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In her interview with Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC, the humanitarian crisis in Hungary arose.  Many, perhaps most of these refugees are from Syria.  Hillary mentioned in the interview that she had addressed the critical situation faced by the Syrian people time and again as Secretary of State.

Two years ago exactly, the media was hounding her (as always).  Then, it was that they wanted her to speak out on Syria.  At that time, I posted this retrospective of her efforts to help the Syrian people.

Now might be a good time to review this material while bearing in mind that Hillary is very clear that the response must be international, not unilateral, and not just the US and Europe.

I am posting that response in full here.  I know it is long, but if you take the time simply to skim this, you will see that Hillary, back in Spring 2012, predicted what is happening now in Lebanon. If the government does not do its job, you can bet ISIS will step in. Hillary knows this and said it more than three years ago.  That is the vision we need in a president.

Hillary Clinton: Hardly Silent on Syria … but Who Listened?

September 3, 2013
Some in the media apparently think it is incumbent upon Hillary Clinton to speak out on Syria despite the fact that she is no longer a government official.  As she wraps up her well-deserved vacation and gets back on her schedule of speaking appearances, including the upcoming Clinton Global Initiative, it is perhaps a good time to look back at some of what she said while she served as Secretary of State beginning with this op-ed reposted in full.

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 17, 2011

In an op-ed in the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton condemns the violent crackdown in Syria and calls for a transition to democracy. The full text of the Secretary’s op-ed follows.

“There Is No Going Back in Syria”

By Hillary Clinton

As the violent crackdown in Syria continues, President Assad has shown that he is more interested in his own power than his people.

The world has joined Syrians in mourning the deaths of many innocent people, including a 13-year old boy who was brutally tortured and mutilated. Approximately thirteen hundred Syrians have been killed since protests began. Many thousands more have been jailed and abused. Syrian security forces have surrounded communities and cut off electricity, communications and the Internet. Economic activity has slowed, the country is increasingly isolated and its citizens are growing more frustrated every day.

In his May 19 speech, President Obama echoed demonstrators’ basic and legitimate demands: the Assad government must stop shooting demonstrators, allow peaceful protest, release political prisoners, stop unjust arrests, give access to human rights monitors, and start an inclusive dialogue to advance a democratic transition. President Assad, he said, could either lead that transition or get out of the way.

It is increasingly clear that President Assad has made his choice. But while continued brutality may allow him to delay the change that is underway in Syria, it will not reverse it.

As Syria’s neighbors and the international community respond to this crisis, we should be guided by the answers to several key questions: Why has it erupted? What does the crackdown reveal about President Assad and his regime? And where does Syria go from here?

First, there should be no doubt about the nature of the protests in Syria.

Like Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and others across the Middle East and North Africa, the Syrian people are demanding their long-denied universal rights and rejecting a government that rules through fear, squanders their talents through corruption, and denies them the dignity of having a voice in their own future. They are organizing themselves, including the local coordinating committees, and they are refusing to back down even in the face of revolting violence.

If President Assad believes that the protests are the work of foreign instigators – as his government has claimed – he is wrong. It is true that some Syrian soldiers have been killed, and we regret the loss of those lives too. But the vast majority of casualties have been unarmed civilians. By continuing to ban foreign journalists and observers, the regime seeks to hide these facts.

Second, President Assad is showing his true colors by embracing the repressive tactics of his ally Iran and putting Syria onto the path of a pariah state.

By following Iran’s lead, President Assad is placing himself and his regime on the wrong side of history. He will learn that legitimacy flows from the consent of the people and cannot be forged through bullets and billyclubs.

President Assad’s violent crackdown has shattered his claims to be a reformer. For years, he has offered pledges and promises, but all that matters are his actions. A speech, no matter how dutifully applauded by regime apologists, will not change the reality that the Syrian people, despite being told they live in a republic, have never had the opportunity to freely elect their leaders. These citizens want to see a real transition to democracy and a government that honors their universal rights and aspirations.

If President Assad believes he can act with impunity because the international community hopes for his cooperation on other issues, he is wrong about this as well. He and his regime are certainly not indispensable.

A Syria that is unified, pluralistic, and democratic could play a positive and leading role in the region, but under President Assad the country is increasingly becoming a source of instability. The refugees streaming into Turkey and Lebanon, and the tensions being stoked on the Golan, should dispel the notion that the regime is a bulwark of regional stability that must be protected.

Finally, the answer to the most important question of all – what does this mean for Syria’s future? – is increasingly clear: There is no going back.

Syrians have recognized the violence as a sign of weakness from a regime that rules by coercion, not consent. They have overcome their fears and have shaken the foundations of this authoritarian system.

Syria is headed toward a new political order — and the Syrian people should be the ones to shape it. They should insist on accountability, but resist any temptation to exact revenge or reprisals that might split the country, and instead join together to build a democratic, peaceful and tolerant Syria.

Considering the answers to all these questions, the United States chooses to stand with the Syrian people and their universal rights. We condemn the Assad regime’s disregard for the will of its citizens and Iran’s insidious interference.

The United States has already imposed sanctions on senior Syrian officials, including President Assad. We are carefully targeting leaders of the crackdown, not the Syrian people. We welcomed the decisions by the European Union to impose its own sanctions and by the UN Human Rights Council to launch an investigation into abuses. The United States will continue coordinating closely with our partners in the region and around world to increase pressure on and further isolate the Assad regime.

The Syrian people will not cease their demands for dignity and a future free from intimidation and fear. They deserve a government that respects its people, works to build a more stable and prosperous country, and doesn’t have to rely on repression at home and antagonism abroad to maintain its grip on power. They deserve a nation that is unified, democratic and a force for stability and progress. That would be good for Syria, good for the region and good for the world.

http://aawsat.com/leader.asp?section=3&article=627159&issueno=11890

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Below are links to a compendium of her remarks on the deteriorating situation as she met with a variety of action groups on Syria.  This is,  by no means,  a comprehensive collection since she also gave a great many interviews and press briefings following bilaterals over the past two years where she addressed the issues at hand and sought solutions that would permit democracy to take hold.

Hillary Clinton to Human Rights Council: Reject Syria’s Candidacy

April 30, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Violence in Syria

May 6, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Statement: Repression in Iran and Syria

June 14, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Continuing Violence in Syria

August 1, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Meeting With Syrian Activists

August 2, 2011

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Syria

August 18, 2011

Hillary Clinton’s Statement on The Human Rights Council’s Special Session on Syria & State Department Update on Libya

August 23, 2011

Hillary Clinton in the D.R. Part II: Remarks at Pathways to Prosperity, on UNESCO, and on Syria

October 7, 2011

Hillary Clinton: Arab League Suspends Syria

November 12, 2011

Secretary Clinton’s Meeting with Syrian National Council

December 6, 2011

Secretary Clinton: Escalation of Regime Violence in Syria

January 30, 2012

Hillary Clinton at Friends of Syria in Tunisia: Remarks and Pictures

February 24, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Press Availability on Friends of Syria

February 24, 2012

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Following Meeting with Syrian National Council

April 1, 2012

Secretary Clinton: Intervention to the Friends of the Syrian People

April 2, 2012

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Ad Hoc Ministerial on Syria

April 19, 2012

Syria Violence Could Have Domino Effect In Lebanon, Clinton Warns

May 25, 2012

Clinton Condemns Haoula Massacre in Strongest Possible Terms

May 26, 2012

Video: Secretary Clinton Remarks on Syria

May 31, 2012

Hillary Clinton: Friends of the Syrian People

June 6, 2012

Hillary Clinton: Press Conference Following Syria Action Group Meeting

June 30, 2012

Hillary Clinton at the Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial Meeting

July 6, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Press Conference Following the Friends of the Syrian People Meeting

July 6, 2012

Hillary Clinton: Saddened and Outraged by Massacre in Traymseh

July 13, 2012

Hillary Clinton on the Resignation of Kofi Annan as Joint Special Envoy for Syria

August 2, 2012

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I must interrupt here to correct a rewrite of history.  A few days ago, on CNN, Fouad Ajami said that Hillary Clinton “stopping off to cut a rug” in South Africa on her way to a meeting in Turkey about Syria was bad optics.  His story is upside down.   Hillary had long been scheduled to stop in South Africa and attend a conference there.  Here is her original itinerary which was supposed to be for an 11-day trip – her farewell tour of Africa as Secretary of State.

Hillary Clinton’s Itinerary in Africa

July 30, 2012

Well, the Africa trip is official, and we can see why it took awhile for the State Department to post the itinerary – it’s another long one, and arranging it must have been very complex since it does not coincide with earlier reports.  More than a week,  it’s another killer – six countries/11 days.  Ghana and Nigeria are not mentioned, but Kenya and South Sudan are.  I think I speak for everyone here in wishing her a safe and successful trip and hoping she manages to sneak in a little vacation time when she gets back home.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to Travel to Africa

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 30, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Africa July 31 through August 10, 2012. During this trip, the Secretary will emphasize U.S. policy commitments outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive – to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens

The Secretary’s first stop will be Senegal, where she will meet President Sall and other national leaders and deliver a speech applauding the resilience of Senegal’s democratic institutions and highlighting America’s approach to partnership.

Next, Secretary Clinton travels to South Sudan where she meets with President Kiir to reaffirm U.S. support and to encourage progress in negotiations with Sudan to reach agreement on issues related to security, oil and citizenship.

In Uganda, the Secretary meets with President Museveni to encourage strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights, while also reinforcing Uganda as a key U.S. partner in promoting regional security, particularly in regard to Somalia and in regional efforts to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army. She will also highlight U.S. support in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The Secretary will then travel to Kenya where she plans to meet President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga, and other government officials to emphasize her support for transparent, credible, nonviolent national elections in 2013. To underscore U.S. support for completing the political transition in Somalia by August 20th, Secretary Clinton will also meet with President Sheikh Sharif and other signatories to the Roadmap to End the Transition.

The Secretary continues her trip in Malawi, visiting President Banda to discuss economic and political governance and reform.

In South Africa, Secretary Clinton will pay her respects to ex-President Mandela, and to participate in the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue focusing on the partnership between our two countries in addressing issues of mutual concern and our shared challenges on the African and world stage. Secretary Clinton will be accompanied by a U.S. business delegation.

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While the trip was in progress, additional stops were scheduled.  Many countries wanted Hillary to stop during this tour.  Some were added late, e.g. Nigeria, because security issues needed to be resolved and Ghana for the sadly unpredictable funeral of the late John Atta Mills.   Turkey was also added because the meeting was scheduled after she was already on tour.

Professor Ajami, we do not appreciate men with white whiskers trying to rewrite history.  She did not “stop by” South Africa on her way to Turkey.  South Africa was long-scheduled, Turkey was tacked on when the meeting was scheduled.  If FM Mashabane wanted to throw a farewell party for her friend and partner with whom she had worked for four years,  you, Professor Ajami,  should be grateful that someone in our government understood that the next battleground with China is Africa,  that the battlefield is economic,  and that Hillary Clinton made strong friends there, often while putting herself in grave personal danger.   Your smirky, snarky, and untrue comment is shameful, insulting, and disgusting.

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Confirmed: Hillary Clinton’s Africa Itinerary Extended

August 5, 2012

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) reacts during here visit to Malawi August 5, 2012. Clinton paid a lightning visit to Malawi on Sunday to congratulate its new president, Joyce Banda, one of only two female heads of state in Africa, for pulling her impoverished country back from the economic brink after a political crisis. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara (MALAWI – Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS)

The rumor mill has been whizzing out of control all weekend with stories of additional countries to be added to the already packed schedule for this trip.  Originally arranged as an 11-day trip,  the addition of  Turkey next Saturday for talks on Syria extends that by at least one day.  Within the African leg of the trip, Voice of America reports the inclusion of Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin.  The first was expected since the purpose is to attend the funeral of  Ghana’s late President John Atta Mills who passed away unexpectedly on July 24.  Sources for that early story appeared credible.  The Nigerian leg was announced by local sources last night.  Benin comes as a complete surprise since neither very early reports nor the buzzing rumor mill had ever mentioned a stop there.  VOA reports:

Clinton is due to fly to South Africa Sunday, and later on to Nigeria, Ghana and Benin.

In Ghana, she is expected to attend the state funeral of the country’s late president John Atta Mills.

In Turkey Hillary Clinton Talks No Fly Zones Over Syria

August 11, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Remarks On Syria With Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu

August 11, 2012

Hillary Clinton on the Appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi to Replace Kofi Annan

August 17, 2012

Hillary Clinton at the Ad Hoc Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial

September 28, 2012

Video: Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Syria

December 4, 2012

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It was during this final trip as Secretary of State that she fell so ill that she fainted and sustained a concussion.  Later tests detected a blood clot, and she could not return to her duties until January when she did her best to wrap up her stay at the State Department and put the transition into place for Secretary Kerry’s assumption of command.

So for those who would have Hillary Clinton comment at this critical time on a crucial issue, let you be reminded that neither have Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush commented on Syria for excellent reasons.  They are no longer in office and do not have access to the latest intel.  Neither does Hillary Clinton.  The situation is in the hands of the present, second Obama administration.  Live with the history you were so instrumental in making.

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Updated to add:  Of course, as soon as I had this all put together, she decided to come out and say something anyway.   Then again, what would anyone expect her to say?

(CNN) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backs President Barack Obama’s proposal to take military action in Syria, an aide told CNN’s Jessica Yellin on Tuesday.

“Secretary Clinton supports the President’s effort to enlist the Congress in pursuing a strong and targeted response to the Assad regime’s horrific use of chemical weapons,” the aide said.

Read more >>>>

Actually, CNN got this wrong.  She did not back the military action.  She backed taking it to Congress.
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Remarks With Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Treaty Room

Washington, DC

October 18, 2012


SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m looking forward to a meeting to discuss the wide range of issues concerning not only the bilateral relationship between the United States and Hungary, but also regionally and globally. I thank the Minister for his willingness to discuss all of these matters and to look for ways that we can deepen and broaden our relationship.

It is the 56th anniversary of the uprising in Hungary 56 years ago that was one of the strongest signs of the Hungarian people’s desire for freedom, for democracy, and the United States continues to strongly support the aspirations of the Hungarian people. And we’re delighted to have you here, Minister Martonyi.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARTONYI: And I thank you very much for this very, very kind invitation and for the meeting. I just would like to express my great gratitude for this opportunity, also for your very kind words and also for all the help and advices you have been giving to us in the last couple of years.

Yes, indeed, we are celebrating now. It’s not only the 56th anniversary of the ’56 Revolution, but also with some flexibility, the 90th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-Hungarian diplomatic relationship. So we have lots of reasons to celebrate. At the same time, we have lots of reasons to talk about things of common interest, and that’s exactly what we are going to do now.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER MARTONYI: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you, all.

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US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech during the inauguration ceremony for the Tom Lantos Institute in the Upper Chamber Hall of the parliament building in Budapest, on June 30, 2011. Late US congressman Tom Lantos (in Picture frame) was a Hungarian-born human rights activist and Holocaust survivor. AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEK (Photo credit should read ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Participates in the Inauguration of the Lantos Institute

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Parliament Building
Budapest, Hungary
June 30, 2011

(Applause.) Thank you all. Thank you all so much. It is indeed a personal pleasure and honor to be in this historic hall for this extraordinary occasion. And I am delighted to join such a distinguished group of speakers and visitors and friends in support of the great effort to establish the Tom Lantos Institute, and with the hope that it will fulfill its promise.

I want to thank Katrina, my friend, for that introduction and for her leadership on behalf of human rights and internet freedom through the Lantos Foundation, which you and your mother and sister have established. And I want to thank all of the speakers that we have heard from. And thank you, Prime Minister. I am looking forward to our meeting later. We will be discussing many of the issues that have been alluded to, and that were so crucial to Tom’s life and work.

And I want to thank the foreign minister for that very important address talking about the transatlantic alliance, democracy, and freedom, values that we hold so dear, and especially to acknowledge the new director of the institute, Rita Izsak, and my predecessor, Dr. Rice, who has worked so hard for democracy and freedom around the world, and joined with then-Chairman Lantos at the State Department five years ago to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.

Dr. Rice is here today to attend various events, along with members of the Reagan Presidential Foundation, upon the centennial anniversary of President Reagan’s birth. I know that Hungarians will never forget President Reagan’s commitment to a free and democratic Europe.

Well, that was a dream of Tom’s, as well. And he has not only lived it, but he has been the embodiment for many of us of what it would mean. Those of us who knew, loved, and admired Tom saw in him the physical moral embodiment of the values that we share, and the commitment to freedom that means so much to the American and Hungarian people. Tom believed with all his heart that a free, democratic Europe depended on a strong transatlantic alliance, and that through institutions like the European Union and NATO, Europe could create a foundation for prosperity, human rights, and democratic, open and pluralistic societies.

We agree. We know we are bound by shared values, and by that common commitment to protect and advance those values. Tom also believed in working across party lines, something that Katrina alluded to. So I am delighted to thank the Government of Hungary, and indeed, the prior government and all of the political representation here in support of this institute.

And I also want to acknowledge the members of the United States House of Representatives, both Democratic and Republican, represented so ably by Congresswoman Bass, who are with us. And yesterday, by unanimous consent, the United States Senate passed a resolution commemorating today’s opening of the Lantos Institute, and reflecting once again the admiration that his colleagues had for Tom. (Applause.)

But I believe probably what would have given Tom the greatest pride, and made his heart swell with love, was to see all of the Lantoses, Tillemann-Dicks, Swetts, and related family members here today. Tom and Annette created this big, extended, warm, wonderful family. And this is one family that didn’t need a village. It created its own village, and it has been influencing the rest of us ever since. And a special acknowledgement to that eldest grandson, who you just saw on the video, Tomicah, who is not only a pivotal player in the foundation and the institute, but also my senior advisor for civil society and emerging democracies in the State Department, so the work goes on that Tom Lantos started. (Applause.)

And lastly, and most particularly and personally, I want to thank Annette. This day belongs to her more than anybody else. Not only were she and Tom beloved companions for more than 70 years – and as we saw, adorable children – and apart from the terrible war that separated them and cost their families so dearly, they rarely spent a moment apart. Annette worked with Tom every day in his congressional office. She travelled with him around the world. They were soul mates.

But their story has not ended with Tom’s passing. It has evolved. Because through this institute and the foundation, Annette will share with Tom, as she always did, the commitment to a future that is better than even the present that we enjoy today, and far better than the past which they shared. Annette has given us this great opportunity to continue to be champions of human rights, democracy, tolerance, and reconciliation.

When Tom Lantos founded the Congressional Human Rights Caucus in 1983, that was new. And he did it because he saw there was a need. It became an invaluable bipartisan enterprise that, for close to three decades now, has brought Democrats and Republicans together. He made human rights seem right to people who had never thought about them much before, or who may have even had a little bit of antagonism to them. But Tom fought for refuseniks in the Soviet Union; for Tibetans to practice their religion; for Christians in Saudi Arabia and Sudan; for Muslims in China; for ethnic minorities in the Balkans; and for people living with HIV/AIDS around the world. No person was written off by Tom Lantos. He thought he had an obligation to reach out and embrace them all.

Now, when Tom grew up here in this country that he loved so much, the only debate that mattered was the one between freedom and fascism, and then between freedom and communism. Tom believed that in our country there were partisan political differences, of course, between Republicans and Democrats or between a President Reagan and a President Clinton, just to pick one. (Laughter.) But Tom always believed that regardless of our political party, we were fundamentally on the same side. We were for freedom. We were for democracy. And that through debate, sometimes contested, we would keep working toward what our founders set as the goal, a more perfect union.

Now, when Tom saw what happened after the communists seized control of Hungary, he realized that through what was called “salami tactics,” they were slicing away, bit by bit, fundamental freedoms. And that, to him, meant he could not go home. But he did not become embittered. He did not look backwards. He kept thinking about what contribution his life could make to the ongoing struggle for freedom and human dignity. He worked with Secretary Madeleine Albright and Senator Robert Dole to bring Hungary and other Central and Eastern European countries into NATO. He spoke out repeatedly for the protection of minorities, and he paid particular attention to the plight of the Roma, Europe’s largest disenfranchised minority. And I am very pleased that, during the presidency of the European Union, the Hungarian Government has pushed for reforms that would guarantee the Roma people the same rights and opportunities their fellow citizens enjoy. (Applause.)

Tom’s past served him in another way, as a call to conscience, a permanent vigilance against anti-Semitism, discrimination, oppression, and genocide. In the bookmark that appears at each of our seats, there is one of his most memorable quotes: “We must remember that the veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians, and we can never rest.” Tom not only tried to live by those words, he tried to hold other people’s feet to the fire, when he didn’t think they were. A Washington Post article about his life summed up by saying, “His efforts to inspire – or, if necessary, shame – individuals, companies and governments into honorable behavior were exhaustive and creative.” And that’s why, at age 78, he was arrested for demonstrating against the genocide in Darfur in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington.

Now, one of the aspects of Tom that has not yet been mentioned is that he was a politician. And, as a recovering former politician myself, I think we should pay tribute to that. Because it is one thing to stand on the outside, out of the arena, advocating for the changes that one wants to see in society, and it is entirely different to roll up your sleeves, subject yourself to the votes and the will of your people, and engage in the hard, often frustrating work of political change.

Tom was a great campaigner. I campaigned for him, he campaigned for me. He would come to my office in the Senate and provide both solicited and unsolicited advice. (Laughter.) And it wasn’t just about human rights. It was often about politics, about building coalitions, about winning elections.

So this was, indeed, a renaissance man. He had a full life that we honor and celebrate. But it would be a disservice to him if we did not look forward to what I am sure he expects from us. Democracy is struggling to be born around the world today. The nations of Central and Eastern Europe have so much to share from their own struggles and triumphs. So, the timing of this institute could not be more opportune. On Europe’s doorstep – across the Middle East and Northern Africa – citizens are demanding what so many others have before. From the United States in the 18th century, to Chile and Tunisia, South Korea, East Timor, post-Soviet countries over the past 30 years.

What are they demanding? That their voices be heard. That they have the opportunity to fulfill their own God-given potentials with enough freedom to make responsible choices for themselves, their families, and communities, that government become more effective, more responsive, more transparent, more open.

And what they are asking demands an answer from all of us. Later today, I will travel to Vilnius to join with the Community of Democracies, where we will work with emerging democracies to share the experiences with those fighting for democracy now, to show solidarity with those in the streets, in Belarus, in Libya, around the world. It is important for governments and civil society alike to shine a bright light on why some young democracies flourish while others fail. How can we help navigate the very difficult road they have begun?

At a time when technology transmits news and information instantly, we have all become the global equivalent of neighbors. And what happens in Tunis and Cairo reverberates in Budapest, Jakarta, and Washington. For all democracies around the world, old and new, including my own country and yours, it is vital that we continue building and strengthening our own democratic institutions. It is vital that we understand that the glue which holds together democracies is trust – trust between people as we widen the circle of democratic inclusion, and trust between the people and their governments. It is vital that we not engage in destructive political tactics or the kind of rhetoric that erodes that trust in democracy and one another. We need strong checks and balances across party lines and from one government to the next.

As we struggle to help new democracies emerge, we can’t let any democracy anywhere backslide. The stakes are too high. Other company – other countries are trumpeting national economic growth over freedom and human rights, as though the two are neither compatible nor mutually reinforcing. So that is why this institute is more needed than ever.

Let us work across all sectors of society and all the lines that we too easily believe divide us, to strengthen and support democracy, civil society, and the rule of law, and to protect the rights of minorities, to make sure that when justice is served, it is administered with due process and judicial integrity, not political vengeance or partisan meddling. Those were the principles for which Tom fought so hard.

In one of his last conversations with a close Hungarian friend, Tom expressed his faith in Hungarians and their ability to persevere through any challenge. He believed that Hungarians would always remember the spirit of the 1956 uprising. But watchfulness was crucial for Tom in our country and in his native Hungary. When he was invited to deliver the keynote address before the United Nations at its Holocaust Remembrance Day, he accepted, planning to repeat again his well-known quote about the veneer of civilization, but his health prevented him from going. And in the end, he asked Katrina to deliver the speech for him. So once again, from his daughter, he heard, the world heard the message of vigilance.

And you won’t be surprised that they also heard one of Tom’s famous rabbi stories. Anybody who knew Tom Lantos could not talk to him for more than 20 minutes without hearing a rabbi story, so let me leave you with one of his favorites. It goes like this: A rabbi asks his followers, “How can one know the moment when the night has ended and the dawn has come?” And his students gave various answers. One asked, “Is it when a man walking through the woods can tell whether an approaching animal is a wolf or a dog?” The rabbi shook his head no. Another student asked, “Could it be when a man walking through the village can distinguish the roof of his house from that of his neighbors?” And once again, the rabbi shook his head no. And then the rabbi spoke, “The moment when you know that the night has turned to day is when you see the face of a stranger and recognize him as your brother.” A story with a big message, as all of Tom’s stories had; a message not only for leaders but also for citizens.

So let us celebrate this inauguration of the Tom Lantos Institute, but more than that, let us pledge ourselves to continue his work in the spirit of Hungarian-American cooperation on behalf of the values that he held so dear and work to hasten that hour when night turns to day for everyone.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Hillary Clinton is intrepid. So brave!

Hillary Clinton calls for democracy in front of Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban

I had not known she had Condi with her until I read this! Somehow, this just fills my part-Hungarian heart!

 

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Just a note here. The Secretary has already moved on from Budapest to Vilnius. Since a plethora of nice photos are already available from Hungary, I thought I would include these right up front in this post. We see her at the the inauguration ceremony for the Tom Lantos Institute in the Upper Chamber Hall of the parliament building in Budapest with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban,  Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, and U.S. Ambassador Anne Derse as well as at the U.S. Embassy . Enjoy!

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Public Schedule for June 30, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 30, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Budapest, Hungary and Vilnius, Lithuania. She is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Posner and Director Sullivan. Ambassador Verveer joins Secretary Clinton in Vilnius. Click here for more information.

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Briefing En Route Budapest, Hungary

Special Briefing

Senior Department Official
Senior Official
Budapest, Hungary
June 29, 2011

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: So the Secretary is on her way to Budapest for the opening of the Tom Lantos Institute and her bilateral visit in Hungary. She will then go on to Vilnius, Lithuania for the Community of Democracies event and a bilateral visit there, and then onto Spain for a bilateral visit. To give you the flavor of this trip, we have two senior administration officials, and I will now turn it over to official number one.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: The Secretary is going to be able to visit three countries on this trip that she has not previously visited in her capacity as Secretary of State. And so that makes it a special trip for her and the countries involved. And she will on this trip do what we always do when we travel to Europe, which is advance our broad based and comprehensive partnership with Europe and with Europe abroad.

She’ll be talking across the board about the things that we are doing with and in support for these countries. She will look at internal developments, especially in the countries of Hungary and Lithuania as they mark 20-plus years of transition. She will also be looking at issues of economic adjustment, particularly in the country of Spain. And with all three of the countries she will be looking at the EU agenda as we collaborate with our EU partners, as all three of these countries are EU members. She will be working with them on our global agenda, as Europe is really the cornerstone of our global engagement, and she will be talking about the details of what we are doing to advance stability and democracy in every place from the Balkans to Afghanistan to Libya.

As part of our global engagement, one of the special themes of this entire trip and for each of her stops will be democracy and what we are doing together as democracies to advance the issues of human rights, fundamental freedoms, to perfect our own democracies, and to advance this agenda elsewhere. As you know, one of the issues that she has emphasized and that we are seeing on the ground is how difficult democratic transition can be and how important it is for us to seize moments of opportunity to make sure that we translate promise into reality, and as we do so, to make sure that we carry out a very special responsibility that we as established democracies, but also newer democracies, even like second generation democracies that have come through transition, to pay it forward and to help to use the assistance and the support, the lessons, and the experiences that we’ve gained to help others who are in the midst of their own struggle.

In Hungary, as you have heard already, the Secretary will start with the opening of the Lantos Institute, and there really will be two themes as part of that event. First is the extraordinary individual that Tom Lantos was as the only Holocaust survivor to be a member of Congress, a lifelong fighter for human rights and freedom, but also somebody who in the midst – in the course of his congressional tenure worked across partisan lines. And all of those themes will also carry over in terms of what the Lantos Institute is about, what it is set up to achieve, which is to advance democracy, inclusion, tolerance, bipartisan cooperation.

She will also meet with civil society leaders in Hungary that will allow her to carry on that message and that dialogue from the Lantos Institute, and she will be able to hear from political voices across the spectrum of Hungarian political life and to continue that dialogue. And then, of course, she will have a session with Prime Minister Orban, and in that session she will talk about all aspects of our wide-ranging partnership, the many areas on which we cooperate, everything from Libya, where Hungary is the protecting power for the United States, to Afghanistan, where they have 500 troops on the ground and lead a PRT or provincial reconstruction team, and to the EU agenda, where they are working on energy cooperation, issues relating to Roma, issues relating to Croatia’s accession into the European Union. And of course, as a friend and partner, we will also talk about advancing democracy, strengthening democracy within Hungary.

We will talk in greater detail later about the agendas in Lithuania and Spain, but just to touch very briefly for them now, when we arrive later in the day in Lithuania after the Hungary stop, the Secretary will take part in an event on women enhancing democracy. This will include over 20 women leaders from the Middle East, Europe, elsewhere around the world. It is an event that is co-chaired by the Lithuanian and Finnish presidents, but it will also include leaders from Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Slovakia. It is women’s rights and advancement of women is a key part of our human rights agenda. It’s the work that Ambassador Melanne Verveer has been engaged in. The U.S. and Lithuania are co-chair of the Community of Democracies Working Group on Gender Issues, and this will be an opportunity for the Secretary and all these women leaders to address the issues that are associated there.

The Secretary will then have a Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society that is a continuation of the Strategic Dialogue she launched in Washington. She is committed to hearing directly from the people who are on the ground working to advance democracy. She wants to know about the problems and the challenges they face, but also about where they see progress and potential, and to share ideas about the way forward. There are about 150 civil society leaders who will be present in Lithuania for an event associated with the Community of Democracies, and this will involve individuals from that group.

On Friday morning, the Secretary will attend the Community of Democracies ministerial, which will include representatives from about 130 countries around the world. And (inaudible) —

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: About 130.

QUESTION: Do you know some of the prominent participants from other countries?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: We can get you the list. We can get you the list and go over that. And here again, it is about the need to help each other. It is about a need to share lessons learned, talk openly, and see what we can do at this crucial time for action, when we’ve watched the events in Egypt and Tunisia, we’ve watched Arab Spring across the Middle East and Africa, and again, as I said before, to recognize the reality of how difficult transitions can be, the need for those in transition to get help, and the responsibility of those who have been through that transition, long ago or recently, to reach out and help.

The Secretary will also do a number of bilateral meetings in Lithuania. She will meet with the prime minister, the president, and the foreign minister to talk about everything from energy and economy to democracy in the neighborhood and particularly neighboring Belarus. She will touch on issues and the positive developments with the Lithuanian parliament’s recent passage of a Holocaust compensation bill. And she will join the Baltic foreign ministers in an event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Baltic independence.

And then, just lastly, on Saturday morning in Spain, the Secretary will meet with both the prime minister and the foreign minister. As you know, Spain is a longstanding and greatly valued ally in Afghanistan. They’re working together with us in Libya across the board, and it’s an opportunity for us to look again at the cooperation that we have underway, also, so many contemporary issues, especially as they relate to the economy and what we can do together across the broad range.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: Senior Official Two, anything to add?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: I think it’s useful to see this trip within the context of the one the President just completed, to – it’s useful to look at this trip by the Secretary of State in the context of the trip the President just completed to Europe in May because these themes are continuous across our Administration. As you know, when the President traveled, one of the principal themes of that trip was the importance of our alliance relationships in Europe. During that trip he visited four countries. On this trip, we will visit three very close allies, important allies, both within Europe and in meeting the global challenges that we face. And so one significant element the President (inaudible) is that we strengthen those alliance relationships because they’re so important to us as we work together to catalyze global action.

Second, as [Senior Administration Official One] said – as Senior Official Number One said – this trip is an important trip with respect to the themes of democracy, development, both within Europe and beyond. That was a very significant element of the President’s engagement in Poland on the last trip, the final stop on his trip. And there, we are working to consolidate democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, especially with regard to those countries that haven’t yet made a full and successful transition to democracy. Senior Official Number One mentioned Belarus, which we are very concerned about. There could well be significant protests and further violence today. We’re watching that very closely. And so we will be putting a spotlight on Belarus. We also have concerns about (inaudible) in Ukraine, and we have continued engagement with the Government of Ukraine to express our concerns there.

I’d also say, with regard to democracy in Europe, that there’s an important element of the continuing efforts to achieve an integrated Europe, and there we have encouraged the EU to keep its door open and to continue to welcome those countries that meet its standards for membership. And that’s a very important incentive to countries that have not made their full transition to democracy, to achieve that transition in order to join the EU.

Third, a major theme of the trip is, as Senior Official One mentioned and which, again, reflects an important element of what the President did during his trip to Europe in May, is to speak with our close allies about our global agenda. There we work with our allies – the ones we will be visiting during this trip – on the full range of issues that we face together in the world. These are significant contributors to Afghanistan; they’re involved in the Libya operation, both in the NATO command and control and also in terms of providing support for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution. We work with them, on the advance of the Arab Spring, more broadly on democracy promotion outside of Europe, and we work with them on climate change, we work with them on a huge range of issues, all of which will be discussed in the bilateral meetings that the Secretary will conduct.

So I think that it’s important (inaudible) to see this as a trip that reflects the continuing of our engagement with Europe from the outset of this Administration and which was highlighted during the President’s (inaudible).

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: Thank you. We can take three of your questions.

QUESTION: You said that the United States is particularly concerned – very concerned about events in Belarus, where there could be more violence, and about backsliding in Ukraine. To what extent is the U.S. Government concerned about the treatment of the Roma in Hungary and also what some might describe as backsliding in Hungary with regard to the press law, the constitution, et cetera? And to what extent will the Secretary raise those issues, in public or in private, while she’s in Hungary?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: I’ll speak up. You don’t have to —

QUESTION: Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: We are concerned. Roma is an issue of particular interest for Secretary Clinton and for this Administration. We’ve worked together with Hungary during the course of their EU presidency on their efforts to develop an EU policy toward the Roma, and that is an issue that we look forward to discussing. As I said at the outset, we are also very interested to see the strengthening of democracy in Hungary. We want very much to support advancements on democracy in Hungary, and that will be a key part of our dialogue, both with civil society and with the Hungarian Government.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: I think you can expect the Secretary to speak to both of these issues tomorrow quite clearly.

QUESTION: Can I ask a question about – you were talking about alliances as a foundation for stability. I’m wondering if the Secretary is going to bring up at all Greece in the context of meetings with other EU members because of the potential instability that could spread from there. And more broadly – she references this in her speech as well, NATO and the EU being a great foundation for stability and so on, but recently we’ve seen Secretary Gates criticize NATO as being almost outmoded or at least in need of a new mission, and Greece does threaten the EU. So I’m just wondering if you have any concerns about that? I mean, it’s – it doesn’t look – (inaudible) as a way to encourage (inaudible).

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Yeah. Both NATO and the EU have, for many decades, been a force for stability and a force for integration. And as my colleague mentioned, those are the trends and trajectories that we want to see continue and that we are working to support, both as it concerns aspiring members to those organizations but also the issues that arise in the context of membership for both of those institutions. The issue of the economic situation in Europe across the board is one that is current and that the Secretary will raise in the course of this trip. As you know, she’s not stopping in Greece, but we have said just about every day over the course of the past 10 days how pleased we are to see the courageous decisions being taken by the government in Greece and their determination to do those things that are necessary in order to bring their economy into the right circumstance.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: On NATO, the Secretary has said very clearly that it is important, even as we work together strongly in Afghanistan and Libya and Kosovo, around the world, not to be complacent, that we have to continue to invest in these institutions. And whether it’s NATO members investing in NATO, whether it’s EU members using the strength of the EU to try to address their economic issues collectively, the institutions add value to the national efforts.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: I would just also make a point, which is that that’s actually not what Gates said in his speech. It wasn’t about NATO needing a mission. What he – as the Defense Secretary, was asking that NATO do is ensure that it has the capabilities required to fulfill its commitments, and that’s a distinct difference.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: Time for one more.

QUESTION: Firstly, you mentioned Belarus, both of you. What do you hope to achieve beyond the expressions of support or condemnation that we’ve heard for the last 20 years? What does the Arab Spring bring to the table that wasn’t there before, and what would you hope to get from Communities of Democracies or the Western democratic liberal community?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: Do you want to start with that, and I’ll –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: Sure. I’m happy to start on Belarus. And as you know, Belarus has been a longstanding problem. Things have recently gotten worse, and it is an issue of great concern for the countries of the region, but for all of the friends of democracy across Europe and Eurasia. There have been a number of statements that have been issued by political leaders about the situation in Belarus, but those statements have also been backed up by actions. Everything by sanctions from the European Union to travel restrictions, other measures, asset freezes, things – steps that have been undertaken by the United States Government as well as by many European governments individually and the EU together.

There have been – also been efforts to set up funds to take concrete action to promote democratic development inside Belarus to liberalize travel for those not associated with the regime so that we can work at the problem, if you will, from both directions.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: One of the things you’ll see tomorrow in Lithuania is some of the work that we’re doing to strengthen civil society through a variety of means. I don’t want to —

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: I think we’ll talk a little bit more about that precise vehicle tomorrow when we pre-brief on Lithuania. But –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL TWO: Yeah. But there’s some exciting work we’re doing to support civil society in repressive places and to get tools to enable those who are seeking to break out of the oppression that they’re experiencing, and that work we’re doing closely with our European allies. You heard this when we were in Poland with the President, that the Poles have played a leadership role in this regard in working with us on Belarus, but we also have close cooperation with the EU broadly and with a number of these countries bilaterally, including with the Lithuanians.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: Okay, guys.

QUESTION: Can I ask one more? A quick one? On her speech, (inaudible) reference to countries that crow about their economic growth but don’t respect the freedoms, as if they’re mutually exclusive. I’m assuming that’s a reference to China, and I’m wondering if there’s any sort of – if the U.S. is having or seeing any sort of encroachment by China or China’s attempts to (inaudible) people in Central and Eastern Europe, the way you see China sort of pushing its agenda in South America or Africa.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: The Secretary, as you know, throughout her tenure, has stressed the importance of democracy, economic liberalization, development going hand in hand, and that there is a limit to how much you can do on one track if you aren’t also making progress on the other track. So I think you just see that theme repeated here.

Thanks, you guys.

QUESTION: (Inaudible.) She’s not going to go beyond what the U.S. Government has previously said about Greece, correct? The economic stuff gets left to the Treasury as it always does? There’s nothing new or –

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL THREE: The Greeks are in the middle of trying to work through their issues, so we are supportive of the efforts that the government is undertaking and watching closely as they make very important decisions in the next couple of days.

QUESTION: I think the Treasury – its purview for the most part

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Subsequent to her visits to Hungary and Lithuania (as originally posted below), Secretary Clinton will make a stop in Madrid at the end of this week. Here is the update.

Secretary Clinton To Travel to Madrid, Spain

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 28, 2011

Following her travel to Hungary and Lithuania, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Madrid, Spain, July 1-2, 2011. In Madrid, Secretary Clinton will underscore the close partnership and friendship the United States and Spain enjoy, based on shared values and common interests. The Secretary will meet with Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez to discuss a range of issues including Afghanistan, North Africa, and the Middle East and trade, investment, and the economy.

Here is the original post.

Secretary Clinton to Travel to Budapest and Vilnius

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 24, 2011

Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Budapest, Hungary, June 29, to participate in the dedication of the Lantos Institute. The establishment of the Lantos Institute has been supported by the Government of Hungary to promote Hungarian-born Congressman Tom Lantos’ long commitment to democratic principles and the protection of individual and human rights. Secretary Clinton will also meet with Prime Minister Orban, Foreign Minister Martonyi, and representatives of civil society while in Budapest.

Secretary Clinton will visit Vilnius, Lithuania, from June 30 to July 1, to participate in the Community of Democracies 6th Ministerial. The Ministerial will bring together senior government officials, parliamentarians, NGOs, women and youth leaders, and the private sector to advance the shared goals of strengthening civil society and supporting emerging democracies. During her visit, the Secretary will participate in the “Women Enhancing Democracy” gathering of world leaders, held under the auspices of the Community of Democracies’ working group on women’s empowerment. She will also host a session of the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society focused on challenges to the freedoms of speech and association. While in Vilnius, the Secretary will hold bilateral meetings with President Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Kubilius, and other Lithuanian officials.

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These are among Mme. Secretary’s events for  the upcoming week.   For the third time we will see her release a Trafficking in Persons report.  On a happier note, we will also see her celebrating Pride Month with members of GLIFAA and other State Department employees.  Once again, she will be boarding her Big Blue Bird for a trip abroad, and,  as always, we wish her Godspeed.

Secretary Clinton to Deliver Remarks at Event Celebrating LGBT Pride Month on June 27

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC
June 23, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on “The Human Rights of LGBT People and U.S. Foreign Policy” at an event co-hosted by the State Department and Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), on Monday, June 27 at approximately 10:25 a.m., in the Dean Acheson Auditorium at the Department of State.

The event will be streamed live on www.state.gov.
Preceding the Secretary’s remarks, Under Secretary Maria Otero will lead a panel discussion with senior U.S. Government Officials at 9:30 a.m. The discussion topics will include the status of LGBT people around the world and how the U.S. Government can promote the protection of their human rights.
The event is part of a series of LGBT Pride Month celebrations at the U.S. Department of State.GLIFAA, officially recognized by the U.S. State Department, represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) personnel and their families in the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and other foreign affairs agencies and offices in the U.S. Government. Founded in 1992 by fewer than a dozen employees who faced official harassment simply because of their sexual orientation, GLIFAA continues to seek equality and fairness for LGBT employees and their families. For more information, please visit http://www.glifaa.org/ or follow @GLIFAA on Twitter.

Secretary Clinton to Release the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report on June 27

Washington, DC

June 24, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will release the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report on Monday, June 27, at approximately 2 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State. In addition to remarks by Secretary Clinton, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero and Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis CdeBaca will deliver remarks.

Secretary Clinton to Travel to Budapest and Vilnius 

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 24, 2011

Secretary of State Clinton will travel to Budapest, Hungary, June 29, to participate in the dedication of the Lantos Institute. The establishment of the Lantos Institute has been supported by the Government of Hungary to promote Hungarian-born Congressman Tom Lantos’ long commitment to democratic principles and the protection of individual and human rights. Secretary Clinton will also meet with Prime Minister Orban, Foreign Minister Martonyi, and representatives of civil society while in Budapest.

Secretary Clinton will visit Vilnius, Lithuania, from June 30 to July 1, to participate in the Community of Democracies 6th Ministerial. The Ministerial will bring together senior government officials, parliamentarians, NGOs, women and youth leaders, and the private sector to advance the shared goals of strengthening civil society and supporting emerging democracies. During her visit, the Secretary will participate in the “Women Enhancing Democracy” gathering of world leaders, held under the auspices of the Community of Democracies’ working group on women’s empowerment. She will also host a session of the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society focused on challenges to the freedoms of speech and association. While in Vilnius, the Secretary will hold bilateral meetings with President Grybauskaite, Prime Minister Kubilius, and other Lithuanian officials.

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