we expect from this relationship.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) And I’d like to provide a brief answer to your question. Currently, we are conducting strategic discussions, strategic debate, and from our perspective, it’s also important that we also follow procedure in this discussion/debate. First of all, it sets targets, objectives, and then discuss the strategy. And then after that, additional questions will be answered, particularly regarding implementation.

And I am pleased to be able to state that our contributions and achievements regarding the training of the police forces and the schools is something that’s kindly appreciated by our American partners and others. And Germany can indeed provide an important contribution in this area. And we do want to make sure that Afghanistan is self-sufficient regarding security. And if we want this, then we have to make sure that Afghanistan has its own security infrastructure, that that system is there, and we want to help build it. This is an important contribution that we can (inaudible) discuss this as well. And this is also fully in line with my personal statements and the policies of the new government.

Now as far as the foundation is concerned, I would like to provide another – only a very brief answer regarding – because the Secretary is here. This foundation is called reconciliation for displaced individuals. It has to do with reconciliation, and for this reason, the federal government’s decision will be fully in line with this goal of reconciliation.

QUESTION: Sorry about that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) This is Matt Lee from the Associated Press. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Mr. Minister, first of all, congratulations on your —


QUESTION: Very nice to meet you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think he was caught somewhat unawares so –

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: We interrupted you. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: My apologies. First of all, congratulations on your day, Mr. Minister. I want to break with – I was going to try to break with tradition and ask only one question, but ask you –ask it of both of you. But something has just happened which – in Iran, which is that the reports that the three American hikers have been – who were detained have been charged now with espionage, and I’m wondering if I could get your comment on that, Madame Secretary.

And then, for both of you, what was going to be my only question is on Iran as well, and that is that for weeks the Iranians have been stalling, have not been answering – have not been giving an answer to your – to the offer that was proposed in early October. And I want to know when can they reasonably conclude that your warnings of sanctions, if they don’t agree, is just an idle threat? Because there are obviously some who believe that it is just an idle threat. When does that time come? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Matt. With respect to the three American hikers who were detained by the Iranians when they were hiking in northern Iraq, we believe strongly that there is no evidence to support any charge whatsoever. And we would renew our request on behalf of these three young people and their families that the Iranian Government exercise compassion and release them so they can return home, and we will continue to make that case through our Swiss protecting power who represents the United States in Tehran.

Secondly, the question of Iran’s response to the proposal by the P-5+1 regarding the exporting out of their low-enriched uranium for reprocessing and then return to the Tehran research reactor has not yet been formally replied to by the Iranians. We believe that this offer represents an important opportunity for Iran both to meet the medical and humanitarian needs that the Tehran research reactor fulfills and to begin to restore international confidence in their nuclear program. We are at very close consultation with our P-5+1 colleagues on next steps; we very much appreciate the active involvement of our German partners. And because we don’t yet have a formal reply from the Iranians, it would be premature to go to any next steps if Iran decides ultimately to reject this offer.

So what we intend to do is press, both through P-5+1 and through the IAEA, to convince Iran to accept this opportunity. But as you know, during the United Nations General Assembly, there was an important meeting in New York where each of the countries in the P-5+1, which include China and Russia, obviously the United States and Germany, France and the UK and the European Union was represented. We all signed a statement that set forth the understanding that what we were pursuing was a dual-track strategy – one track aimed at engagement and diplomacy and efforts like the one represented with the offer on the Tehran research reactor, but the second track very clearly intended to show the Iranians that there were consequences if they failed to fulfill their obligations and if they continued to ignore the opportunity to work with the international community.

So although it is premature to speculate at this point, I think the Iranians are well aware that this is a two-track process, and we continue to urge them to work with us on the first track of diplomacy and engagement.

FOREIGN MINISTER WESTERWELLE: (Via interpreter) First of all, with the – even if the question was not addressed to me, I would like to stress the solidarity of Germany with the three young individuals and their families. This is, of course, a very difficult situation, and those individuals who are impacted by this should know that we are looking to them and that we are at their sides.

And I would also like to make a brief statement regarding your question on Iran. We want dialogue and we want a diplomatic solution. We also we know that dialogue and partnership and talks are what are most important with Iran. But Iran must also know that our patience in the international community is not unlimited. The federal chancellor made a very clear statement in her speech in Washington and we (inaudible) nothing from this.


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Henry Kissinger made the presentation, and he clearly enjoys her company. Funny how when Hillary is around everybody smiles. She really is bombarding Berlin with beauty. She looks absolutely gorgeous! (Mandatory shallow comment for the day.)

Keynote Address at the Atlantic Council Gala Dinner

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Adlon Hotel
Berlin, Germany
November 8, 2009

(Applause.)SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I like Henry, too.


SECRETARY CLINTON: And I am especially honored to have been introduced by him today, and to be with all of you for this extraordinary occasion.

There are so many in this room, and then so many others who have been mentioned, who deserve all of the appreciation and admiration we can bestow upon them. But I have the great and high honor today to accept this freedom award on behalf of the American people, some of whose names are already in the history books, but many of whom will never be known to history.

But because of their steadfastness, because of their conviction about freedom and the hope that it would be, once again, alive and well throughout all of Europe, and particularly in Germany, they supported the policies of successive presidents of both parties, they voted for people who believed strongly in the importance of the Transatlantic Alliance, they paid taxes year after year after year to support our defense of Europe, the NATO Alliance, and to give a tangible and very clear message, that the people of the United States wanted to see a strong and vibrant Germany and Europe.

And there is no better place for this award or this moment than right here in Berlin, a city where some of the greatest victories in the 20th century occurred, and a city that, today, embodies the strength of our democracies and what we have achieved together. So, I gratefully accept this on behalf of all of those Americans.

And I thank the Atlantic Council and Fred, thank you for your coverage of this part of the world over many years, and your leadership of this council, and Alan Spence, as well, for co-hosting this evening, the presidents of both Estonia and Latvia, who sit here today representing two nations that were considered captives.
And, on a personal note, when I was in high school, I was part of an organization that, in our own way, as high school students, tried to speak out for freedom of those who were in the Baltics and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe. We would often host events at the school, or at our public library of those who had escaped, to hear their stories, to remind ourselves, to remind all Americans what was at stake, and to put a personal face on what seemed to be a faceless and terrible oppression.

So, thank you. And thank you for taking this time on the eve of the occasion tomorrow to look back, to remember, to convey the emotion and commitment that so many of you who have already spoken have demonstrated clearly, in order to pass it on to that next generation and the one after that.

I am delighted to be joined by members of the United States Presidential Delegation who have come to represent the United States on this historic occasion. We have already heard from most of them: our ambassador, Phil Murphy; our former national security advisors, Dr. Brzezinski and Lt. Gen. Scowcroft; and Craig Kennedy, president of the German Marshall Fund.

And, of course, as Henry Kissinger said, we are in a federation. And we do understand the challenges and difficulties that each of us has faced, and not only are facing today, but whoever holds these positions of National Security Advisor or Secretary of State will face, new challenges. But that is part of the responsibility that we, together, have assumed.

And I want to personally express my appreciation to the Vice Chancellor and the Foreign Minister. We had our first meeting just a few days ago in Washington, where I was very pleased to host Guido. And tomorrow he will host me for a working lunch. The emotion that his remarks conveyed, the story of going to Berlin with his father, will stay with me. And I look forward to working with you on so many of the important challenges we face today.

This award comes in a year of anniversaries — the one we celebrate tomorrow, the night 20 years ago when history broke through concrete and barbed wire and brought liberty to millions across this continent, but that’s not the only milestone that should be remembered.

Sixty-five summers ago, allied troops landed in Europe with the goal of liberating Berlin. And in 1949, 60 years ago, we formed the NATO Alliance, and completed the largest humanitarian airlift in history, well over a quarter million flights, to sustain West Berlin during the Soviet blockade. And, Admiral, thank you for accepting the award on behalf of not only those who serve today, but most importantly, those who have served in years past, in a continuous chain of commitment.

The Americans and their allies who fought to liberate this city in the Second World War, the farmers and airmen who helped to feed Berlin’s people and fuel its homes, and the soldiers who stood guard for generations to preserve the peace, all did so with the hope that someday Berlin might stand at the center of a free, peaceful, prosperous, reunified Germany in a free, peaceful, prosperous, unified Europe.

But there wasn’t anything inevitable about it. And there is nothing that we can take for granted about that history. The circumstances that surround us today are a culmination of an effort by Europeans and Americans that spanned generations. And, yes, the end to the Berlin Wall was an iconic moment. It was an hour when the hopes and prayers and sacrifice of millions came together in an unwavering exclamation of freedom. But it did not begin with the mistake of a flustered Communist spokesman in East Berlin, or even the peaceful masses that took to the street that evening. It had been building over years.

Edward Gibbon, the great historian of the fall of Rome once observed that a “mighty state reared by the labors of successive ages could not be overturned by the misfortune of a single day.” But I would add the accumulation of days, of days where people no longer could tolerate the oppression and the denial that they had to live with, who could no longer stomach what they saw in those who pretended to lead them, built and built. So, with the destruction of the Berlin Wall, we witnessed the climax of a broader saga that had been playing out in Budapest and Bucharest and Bratislava and a thousand other communities across Europe.

In Poland, that son of a carpenter, who has already been honored, was elected prime minister of a free nation. For the Polish people, it was the end of a campaign for liberty that was marked by scores of protests and years of privation. And for an electrician from Gda?sk, it was the end of a journey that began when he climbed over a wall of the Lenin Shipyards to lead a strike that became Solidarity.

In the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, a human chain comprised of one-fourth the population joined hands across their lands, and helped break the chains that held their nations captive. Tens of thousands gathered at Heroes’ Square in Budapest to witness the reburial of Imre Nagy, a hero of the 1956 revolution.

And later that summer, Hungary’s Communist leaders opened the border to refugees seeking freedom and, in the morning darkness of September 11th, allowed a vast army of East German automobiles to surge across the Hungarian frontier into Austria. The small cars filled with vacationers didn’t have much in common with the armored battalions of the Warsaw Pact that had menaced generations of Western military planners. But their impact on history was as dramatic as any invasion. There was little use in a wall that you could walk around.

So, when capitals across the region, refugees from the East, found sanctuary in the embassies of West Germany, and when a dying government tried to end the exodus of its people by allowing a handful of them free passage to the West in a sealed train, the sight spawned an outcry for change. East Germans took to the streets of Leipzig in peaceful protests that affirmed, “Wir sind das Volk,”or, “We are the People,” which became, “We are One People,” after the events of November 9th.

Then, only eight days after the destruction of the Wall, we watched students in Prague march and begin what became the Velvet Revolution that would bring Havel, a playwright, to the presidency. For a nation that had grasped for liberty in the spring of 1968, the transition to democracy couldn’t come quickly enough.

There were many authors of the changes we witnessed in 1989. Some acted knowingly, like the Polish pope who resurrected a gospel of liberty. Others, like President Gorbachev, sought a break from a darker past. But in doing so, helped to break down the wall.

But again, I say these events were not inevitable. In January of 1989, East Germany’s Communist leaders predicted that the Wall would still be standing in 50 or even 100 years. History could have gone another way. And, in some parts of the world, it did, and it has.

So, where do we stand now? As we commemorate that moment when history pierced concrete and concertina wire, we remember the troops who faced down war and kept the peace, the dissidents and activists who risked all they had to demand a free and better life, the millions of mothers and fathers, workers and students who never lost faith that a system built on tyranny and oppression could and would be overcome.

So, we remember every citizen of every nation who helped preserve the world with the gift that we accept today. But that gift came with strings, as gifts often do. It came with the responsibility to advance the principles that were vindicated in this city 20 years ago. When the Wall came down, we could not know what the people of Europe would build in its place. And the Atlantic community confronted a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence.

I well remember, following from afar, the debates over reunification: the cost, how it could be possibly accomplished. How would one ever integrate the industries, the militaries, the mindsets of peoples who had been divided by that wall? And the Euro-Atlantic coalition struggled to find policies worthy of the sacrifices made by the people of Central and Eastern Europe, and to help them build democracies on the rubble of a ruined system.

Now, ultimately and together, we achieved successes that would have been unthinkable on this night 20 years ago. And, as we welcomed the historic nations of Central Europe into NATO, and saw them become members of the European Union, the landscape of this continent was transformed.

But our history did not end the night the Wall came down. It began anew. And this matters not only to tens of millions of Europeans, and to the United States, but to people everywhere. How do we take this gift of freedom, this alliance of values, this commitment for a better future, and put it to work to meet the challenges of freedom today?

The new nations of a united Europe are our partners, standing with us in Afghanistan, patrolling waters against pirates, working to combat poverty, helping to prevent terrorism, promoting our common values. Today our battles may be different, and our nations remain imperfect vessels of democracy. But our objectives have not changed. And our work has certainly not ended.

So, we should look to the examples of the generations who brought us successfully through the 20th century, and once again, together, chart a clear and common course to safeguard our people and our planet, defeat violent extremists, and prevent nuclear proliferation, come together to cut carbon emissions and address climate change, increase our energy security — an issue of special importance in this region that carries ramifications for the future of Europe and the world.

To expand freedom to more people, we cannot accept that freedom does not belong to all people. We cannot allow oppression, defined and justified by religion or tribe to replace that of ideology. We have a responsibility to address conditions everywhere that undermine the potential of boys and girls and men and women that sap human dignity and threaten global progress.

European countries have been leaders in addressing the economic and social development challenges of the world. We need to continue our work on an economic recovery, and we need to continue to promote democracy and human rights beyond freedom’s current frontiers, so that citizens everywhere are afforded the opportunity to pursue their dreams and live up to their own God-given potential.

When Chancellor Merkel came to Washington last week, she spoke eloquently about the walls of the last century, and the less visible but equally daunting walls we face today. These are walls between the present and the future, walls between modernity and nihilistic attitudes, walls that divide our common heart, that deny progress and opportunity to the many who yearn for both.

As one who came of age amid the barriers of oppression, Chancellor knows of what she speaks. But tomorrow, when she walks through the Brandenburg Gate, she will do so as a free daughter of Brandenburg, and the leader of an emancipated people. That moment should be a call to action, not just a commemoration of past actions. That call should spur us to continue our cooperation and to look for new ways that we can meet the challenges that freedom faces now.

We owe it to ourselves and to those who yearn for the same freedoms that are enjoyed and even taken for granted in Berlin today. And we need to form an even stronger partnership to bring down the walls of the 21st century, and to confront those who hide behind them: the suicide bombers; those who murder and maim girls whose only wish is to go to school; leaders who choose their own fortunes over the fortunes of their people.

In place of these new walls, we must renew the Transatlantic Alliance as a cornerstone of a global architecture of cooperation. When we come together to uphold the common good, there is no constellation of countries on earth that has greater strength. There is no wall we cannot topple. There is no truth we can be afraid of.

Now, as in the past, we know that the work ahead will not be quick, and it will certainly not be easy. But once again, we are called to take ownership of our future, and to affirm the principles and the sacrifice of the generations who helped us reach the milestone we commemorate. The ideals that drove Berliners to tear down that wall are no less relevant today. The freedoms championed that night are no less precious. And the rights and principles that brought us to this hour are no less deserving of our defense.

Now, some of us may not be here to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Although, if I were placing bets, I would bet on Henry.


SECRETARY CLINTON: But we must be confident that the men and women who gather on that occasion will look back on us as we look back now on them, on the generations that brought us through the Cold War, and eventually saw the blossoming of all that sacrifice during 1989.

So, let us resolve that when our actions are examined against that backdrop of history, our children and their children will be able to say that we served them well. Thank you very much.


SPEAKER: As they are standing here and having their pictures taken, let me just say, Madame Secretary, thank you for that powerful and significant speech on this historic occasion. You talked about bringing down the walls of the 21st century and confronting those who stand behind them. You have carried the lessons of the past into the responsibilities of the future.

You now have standing beside you tonight’s awardees, but you also have what Dr. Kissinger, the longest-serving member of the Atlantic Council Board, called “The Club,” the club of national security advisors and foreign ministers who are looking out for the best of their countries and the best of the alliance, and the best of the world. We salute you all, and I declare the inaugural Atlantic Council of Freedom Awards concluded.


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