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Remarks With Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Fram Center
Tromso, Norway
June 2, 2012

FOREIGN MINISTER STOERE: (In progress.) – share with you just a few impressions from this day. Secretary Clinton, you are a fabulous guest because you showed a really keen interest in what you are presented, and that makes us Norwegians proud and very inspired. It’s important for us that our key and leading ally has an updated picture of modern Norway, and that is why we highly appreciate Madam Secretary has included Tromso, which I nominated the Arctic capital, and (inaudible) capital also.

Today, we have had, I think, a first-class presentation of modern knowledge about Arctic and polar affairs from the medical research from the Polar Institute from the University of Tromso. We’ve had a generous presentation from the city leadership, political leadership of the city of Tromso, and above all, we’ve had a good time. And we had a good time because the atmosphere has been great.

And right now, we will be able to present the Tromso (inaudible), which is a milestone in the high north strategy of the government to build a meeting center of excellence and (inaudible) in Tromso. This center will be complete by 2030, and there will be some 2030 institutions. We are going to have researchers operating out of this place. And here goes – will be located in the new building – the permanent secretariat of the Arctic Council, which we both helped vote and decide last year.

So we believe that not only to understand modern Norway and the narrative of what is Norway in the 21st century, but the Arctic is really that initial interconnection. The U.S. is a leading Arctic state, as are the other council states as well, and I think we are discovering that for secretaries and foreign ministers in the decades to come, the Arctic will be key on that agenda. So I’m very pleased that we’ve had the opportunity to go deep in that and really have unprecedented time to go into very fascinating (inaudible). Norway was always a seafaring polar strategic nation for centuries. Now we can do it on the bigger screen, but it will always depend on the very brave and courageous researchers who go out in the ice. That’s the only way to provide everyone (inaudible).

Thank you, Secretary, for coming to spend time with us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, Foreign Minister, for inviting me here. As Jonas just said, I thought that the permanent secretariat for the Arctic Council should actually be in the Arctic, and I was, therefore, very proud and committed to supporting Tromso as the new home of the Arctic Council. And it only adds to the importance of the role that this city is playing as the world increasingly looks to the north. And I also want to acknowledge the other academics and researchers who have made this facility, and the Polar Institute, the university, so many of the other affiliated groups and individuals who are committed to enhancing our understanding of the Arctic and helping to educate all of us as we increasingly make decisions that will impact the Arctic.

The United States and Norway are closely coordinating to ensure that the Arctic Council is a important and is the key place where nations gather to chart the future of the Arctic. We were very pleased to sign the first agreement that came out of the Arctic Council last year on the search-and-rescue responsibilities in the Arctic. We’re working on a new agreement to deal with oil spills and other emergencies. But there’s a big agenda that has to be addressed in a very deliberative but intensive way.

Now back in the United States, the Obama Administration is pushing hard to ratify the Law of the Sea Convention, which has provided the international framework for exploring these new opportunities in the Arctic. We abide by the international law that undergirds the convention, but we think the United States should be a member, because the convention sets down the rules of the road that protect freedom of navigation, provide maritime security, serve the interests of every nation that relies on sea lanes for commerce and trade, and also sets the framework for exploration for the natural resources that may be present in the Arctic.

And the United States and Norway are committed to promoting responsible management of those resources, and to do all we can to prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change. I’m highlighting a new partnership that I started called the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and we’re very pleased that Norway is a member. And it is to focus on what are called short-lived climate pollutants – methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons – which make up at least 30 – somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions. And they are actually released into the atmosphere during the extraction and production of oil and natural gas, among other activities. In fact, in addition to the impact on global warming, they cause millions of premature deaths and 30 million tons of lost crops each year. And we just heard the impact of burning (inaudible) fuels and putting all that black carbon and soot into the air. It then lands on the ice and you know rest.

So I want to thank Norway for joining the Climate and Clean Air Coalition and making an initial commitment of one and a half million dollars, and also a pledge by Norway of one million dollars specifically to target black carbon across the Arctic. I’m very grateful that we had a chance to meet with the head of Statoil and representative of new Norwegianers and ExxonMobil to talk about ways that oil and gas companies are already reducing methane and black carbon emissions from their own production, what more they believe can be done, and how we can bring other companies into this effort to capture your vented, leaked, and flared natural gas, and to cut emissions by up to one-third with no net cost at all. That would make a significant impact on climate change without hurting any oil or gas company’s bottom line, and it’s exactly the kind of private and public cooperation we need to pursue and that this new coalition is determined to try to bring about.

So again, I want to thank my friend and colleague for a wonderful visit here in Tromso. I want to thank the many people, the citizens that I have been meeting and talking to from the moment I arrived yesterday evening. And the great warm welcome and gracious hospitality is very much appreciated, not only by me personally but all of my delegation accompanying me.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We can take more of your questions for —

QUESTION: Well, Madam Secretary, what you would you say is the most valuable piece of insight you gained during your stay?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think it is always important to have firsthand experience, if possible. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Svalbard when I was a United States senator. Last year, the Arctic Council met in Nuuk, Greenland. And then of course, today, we were able to go out on a research vessel and hear from experts about what is happening in the Arctic, and in fact, that many of the predications about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data. That was a – not necessarily a surprising but sobering fact to be told.

But I think in general, it’s to have a chance to further and exemplify the cooperation between the United States and Norway, between Jonas and myself, and to send a very clear message that although it seems like such an overwhelming task for humanity to take the steps necessary to reduce and mitigate the impact of global warming and climate change, there are things every one of us can do, and we should get about the business of doing it.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton —

QUESTION: Wait a moment, please. Thank you. Madam Secretary, your colleague likes to talk about high north, low tension. There are lots of new countries that now have an interest in coming to the Arctic area. How do you see the potential for conflict in this area and the Arctic Council’s role in avoiding those conflicts?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, our goal is certainly to promote the peaceful cooperation that we think is called for in the Arctic. And the Arctic Council, which consists – at the core are the five Arctic nations, of which Norway and the United States are two, and then others with very direct interests, such as Iceland and Sweden, have been working without a lot of attention until relatively recently. And I think it’s a tribute to our foresight and our predecessors, and then certainly Jonas has been a global leader – not just a Norwegian leader – on bringing attention to the Arctic and, as he says, the high north, that we are operationalizing the cooperation that we have established through the Arctic Council.

And you’re right that a lot of countries are looking at what will be the potential for exploration and extraction of natural resources, as well as new sea lanes, and are increasingly expressing an interest in the Arctic. And we want the Arctic Council to remain the premier institution that deals with Arctic questions. So one of the issues on our agenda is how we provide an opportunity for other nations very far on the Arctic to learn more about the Arctic, to be integrated into the cooperative framework that we are establishing, and in effect, to set some standards that we would like to see everyone follow.

MODERATOR: Last one.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, what do you think of the sentencing of former Egyptian President Mubarak to life in prison on the conviction that he’s had just announced today of complicity or involvement in the deaths of some of the protestors in Egypt? Is that a just sentence, in your view?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not going to comment on a sentence imposed by a court after hearing whatever evidence was presented. That is up to the Egyptian people, their judicial system, and their government.

But I would take the opportunity to express our very strong encouragement that the election process – which has been carried out freely, fairly, and legitimately – produced a result that will be accepted as reflecting the will of the Egyptian people, and that this transition that was started in Tahrir Square will result in a government that is committed to improving the lives of the people of Egypt and the economy and dealing with many of the challenges that confront any nation in the world today. And the United States stands ready to assist in any way that we can.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

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Public Schedule for June 2, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 2, 2012

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
PUBLIC SCHEDULE
SATURDAY JUNE 2, 2012

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Tromso, Norway. The Secretary is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Gordon, Director Sullivan, VADM Harry B. Harris, Jr., JCS, and Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for European Affairs Liz Sherwood Randall. Please click here for more information.

9:30 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton participates in an Arctic research vessel tour with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, in Tromso, Norway.
(POOLED PRESS COVERAGE)

11:45 a.m.  LOCAL  Secretary Clinton participates in a discussion on High North, Environment, Energy, Business, and Climate with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, in Tromso, Norway.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:35 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere deliver joint press statements, in Tromso Norway.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

1:00 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton attends a lunch hosted by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, in Tromso, Norway.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

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Norwegian FM Stoere, posted with vodpod

Remarks With Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere After their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Oslo, Norway
June 1, 2012

FOREIGN MINISTER STOERE: Good afternoon on this sunny Friday afternoon in Oslo. It is a great pleasure for me to welcome my friend and colleague, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to Oslo. A few days ago, I had the privilege of visiting her city of birth, Chicago, and now I’m pleased to welcome her here in her capacity as the Secretary of State to my city of birth, Oslo. And I am also very happy that we are able to continue this visit on the flight north to Tromso, so we will get insights in this long stretch country of Norway.

I’ll just make a few remarks on our talks this morning and with the prime minister before lunch. We have a broad agenda which is, if I may say, free of issues between Norway and the United States, but they are filled with issues that concern Norway and the United States, and the issues where I would like to compliment the Secretary for having been a Secretary who’s looking for complementarity with allies and partners. And in area after area – and you just witnessed one downstairs on global health – we bring together our comparative advantage and experiences to try to maximize political efforts for change.

This morning we spent time on issues in the Arctic, which we certainly will follow up when we get to the Arctic. We touched upon climate change mitigation through supporting initiatives that actually bring difference. The world failed to get to one all-encompassing global deal on climate change a couple of years ago, but we are making progress on some individual projects such as fighting short-lived pollutants that have a dramatic effect in particular in the Arctic. We discussed that with the minister of the environment present, preparation for Rio+20, and other similar issues.

We followed up on our NATO meeting in Chicago discussing Afghanistan and our preparation for 2014 and the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan authorities, and not least, how we will stand by Afghanistan beyond 2014, supporting that country hopefully on the road of stability.

We touched upon Myanmar, where both the Secretary and I have visited, and where we are committed to support the forces for change, for democracy, and reform. We also discussed the drama unfolding in Syria, which is a preoccupation for the international community. And with the prime minister over lunch, we had a debate about the international financial situation, especially the economic situation in Europe, which is a concern for all of us. And we have a continuous agenda that we will continue to address tonight and tomorrow in Tromso. And I think they show us that our agenda is long, Secretary, and meeting with you and sharing your insight is always a great inspiration.

So, hearty welcome to Oslo.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you again, Foreign Minister, and it’s been a very productive and, may I say, enjoyable day. Our long meeting, the very constructive and pleasant lunch hosted by the prime minister, along with our prior meeting there, and then I had the great privilege of meeting with His Majesty and Her Majesty, as well as the crown prince and Her Royal Highness.

Let me just hit a few of the high points, because whenever Jonas and I get together, we cover so much ground, and I’m looking forward to continuing the discussion tonight and tomorrow. One of the primary purposes of my being here today is to say thank you – not only thank you to the Norwegian Government, but to the Norwegian people. The United States is very grateful for the leadership and partnership that we enjoy with Norway. On every issue, whether it be peace or security, human rights or development, we know that we can work with, count on, and make progress if we are teaming up with the Norwegians.

And we just saw another example of that with our commitments to the Saving Mothers, Giving Life partnership, and we are looking forward to adding this collaboration to our ongoing work. We also appreciate all the ways that Norway leads on global health, including through the co-chairing with Nigeria of the United Nations Commission on Lifesaving Commodities for Women and Children. And we will be working hand-in-hand on the Child Survival Summit that we will host in Washington later this month along with India and Ethiopia.

On Afghanistan, I thank the foreign minister for the exemplary performance of Norwegian soldiers over the last years, and also for the commitment of $25 million annually to support the Afghan National Security Forces after 2014. We both recognize these continuing efforts are necessary for the long-term stability of Afghanistan.

I also discussed the upcoming visit by Aung San Suu Kyi here to Norway, where she will finally be able to deliver her Nobel Peace Prize address, more than 20 years overdue. We are both working to support the pro-democracy movement and to help support the government as it continues to take steps for reform, particularly in the area of ending ethnic conflicts.

Let me briefly mention Egypt, because yesterday the new Egyptian parliament allowed the country’s emergency law to expire after more than 30 years in force. This law, of course, had given police sweeping powers to detain people without charging them, and yesterday’s action is another positive step in Egypt’s domestic transition.

And as the foreign minister said, we discussed our countries’ work together on climate change and the environment. I certainly expressed our appreciation for Norway’s $1.5 million contribution to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, an effort to reduce the short-lived pollutants that cause over one-third of current warming while we continue to work together to reduce CO2 emissions.

I am also grateful for the leadership Norway has given to the REDD-plus initiative to fight deforestation. And we know how important this is because of our common interest and concern about climate change, but also, in particular, when we think about the environment in the Arctic.

The United States, like Norway, is an Arctic nation, and we are committed to working through the Arctic Council, which will be establishing its secretariat in Tromso, to make sure we protect this incredibly precious and valuable resource. We have to be conscious of the environmental impacts of everything that may occur because of the already existing effects of global warming that now make the Arctic much more accessible.

From a strategic standpoint, the Arctic has an increasing geopolitical importance as countries vie to protect their rights and extend their influence. And we want to work with Norway and the Arctic Council to help manage these changes and to agree on what would be, in effect, the rules of the road in the Arctic, so new developments are economically sustainable and environmentally responsible toward future generations.

So all in all, this has been yet another very useful exchange of views, and I look forward to continuing it as we travel together to the north.

MODERATOR: The secretary of state and foreign minister will now take a few questions. (Inaudible) Norwegian Broadcasting.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, just said in Berlin that Russia does not support any side in the Syrian conflict. And he added that they do not supply weapons to parts in the civil war. What are your comments to that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I heard that President Putin had made those comments. And of course, we are looking forward to finding a way to work with Russia to end the violence and support Kofi Annan’s six-point plan. Up until now, as you know, there has not been support for the kind of political transition that is necessary under the Annan plan. We, of course, discussed that between the foreign minister and myself, and we commend Norwegian General Robert Mood, who has brought strong leadership to the UN monitoring mission. But we recognize what a dangerous and difficult mission he and the observers have been given.

So I repeat the appeal that I have made to Russia because their position of claiming not to take a position is certainly viewed in the Security Council, in Damascus, and elsewhere as a position supporting the continuity of the Assad regime. And if Russia is prepared, as President Putin’s remarks seems to suggest, to work with the international community to come together to plan a political transition, we will certainly be ready to cooperate.

With respect to arms, we know that there has been a very consistent arms trade, even during this last year of violence in Syria, coming from Russia to Syria. We also believe that the continuing supply of arms from Russia has strengthened the Assad regime. What those arms are being used for, we cannot speak with any accuracy, but the fact that Russia has continued to sustain this trade in the face of efforts by the international community to impose sanctions and to prevent further arms flowing to the Assad regime and in particular the Syrian military has raised serious concerns on our part.

And we will be discussing this further between us. I will be – I talked with Kofi Annan two days ago. I will be speaking with my Russian counterpart. I will be meeting in Istanbul toward the end of next week with representatives of a lot of the regional countries that are deeply concerned about what’s happening. So if Russia is prepared to help us implement all of the six parts of Kofi Annan’s plan, we are prepared to work with them to do so.

MODERATOR: Scott Snyder, Voice of America.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, commercial satellite imagery suggests that Iran is sanitizing the sites at Parchin military facility ahead of any potential IAEA inspection. What does that say to you about Iran’s sincerity in its involvement in the P-5+1 talks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, our negotiation with Iran has never been about intentions or sincerity but about actions and results. And we appreciate greatly Norway’s commitment of support to the P-5+1 negotiations, encouraging a diplomatic solution with Iran that will meet Iran’s obligations under international responsibilities. And we will continue to push forward on the P-5+1, but we are looking for concrete actions. And we will know by the next meeting in Moscow in just a few weeks whether Iran is prepared to take such actions.

So there are lots of concerns that we continue to have about their intentions, but we will judge them by their actions and we will determine whether those actions are sufficient to meet their obligations that have been imposed under the IAEA and the Security Council.

MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, what is the U.S. position to Norway’s claim that the Svalbard Treaty does not regulate the Svalbard continental shelf? And what is the main interest for the U.S. in the Arctic, with its possible huge oil and gas fields?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I will not comment on the Svalbard Treaty. I will leave that to my colleague.

But let me just make very clear that the United States has the same interest in the Arctic and the work of the Arctic Council as Norway does. We believe strongly that it’s important for the five principal Arctic nations, of which we are, too, to begin working together to make plans for what will most certainly become greater ocean travel, greater exploration, therefore greater pollution, greater impact of human beings. We made a start on that at the last Arctic Council meeting in agreeing on a search and rescue protocol, which was the first ever for the Arctic, so that Russia and the rest of the Arctic nations all agreed to have a plan in place for search and rescue. We’re working on an oil spill protocol and others to come.

Because we will, of course, claim what is ours under international law, just as Norway claims what is yours, but we know that that leaves a great vast amount of the Arctic that will be a common responsibility. And I think we both feel we have a very important obligation to get ahead of that and to prepare for what is likely to come. And it’s one of the reasons why I’m going up to the north tonight and tomorrow, because I want to highlight to my own country the importance of us working together on the Arctic.

But perhaps you want to add to that.

FOREIGN MINISTER STOERE: Well, I think that on the Svalbard issue, the Secretary has been there. That’s the northern most part of Norway where you can go, so we will go one step south this time – (laughter) – on the mainland. The Svalbard Treaty is quite a unique treaty, one of the survivors of the First World War Versailles Treaty system. It is – has secured a very stable and predictable and sustainable way of managing the very high north.

On some of these issues, the United States has reserved its views, which is a diplomatic expression for stating its views, taking care of its interests. There is no dispute on this, and I believe that it’s Norway’s responsibility to safeguard its interests.

And as the Secretary said, we both have rights and obligations. And one of Norway’s obligation is to secure law and order in these waters so there can be fishing and other kind of activities which correspond with the fragile environment of the archipelago. We have managed that so far. There are about 40 signatories to the Svalbard Treaty, which grants equal rights to economic operators operating inside the territorial waters and on the islands. And by doing that in a predictable way, we contribute to that stability. That’s why we talk about high north, low tension. And that we secure through predictable and long-term policies.

MODERATOR: And last question is to Arshad Mohammed, Reuters.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, there is a report that in China a Chinese state security official has been arrested on suspicion of having sold information to the U.S. CIA. In particular, the allegations are that he gave information about China’s foreign espionage to the United States. Can you comment on the veracity of that?

And regardless of what you can say about that issue, are you aware of anything in the last six months or so in U.S.-China relations, a period that has included the crisis over Cheng Guangcheng, the disagreements over how to handle Syria, the perennial other issues like currency and so on – are you aware of any issues that have come up that have made it not possible for the United States and China to work together where they have shared interests?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Arshad, I’m not going to comment on the report that you just cited.

But as to the second question, the answer is no. We have a very important, comprehensive relationship with China that is inclusive of a very broad range of important concerns. We cooperate on – in many areas. As you know, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue was established to bring together the strategic and economic parts of our relationship because there’s a lot of overlap. When I was just in China for the fourth S&ED earlier last month, we had a very robust and productive set of meetings.

Now, as you well know, that doesn’t mean we agree on every issue, because we certainly do not, but I don’t know any country we agree with on every issue. It doesn’t mean that we won’t have problems from time to time in our relationship. We do, and we do with most countries. But we each recognize that it is in our mutual interest to sustain this positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship that was committed to by the presidents of both countries.

So we will continue working on the broad range of issues that are of mutual interest, and we will deal with problems as we have in the last month as they arise. But the goal for our relationship with China is to ensure that we defy history, as I’ve said both in speeches at home and repeated and had actually repeated back to me by all of my Chinese interlocutors. It has never happened that an established preeminent power and a rising power have been able to find a way to not only coexist, but cooperate. We intend to make history with our relationship with China.

The United States intends to remain a preeminent power. We have made it absolutely clear that we are a Pacific power, and we will continue to have a strong presence in the Asia Pacific. But we are also looking for as many ways to cooperate as we can, because we think it’s in our interests, and we happen to think it’s in the interests of the world to see the United States and China have a peaceful, positive relationship. And that’s our plan, and that’s what we are doing every single day. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone. Our time is up. See you in Tromso.

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Onward.

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A World in Transition: Charting a New Path in Global Health

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Oslo, Norway
June 1, 2012

Well, that is quite a compliment. And whatever it takes to accept, I do. Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness, Mayor, my dear friend and colleague, your excellent foreign minister, also let me recognize Ingrid Schulerud, wife of the prime minister who, along with her husband, just hosted me and my delegation for a wonderful luncheon, and to everyone who has organized this extraordinary conference, which I think does come at a historical turning point.

It’s no surprise that we would be meeting here in Norway, one of the most generous nations on earth when it comes not only to global health but so much more, and that we would have gathered here the panel and others who bring such broad and deep experience, and also have the opportunity to elevate an issue that is connected to so much else.

I often think about issues like maternal health from a personal perspective because I am privileged to have known what it meant to me to have had the great good fortune and gift of my daughter. And I think about what it would have been like that cold February day in 1980 if I didn’t know that the facility was available. Or were it available, I didn’t really know for sure if it would be open. And I couldn’t count on a doctor or a midwife or a nurse being present. Or if they were, if something went wrong, that they would have the equipment and the expertise to handle whatever the emergency might be. But indeed, as we have just heard described by the minister from Sierra Leone, that is the experience of many millions of women every single day throughout the world.

So I greatly appreciated the invitation by the foreign minister to increase and accelerate our mutual efforts as to how together we, and hopefully bringing others with us, can do more to save the lives of mothers during labor and delivery. Now, maternal health has a value in and of itself, I think we would all agree with that, but it is deeply connected to a broader purpose. And our panelists have all very persuasively discussed that.

How do we achieve health systems that will help every country improve life for more of their people? And the key question comes down to, if you really want to know how strongly a country’s health system is, look at the well-being of its mothers. Because when a woman in labor experiences complications, it takes a strong system to keep her alive. It not only takes skilled doctors, midwives, and nurses, it takes reliable transportation, well-equipped clinics and hospitals that are open 24 hours a day. Where these elements are in place, more often than not women will survive childbirth. When they aren’t, more often than not they die or suffer life-changing, traumatic injuries.

When China, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia upgraded and expanded their health systems, their maternal mortality rates dropped dramatically. When Zimbabwe’s system began to crumble, its maternal mortality rates shot up dramatically. That is a powerful, inescapable correlation. And it is why improving maternal health is a priority for the United States.

Through our development agency USAID, we are supporting more skilled midwives and cell phone technology to spread health information. We’re involved in the International Alliance for Reproductive, Maternal, and Newborn Health, a five-year effort to improve donor coordination. We are partnering with Norway and others to support innovative interventions that improve outcomes for pregnant women and newborns. And we are working to ensure access to family planning so that women can choose the spacing and size of their families. Reproductive health services can and do save women’s lives, strengthen their overall health, and improve families’ and communities’ well-being.

And of course, women’s health means more than just maternal health and therefore we must look to improve women’s health more generally, because it is an unfortunate reality that women often face great health disparities. And improving women’s health has dividends for entire societies, from driving down child mortality rates to sparking economic growth. And Norway, as Jonas just pointed out, has been a leader in not only doing that, but recognizing it.

And the comment he made at the end about the difference between Norway’s GDP with oil and gas and with women’s empowerment and involvement is very striking because a recent study that Norway has just completed demonstrated that Norway’s GDP actually do more to the empowerment of women than the discovery of natural resources and their exploitation.

Norway has been a leader in also pointing out the direct links between gender-based violence and health. So for our part, the United States is integrating services throughout our health programs so women and their families have access to the range of care they need. And we are linking our health programs to others that address the legal, social and cultural barriers that inhibit women’s access to care, such as gender-based violence, lack of education, and the low social status of women and girls.

But you can’t impose a health system, and you can’t change some of these attitudes from the outside. We understand that. There has to be encouragement for it to grow from within, the kind of leadership that the minister is discussing about what is happening in Sierra Leone.

That is the principle of what we call country ownership. And I think it’s important to stress the connection between maternal mortality, strong health systems, and country ownership. Because while the global health community has recognized that we have to rigorously think about what works and what doesn’t work, and that we endorsed country ownership at the high-level forum in Paris in 2005 and reaffirmed it in Accra and Busan, it is enshrined in numerous global health agreements.

But few of us have honestly forced ourselves to examine what country ownership means for the day-to-day work of saving lives. Now, for many people, that phrase is freighted with unstated meaning. Some worry that it means donors are supposed to keep money flowing indefinitely while recipients decide how to spend it. Others, particularly in partner countries, are concerned that country ownership means countries are on their own. (Laughter.) Still others fear that country-owned really means government-run, freezing out civil society groups or faith-based organizations that in some places operate as many as 70 percent of all health facilities.

And this is not just a matter of semantics, because if we are not clear about what country ownership means, we cannot know whether we are making progress toward achieving it. And we certainly can’t identify what works and what doesn’t. And what’s more, we will achieve real gains in maternal health and global health more generally only with effective country ownership. Now, one or two programs in isolation are not enough. It takes an integrated, country-owned approach. So let me share with you what our latest thinking about what that means is.

To us, country ownership in health is the end state where a nation’s efforts are led, implemented, and eventually paid for by its government, communities, civil society and private sector. To get there, a country’s political leaders must set priorities and develop national plans to accomplish them in concert with their citizens, which means including women as well as men in the planning process. And these plans must be effectively carried out primarily by the country’s own institutions, and then these groups must be able to hold each other accountable as the women did in front of the parliament in Sierra Leone.

So while nations must ultimately be able to fund more of their own needs, country ownership is about far more than funding. It is principally about building capacity to set priorities, manage resources, develop plans, and carry them out. We are well aware that moving to full country ownership will take considerable time, patience, investment, and persistence. But I think there are grounds for optimism.

Economic growth is making it possible for many developing nations to meet more of their people’s own needs. In 2010, the GDPs of Mozambique, Botswana, and Ethiopia grew more than 8 percent. Nations across sub-Saharan Africa are seeing similar growth. And what we want to be sure of is that countries don’t substitute donor funding for their own, because unfortunately, there are examples – Zimbabwe being one – where an existing health system that was providing basic services to many was allowed to deteriorate while the government chose to put funding elsewhere. We have seen ministries of health lose funding to ministries of defense or ministries of transportation. And so what had been possible only a decade before becomes very difficult going forward.

So what we are trying to do is to help put in place the essential pieces of strong health systems. That means we are helping to build clinics and labs, to train staff, improve supply chains, make blood supplies safer, set up record-keeping systems; in short, creating platforms upon which partners can eventually launch their own efforts. Now, with this momentum, the question before us is not: Can we achieve country ownership? We think we are in a very good position to begin that process. Instead, we have to ask ourselves: “Are we achieving it? And if we are not, what must each of us do better?”

Well, some countries are. And earlier we heard about Sierra Leone. And I am very excited by what the minister has done to enlist 1,700-plus women as health monitors, responsible for checking up on their local clinics, reporting problems to the health ministry. That’s a wonderful way for ownership to migrate down from the national level to the local level and then come back up as a reporting mechanism.

Or consider Botswana, where the government manages, operates, and pays for HIV treatment programs. With PEPFAR’s support, it is also working with American universities to build a national medical school that will train the nation’s next generation of healthcare workers. And perhaps we can then stop the brain drain, because so many countries train excellent doctors, midwives, and nurses who then leave that country. My birth was assisted by a nurse midwife from Ghana – the birth of my daughter, and I know how wonderful and skilled she was. Now she’s back in Ghana, because she thinks she has opportunities to do her best work in her home country.

If you look at what India has achieved – and I appreciate the minister being here – six years ago, when the government launched its National AIDS Control Program, half the budget came from outside donors. Today, less than one fifth does, and the Indian Government covers the rest. But these are the exceptions, not yet the rule.

In too many countries, if you take a snapshot of all the health efforts, you see donors – that’s all of us – failing to coordinate our work, leaving some diseases underfunded, burying our partners in paperwork that I am convinced hardly anyone ever reads once it’s filled out, paying too little attention to improving systems. You see partner countries committing too few of their own resources and avoiding accountability for delivering results. And you see patients encountering a maze of obstacles that block them from the services they need. So therefore it is up to us – donor and country alike.

There is an old proverb that says: “When a man repeats a promise again and again, he means to fail you.” At the turn of this century, we made a collective promise to cut the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters and achieve universal access to reproductive health services. And yes, we have repeated that promise again and again. And although we do not mean to fail, we risk failing all the same, if we don’t change course.

So what do we need to do? Let me offer a few suggestions. Beginning with donors, governments, foundations, multilateral organizations – and I see a number of familiar faces. First, we do need to move from rhetoric to the reality of making it a priority to strengthen country-led health systems. That means meeting our commitments even in tough economic times. Part of this assistance should include an assessment of country systems, led by the countries themselves, with common international benchmarks so we can compare results across borders. And those are not only national borders but donor borders.

We need, for example, to follow closely the National Heath Accounts supported by USAID that give us an excellent view of the state of a health system’s financing – not to point fingers or cast blame, but to identify gaps and then develop plans to fill them.

Second, we donors have to recognize that supporting country ownership in health requires hard choices. It is often easier to start a new program than to phase out an existing one, even when the existing one is not producing results. But if we are serious about helping our partners plan, implement, and ultimately pay for their own efforts, we have to be willing to make the tough calls.

Third, donors must embrace transparency, even when it brings bad news. For example, when Zambia uncovered corruption in its Global Fund program, some donors responded by punishing them for the corruption, rather than applauding them for uncovering it. Now, we should never turn a blind eye to corruption or throw good money after bad, but it is counterproductive to punish our partners when they root out problems like that. It sends exactly the wrong message: We want you to fight corruption, but if you find any, we might freeze your funding. Instead, we should say find the corruption so that we can help you fix the problems.

And fourth, donors need to solve the coordination curse. Donor coordination has been a theme at health and development conferences for so long, it is a cliché. But there’s a reason it keeps coming up, and that’s because it is critically important and notoriously hard to get right.

When President Obama took office, we recognized that the United States Government needed to do a much better job of coordinating with ourselves to start with, as well as our partners and other donors.

For years, health teams within the U.S. Government operated independently. HIV/AIDS teams under PEPFAR would work with a country to develop one plan; USAID, which was the implementing partner for HIV/AIDS, might very well develop another plan; in would come our malaria team, they would develop a third plan, so on and so on. It was enough to make anybody just dizzy.

So we are trying to integrate our programs. And under our Global Health Initiative, each of our country teams now assess how they fit within a comprehensive vision and program, based upon a health plan established by the country where we are operating. And we have worked with partners to develop these health plans in more than 40 countries.

For donors, tackling all these problems will be essential if we want to get more partners back on the path to helping build sustainable, country-owned systems. And this goes for the emerging economies that recently were recipients of assistance but now are net donors. These countries are playing an increasingly important role, and some have shared technical advice and lessons with their developing nation partners. We want to see that expand.

But at the same time, we look to all emerging powers to recognize that with this growing power comes growing responsibility, and they should consider working whenever possible through existing multilateral channels and ensure that the ultimate aim of their efforts is to put more countries on the path to meeting their own needs, not to – figuratively and literally – pave the way for extracting countries’ natural resources.

Now, partner countries have challenges to meet as well. First, I challenge our partner countries to invest more in the health of their own people. If you went to Abuja and agreed to put 15 percent of your national budget into health, we need you to deliver on that commitment. That should be a priority – not just for health ministers, but for all political leaders, starting with presidents and prime ministers to finance and defense ministers. Meeting this commitment will pay off many times over, making it possible to expand services to underserved areas and people, develop your workforce, and even expand economic growth.

And there’s a special opportunity here for those nations that have recently discovered new sources of wealth in oil, gas, and other extractive industries. I urge you to follow the examples of two countries that are not often mentioned together in the same sentence: Norway and Botswana. Both discovered large stores of natural resources. Both dedicated a portion of the income to health and education. And in both cases, their investments coming from their own ground, their own natural resources, are saving lives and lifting up communities. And both Norway and Botswana are very generous in being willing to offer advice and technical assistance about how to do this.

Second, partner countries must take on the flip side of donor coordination. While it’s absolutely true we donors need to do a better job of working together, only one player has the authority to speak about a nation’s needs and orchestrate all the different groups working in a county, namely the national government of that country. So we need you to help identify the needs that aren’t being met and to convene the partners to determine who will fill which gaps. I applaud Rwanda and Ethiopia for their exemplary progress along these lines. Now, I know it is very difficult for many countries, but in the end only you have the power. No one else can do it for you.

Third, partner countries must begin bringing down the political barriers to improving health. That means making regulatory changes that allow faster approval of new drugs, procurement reform to ensure that drugs get to clinics on time, setting and delivering a living wage for health workers.

And it also does mean taking on corruption at every level. We’ve had the very sad experience of negotiating to provide antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS in some countries, and it’s very clear that the leadership of the country wants to make sure that they get their hand in the money for those drugs before it is delivered to the people who need it. And we have been very clear you have to take on corruption – local, regional, national – ensuring that drugs don’t get diverted to the black market.

It means repealing laws that stop progress, like the unfortunate treatment of women in so many places, ending gender-based violence and discrimination, creating true health equality for women and men. In some countries, women and girls are considered inherently less valuable than men and boys and are treated that way by custom and law. In many countries, members of the LGBT community are considered very much outside the mainstream and are treated that way, often therefore not being able to access health services that will benefit them and benefit the larger community. A system with built-in bias against any part of the population is not only unjust, but is unstable and unsustainable.

Now, my own country’s views about this global health work is shaped by what we have learned. As I said earlier, we are very proud that PEPFAR helped create platforms that countries can use to tackle a wide range of health problems. But as many observers have pointed out, PEPFAR did not initially set out to strengthen country systems. Instead, it began by creating a parallel network of clinics that were separately managed and paid for.

That’s a fair point. But let’s remember that in 2003, when the world faced an epidemic unlike any we had seen, HIV/AIDS demanded an emergency response, and the United States had the resources to answer the call. And today, we’ve made phenomenal progress with more than 4 million people receiving lifesaving treatment, 600,000 babies having been born HIV-free, and just last year 40 million receiving HIV counseling and testing.

But we know now it is time to shift from that emergency response to a country-owned model built to last. Last year, when I spoke about the goal of an AIDS-free generation, I made it clear that it could only happen by embracing country ownership. And PEPFAR provides us the framework, because there are five-year plans we have made with nearly two dozen countries to identify their most critical needs, to make joint commitments to meet those needs, and outline steps for transitioning responsibility for their HIV/AIDS programs. Our partners are no longer just recipients. They are now managers of their own response to the epidemic. And what we’re doing extends beyond HIV/AIDS. In Nepal, we have a USAID partnership to drive the expansion of family planning, maternal health, and children’s health. Nepal is now on track to achieve Millennium Development Goal five, as are Bangladesh, Egypt, and other countries.

So I am very pleased that the United States will be a part of the Saving Mothers, Giving Life partnership, along with Merck for Mothers, Every Mother Counts, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We’re not focusing on a single intervention, but on strengthening health systems. We are beginning with projects in parts of Uganda and Zambia, learning what works and how we then can spread it. And I want to thank Norway for your extraordinary commitment, and I am pleased to announce the United States is committing $75 million to this partnership.

There are so many forums where matters of global health are discussed. I think every one of us have been to dozens, probably. But we have to do things differently. We have to be open about the obstacles that we confront. We have to be willing to admit what doesn’t work. We have to be ready to applaud those who point out mistakes or corruption. That kind of dialogue can be difficult. There will be times when we don’t see eye to eye. But it is fitting that we meet here in Oslo City Hall, where the world comes together each year to honor historic accomplishments that further the cause of peace, and think about the men and women who have stood here in this city hall being honored – the organizations like the International Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.

Norway has long understood that the stability of any nation is tied up in the well-being of its people. And every life we save is a step toward that more peaceful, prosperous planet we seek. I think back to that day when I had my daughter and how fortunate I was. But surviving childbirth and growing up healthy should not be a matter of luck or where you live or how much money you have. It should be a fact for every woman everywhere. And I think we can make this happen, and by doing so, bring the world closer to recognizing that working together we not only can save lives, we can help improve them, bring greater peace, prosperity to all.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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These pictures were taken during yesterday’s sessions shortly after her arrival, but were not published until today.  There will be more pictures later from today’s events, but I thought some people might be needing a Hillary-fix about now.  We see her with her counterparts Patricia Espinosa of Mexico (the host), Jonas Gahr Stoere of Norway, and Maite Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa.

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Remarks With Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 10, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone. It is such a pleasure for me to welcome in this new year the foreign minister of Norway. He and I have worked closely together on a range of issues affecting the Middle East peace process, the situation in Afghanistan, global health, and so much more.So we are looking forward to beginning the new year very strongly with a comprehensive discussion about the many areas that we are concerned about and cooperating on. So it’s a pleasure to see you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER STORE: Thank you. Likewise, it’s my first (inaudible) visit this year, and it’s really a strong start to meet in this political environment in the United States, follow domestic issues, and also touching on all those issues that we share and will be sharing (inaudible). So I thank you very much for receiving me on the new year.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Happy New Year.

FOREIGN MINISTER STORE: Happy New Year.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
August 12, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good morning, and I apologize for the delay, but we had a long agenda, as I always do when I meet with my colleague. I want to welcome the foreign minister once again to the State Department. And this has been a very productive and wide-ranging discussion.Before I begin about the matters that we were discussing, I want once again to offer our deepest sympathies on behalf of the American people to our friends in Norway, especially the families of those who lost loved ones. In the days since those terrible events, the whole world has once again witnessed the resilience and dignity of the Norwegian people as they have comforted the bereaved, healed the wounded, and pulled together on behalf of a nation whose values we so greatly admire.

Once again, we see Norway setting an example for the world as a strong, generous, far-sighted member of the international community. But that is not a surprise because we see it on a regular basis. As food shortages, for example, threaten millions of lives in the Horn of Africa, we see Norway’s global leadership in development assistance and disaster relief. Norway has already contributed nearly $50 million in this crisis. In fact, every year Norway dedicates a full 1 percent of its GDP to promote sustainable development around the world, and that is a remarkably generous amount.

Norway’s commitment to this work is rooted in the understanding that it is not just the right thing to do, but as I said in my speech yesterday, it is the smart thing as well because of the direct impact that development has on global stability, security, and opportunity. This is an insight we should remember here in Washington as we have our own discussions about how best to allocate our budgetary resources. And today, the foreign minister and I discussed development priorities, and in particular the situation in the Horn of Africa.

Norway is rightly respected as a peacemaker and a peacekeeper, and I thanked the foreign minister in particular for Norway’s strong support of the people of Afghanistan, its commitment to achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East, its contributions to the NATO mission to protect civilians in Libya. And we discussed the importance of supporting the Libyan people as they plan for a post-Qadhafi reconstruction and stabilization period.

In addition, we discussed Syria, where we both remain acutely concerned about the Asad regime’s campaign of violence against their own citizens. Norway and our other European allies have been strong, consistent voices on behalf of the Syrian people, and I commend them for their advocacy. The Asad regime’s continued brutality is galvanizing international opinion. There has been a crescendo of condemnation not only from the world but in particular from the region.

After the Security Council statement, we’ve seen movement in rapid succession from the Arab League, the GCC, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others. The United States will continue to work with our partners to turn this growing consensus into increased pressure and isolation for the Asad regime. In particular, we urge those countries still buying Syrian oil and gas, those countries still sending Asad weapons, those countries whose political and economic support give him comfort in his brutality, to get on the right side of history. President Asad has lost the legitimacy to lead, and it is clear that Syria would be better off without him.

Yesterday, the United States imposed new sanctions and Ambassador Ford delivered a clear message to the Syrian Government: Immediately stop the violence, withdraw your security forces, respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people for a democratic transition in concrete and meaningful ways. Now, it is something that we are watching closely and we are consulting closely with partners around the world, and we expect to see action.

So whether it’s promoting sustainable development or standing up for universal rights in the face of political violence, the United States and Norway are working together on so many important issues. And I thank the foreign minister for his partnership and his friendship and this visit, and I look forward to our continuing work together.

FOREIGN MINISTER STOERE: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Let me say on behalf of all Norwegians that the messages of comfort we have received from the President and the Vice President, yourself, on behalf of the American people and from American friends all over the United States, has been heartening. I can tell you as a foreign minister, I have seen it as my task to transmit these warm words to the families, and I have been going from funeral to funeral to follow young teenagers who ended their lives because they went to a political summer camp. So this is a very dramatic moment when Norwegians are coming together, and we feel that the support we get, which is heartfelt, is strong and important. So I thank you for that.

You gave an excellent summary of our discussions. I’d just like to say how much I appreciate these regular opportunities we have to compare notes. It happens almost monthly when we meet somewhere out traveling, but I appreciate these opportunities here at the State Department to do a systematic rundown.

We met in Greenland last time for the Arctic foreign minister meeting, illustrating that that is a new part of the world where we need good political stewardship to manage resources, look after the environment, and keep security and low tension. And we are succeeding in that. I think it’s an area where we will see a lot more attention in the future. It’s a priority in our foreign policy because it’s close to us as Norway in the north.

But as you said, we also have a partnership with the U.S. on a number of other issues and agendas, and the strength of that partnership is that open dialogue and the trust that you also have been showing as Secretary, and I thank you for that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Jonas.

MS. NULAND: Okay. We have time for two questions from the American side and two questions from the Norwegian side today. The first question to Arshad Mohammed from Reuters.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, yesterday in your interview with CBS, you said that what really needs to be done to bring pressure to bear on Syria is to sanction its oil and gas industry. What progress, if any, are you making in persuading European nations or India or China to curtail their significant investments in the oil and gas industry, and what countries in particular are still buying their oil and gas that you’d like to see them stop?

And then also on Syria, you talked about – it seemed as if yesterday you really are not leaning toward explicitly calling for Asad to go. It’s as if you want there to be a greater consensus among your allies to do that. What is the sort of hesitation on that? Are some of your partners like Turkey urging you not to do this, to give Asad a little more time, despite the acceleration of violence in the last week, ten days? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Arshad, I think it is fair to say that we have been engaging in intensive outreach and international diplomacy with many countries in the region and beyond to encourage and persuade them to speak out, number one, and then to join us in taking action, number two.

You’re aware that it took an intense effort to get the presidential statement, which we did finally see issued just about two weeks ago. And that statement was the first international statement that really captured what has become a growing consensus about Asad’s brutality and his refusal to follow up on any of the reforms that he has claimed to be supporting. Then, as I said, we saw in quick succession the Arab League, which reversed its position, the Gulf Coordinating Council, which made a very strong statement led by an important and welcome statement from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

So we are watching the growing crescendo of condemnation that I referenced, and I don’t think you should assume anything other than we’re trying and succeeding at putting together an international effort so that there will not be any temptation on the part of anyone inside the Asad regime to claim that it’s only the United States or maybe it’s only the West. Indeed, it’s the entire world.

And we’re making the case to our international partners to intensify the financial and political pressure to get the Syrian Government to cease its brutality against its own citizens and to make way for positive change. At the same time, we and others are reaching out to members of the opposition inside and outside of Syria to encourage them to create a unified vision of what an inclusive, participatory, democratic system in Syria could look like. So there’s a lot of work going on, and I think that that work is paying off.

QUESTION: Are you making progress on the oil and gas (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Stay tuned.

QUESTION: Have you –

MS. NULAND: Next question –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Stay tuned.

MS. NULAND: Next question on the Norwegian side to Anders Tvegard of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you for your ongoing and continued support after the terrorist attacks in Norway. Norway, your ally in the Middle East, will not add her voice to Syrian President Asad to step down at this moment because there are no clear alternative. How helpful is this in your ongoing diplomatic effort – the Norwegian position?

And if I may, in Afghanistan, U.S. is about to pull out a certain number of troops and Norway is concerned that the troop withdrawal will have an effect on the Norwegian forces on the ground. In what respect will Norway’s concern be taken into consideration when you decide from which areas to pull your troops? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I will let Jonas address your first question because that is a matter for Norway to respond to.

On the second question, I can assure you there will be intensive consultations at all levels, bilaterally and through NATO ISAF, as the withdrawal occurs. We have been not only grateful for, but very impressed by the Norwegian presence in Norway, and we are well aware of the sacrifice and commitment that Norway has provided to the coalition efforts in Afghanistan, and there will be a very clear path forward that we will all travel together.

FOREIGN MINISTER STOERE: If I may just on Syria say that I think we are part of that broad and emerging international voice sending clear message to the regime in Damascus. The Secretary and I attended the Human Rights Council in Geneva in early March when Libya was emerging as a real problem. And I think we both used – coined this version that a regime which is turning its army on its people is losing legitimacy to represent that people. That is, to me, a lead-up to expressing a clear view on that leadership. And I think we see a similar process in terms of sending a very strong, normative message, which is follow-up that presidential statements, a number of sanctions.

And I would in particular salute the regional organization’s clear message. We have been missing that, but it is starting to come from Syria’s neighbors and from Syria’s own organizations, and that is of great importance to – building that alliance is part of the work which is needed now.

MS. NULAND: Next question, Kirit Radia, ABC.

QUESTION: Hi. Good morning to you both. Question for the both of you, but particularly for the Secretary, if you don’t mind answering, on the Middle East peace process. Can you tell us how much progress has been made among the Quartet in developing the document that could provide some way forward in hopes of staving off the Palestinian vote at the United Nations in September?

And if I may ask, Madam Secretary, about reports that the talks with the Taliban have collapsed, what can you tell us about that? What – how serious were these efforts and how far did they get, and where do you go from here? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, with respect to Middle East peace, Jonas and I had a very good discussion of all the issues concerning the Middle East today. I applaud Norway’s continued leadership and commitment to the peace process and also its chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which has been the principal international support for a lot of the work that’s been done on the ground by the Palestinian Authority to improve the lives, the security, the well-being of the Palestinian people.

President Abbas has said on numerous occasions that substantive negotiations are his preferred course, and we take him at his word. That is why we’re working very hard with our Quartet partners to come up with a platform for the resumption of negotiations. And we’re doing so based on President Obama’s May remarks, which very clearly set out parameters for the two major issues that have to be addressed: on the one hand, territory, on the other hand, security.

We have continued to support strongly a two-state solution and the negotiations are absolutely imperative for us to reach that two-state solution. We believe that UN resolutions, no matter what they say, are no substitute for the difficult but necessary give and take that can occur only in a negotiating process. So we are going to oppose that approach and strongly support every effort to resume negotiations.

QUESTION: And on the Taliban talks?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have no comment on that.

FOREIGN MINISTER STOERE: Well, I – I’ll just like to rally my voice to the Secretary. When it comes to a two-state solution, that should come about through negotiations. Norway has been associated with Oslo, and Oslo was all about negotiating the painful way to that two-state solution so they could leave side by side in peace. One should not ignore the steps which have been taken on that road, but a lot still remains to be done. And we as an international community must do whatever we can to support that road.

That being said, we will have to wait and see what the Palestinians will present for September, and it is Norway’s view that we have to view their plans in detail when they are ready to come up with it. We support any initiative from the Quartet that may bring negotiations forward. It is not Norway’s view that it is illegitimate to turn to the UN to get an expression. That has been regular in the Middle East peace process since the creation of a state of Israel.
But no matter how many resolutions you pass, negotiations will be needed to solve the tricky issues. That I understand is also the view of the Palestinian president, who, in my – to my knowledge, has shown every readiness to engage in that negotiation. It takes two to make this, and we will have to work on both sides to make that difficult task possible.

MS. NULAND: And the last question is from Vegard Kvaale of the Dagbladet.

QUESTION: Thank you. Once again, Madam Secretary, thank you for your support after the terrorist attacks. I was just wondering, what do you think of the response from the Norwegian Government and Norwegian people to the attacks? And how has American authorities assisted Norwegian authorities after the attacks? And last, how should the international community deal with these kinds sort of homegrown terrorism threats in the future? Are there, for instance, any lessons that we can take from the Oklahoma bombings in ’95? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I deeply admire the resilience of the Norwegian people, and we saw it once again in the aftermath of this terrible terrorist attack of July 22nd. It is almost hard for me as a mother to imagine. And when Jonas told me about going to funerals, it was a terrible flashback to having gone to Oklahoma City following the attack there, going to funerals and events after 9/11, where it is a – just a terrible human tragedy that you are part of as a member of the human family, and particularly of countries like ours that really cherish our values of openness and believe strongly in the opportunity that exists for people of different backgrounds, different beliefs to live and work together, to compete in the arena of ideas.

And I think though hearts are certainly broken in Norway, the response that we have seen to hatred and to the viciousness of the terrorist’s message that was posted on the internet has been in keeping with the strength of the Norwegian people and the values that you exhibit around the world. And these values of tolerance and solidarity and democracy and openness are the very values that these young people were believing in because they had chosen to become involved in the political process of your country. And it’s a terrible loss for Norway, but it is a loss for all of us as we think about those young lives that were cut short.

So we stand with you now and always. We have offered our continuing support. Members of our law enforcement community have been in touch with counterparts in Norway. And where we’ve been asked to provide information, we’ve been more than willing to do so. We stand ready to offer any assistance that you may require.

This is a reminder that, in our democracies, we have to be balancing liberty and security all the time. That is not an easy balance. We made some changes after Oklahoma City, we made other changes after 9/11, but in our democracy we have to keep balancing those apparently contradictory values, but in my view, you cannot have one without the other. And so how do we define each in ways that maximize the potential for the people of our countries to realize their own dreams and aspirations. So we are looking to deepen our discussion about these challenges going forward.

Thank you all very much.

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