Posts Tagged ‘Kazakhstan’

Speaking of Vladimir Putin Hillary says “hard men represent hard choices” and goes on to provide her analysis of him and how who he is informs his particular choices.  She says he views geopolitics as a zero-sum game where if someone is winning someone else has to be losing.

Her recommended strategy for managing a relationship with the Russians: work with them on specific issues; rally other nations to work with us against negative behavior as needed.

She betrays a clear preference for the vision Yeltsin had for Russia and mentions this moment when he turned back the forces of an old soviet-era coup.

We know Yeltsin kept a photo of her in his office.  There was mutual admiration, clearly.  For the heck of it I also share these.   They always make me smile.

We will never see anything like that from Putin.

Calling Russia the fourth most dangerous place in the world to be a journalist, she refers to this meeting with civil leaders where she spoke of press freedom and human rights.

Hillary Clinton at a Reception for Civil Society Leaders in Moscow

 Hillary Rodham Clinton
She also gave this daring radio interview on this trip and spoke of human rights.

Hillary Clinton’s Interview with Moskvy Radio

It was during the 2008 primaries here in the U.S. that term limits forced Putin to relinquish the presidency to Dmitri Medvedev whom Hillary found surprisingly conciliatory.

The approach, therefore, that was THE reset, was three-pronged:

  1. cooperation on aligned interests,
  2. firmness where interests diverged,
  3. engagement with the people.

She attributes the use of the term reset to Joe Biden who used it first.  As she looks back at her first official meeting with Lavrov,  we get a glimpse of the value she places on the use of humor in diplomacy.  Even funnier, in the book she relates how Philippe Reines tried to get the button back to correct the label, prevailed upon the Russian ambassador to Switzerland who said he would have to ask the minister, and Philippe said that his minister was going to send him to Siberia if he didn’t get it back.  Hillary said she was tempted.

Hillary Clinton’s Reset Meeting with Russian FM Lavrov

The next month the two new presidents would meet. It was a watershed moment – a very productive meeting.  Medvedev acknowledged that the U.S. was probably right about Iran nuclear intentions and the two decided that it was time to revisit the nuclear treaty our two countries share. START had expired, and nothing had been done to revise and renew it.  Hillary and Sergei Lavrov were about to be assigned what might have been their most important mission: a New START.  They, and their respective squadrons, would prove to be a close and impressive team.

A year later,  she and Secretary Gates introduced the New START Treaty.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks On The New START Treaty

The presidential signing took place in Prague in April 2010.

Immediately afterwards Hillary went on the offensive to get the treaty ratified.  In the book, Hillary manages to reduce the battle for ratification to about a page.  In real life, it took a year for the teams to hammer out the treaty (not bad considering the massive assignment) and then it took all of this to get it ratified.

Her allies on The Hill were Vice President Joe Biden, Harry Reid, John Kerry, and Richard Lugar.  Her companion in the trenches was Robert Gates.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the Announcement of the Release of the Nuclear Posture Review

Smart START – Hillary Clinton Unveils Non-Proliferation Rationale @ McConnell Center Speaker Series!

Yes, it was and is that McConnell Center (a very smart move). She also published an international op-ed.

Our Giant Step Towards a World Free from Nuclear Danger

Video: Secretary Clinton on the New START Treaty

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the New Start Treaty at the Senate Armed Services Committee

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks to Members of the U.S. Delegation to the New START Negotiations and Nuclear Posture Review Department Staff

Video & Text: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks on the New START Ratification

Always keep smiling, even when the struggle is hard!

Secretaries Clinton and Gates on Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approval of the New START Treaty

When possible, wear pink.  It weakens resistance.

The New START Treaty: It’s Time for the Senate to Vote

But, as Hillary remarks, after the 2010 mid-term elections it appeared that ratification was going to be a tough battle.  Many Tea Party candidates had been elected to Congress and some seats had been lost in the Senate.   There was pressure from the far right that threatened to get in the way.

This is just me, not Hillary, but her analysis of Putin and what drives him could also apply to some Tea Party folks who believe in a zero-sum game and think our glory days lie in a past century.  One way Putin is more advanced than they is that he is less insular.  He intends to organize with his Pacific neighbors.

I do not believe New START would have been on the agenda, however, if he and not Medvedev were president.

Video: Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Richard Lugar on The New START Treaty

Powerhouse Pow-Wow: How to Jumpstart New START

Finally, right before Christmas, as if a gift, ratification!  It was a present – from Hillary and Sergei Lavrov to the world.  Thank you both and your industrious teams!

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Senate Ratification of New START

Hillary Clinton’s New START: A Happy Beginning

The instruments of ratification were exchanged in February 2011.  Hillary was so happy that they finally had gotten this done that she remarked that she was having trouble signing her own name – a problem we have not seen on the book promotion trail.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks After Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for the New START Treaty

If anyone tries to tell you she accomplished nothing or that the reset did not work,  show them this page.  She worked very hard to get this treaty and to get it ratified.  We are lucky.  This protects us all.

But as 2011 began with this extraordinary bi-national victory,  the tone shifted with the year drawing to a close.  As Hillary recounts, Russian parliamentary elections in December were marred by fraud reports,  and Putin announced his intention to run for the presidency again.

Hillary expressed concern about these reports, and when folks in Russia hit the streets to demonstrate their disapproval, Putin blamed her for the unrest.

At this OSCE conference Hillary quotes herself.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the OSCE

The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.

Although she argued to Putin that it was unlikely that people woke up and went into the streets because they thought she wanted them to, she does not completely reject the idea that she might have inspired some courage to protest.

As Putin retrieved the presidency and rejected an invitation to the G-8  at Camp David, she warned President Obama that Putin’s “regional integration” was code for rebuilding the empire of the past.

The reset, she tells us was what you think it was.  It delivered or disappointed according to your expectations.  A Rorschach test of sorts.  It was meant, she states, as a recognition, not as a reward.

To illustrate the complexities of the reset she provides the example of supply routes to Afghanistan.  As we saw in the Pakistan chapter, one of these was over land.  But we also leased former Soviet air bases in both Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan for air transport.

Given the world-view Hillary assigns to Putin, it is not hard to see why he might perceive our presence on former Soviet military bases as a threat.  That, indeed, is what he warned the Kyrgys and Uzbeks of – a permanent U.S. presence on these bases (that we were leasing).

A long, but necessary land route for supplies crosses Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan by rail. The complex came to be known as the Northern Distribution Network and was crucial to the Afghanistan surge.  Medvedev signed off on our use of Russian rails for this purpose in 2009 (for a price).  The movement of lethal cargo across former Soviet land provided an opportunity for Russia to exert some muscle.

When Hillary visited Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, and Uzbekistan in 2010, she was asked where they stood in the reset.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

QUESTION: Where does Kyrgyzstan come in in your reset with Russia?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Russia and the United States, we think, have to work hard to overcome a legacy of mistrust, and try to chart a new course. So when the Obama Administration came in, President Obama and I said we’re going to try to reset relations with Russia. That doesn’t mean we will always agree, because we will not. But it does mean, where we can agree, we should. And we should try to make the world safer and more secure, fewer conflicts, fewer problems.

… But what’s important for us, for the United States, is that Kyrgyzstan be left alone to make its own decisions about what is best for Kyrgyzstan, and that no country interfere with or undermine the legitimate aspirations of the people of Kyrgyzstan to have a democracy that will fulfill the aspirations of you, and no one else. That is our hope.

QUESTION: And is there any rivalry going on between Russia and the U.S., I mean, in the region, particularly in Kyrgyzstan?

SECRETARY CLINTON:… I think it’s important for you to have relations with many, but not be dependent on any. Try to balance off all the different relations you have, and get the best help you can from other countries that wish to participate with you.

The entire transcript is here.

Secretary Clinton’s Townterview in Kyrgyzstan


Strategy to counter Putin’s neo-colonial agenda included helping Europe,  eastern Europe in particular, secure alternative sources of fuel and energy and reduce dependence on Gazprom since  Russia could shut down those supply lines at will.

With Cathy Ashton she initiated the U.S. – E.U. Energy Council.  Although, as she says, these efforts did not make headlines here at home, they forced Gazprom to compete and influenced Ukraine’s desire for closer ties to Europe (and freedom from Gazprom) which, in turn, relaxed Putin’s grip on the former Soviet state and emboldened Ukrainians to stand firm in their intent to join with Europe.

Joint Statement Following the U.S.- EU Energy Council Ministerial, Lisbon


As she brings this Russian chapter to a close she shares some personal insights and moments with Putin, including the invitation for Bill Clinton to tag polar bears with him.

Another involves her attendance at APEC in Vladivostok in September 2012.

Hillary Clinton at APEC in Vladivostok

She mentions that President Obama could not attend because of his campaign schedule here at home.  Both Putin and Lavrov resented  1) that President Obama was not there and 2) remarks she had made about Russia’s support for Bashar Al-Assad and therefore resisted a meeting with her. Protocol dictated that the former APEC host (U.S.) be seated beside the current host at the ceremonial dinner.  As the president’s representative, the U.S. CEO was Hillary and she was seated beside Putin at the dinner.  Not only did they socialize and talk issues and strategy, but Putin shared a story about his parents that no one had ever heard.

She does not mention, so I shall, that at this APEC Summit she signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Antarctic and a Joint Statement on Strengthening U.S.-Russian Inter-Regional Cooperation with Sergei Lavrov.   So the reset continued to succeed.

Hillary Clinton At Signing Ceremony With Russian FM Lavrov

Prior to leaving the department she sent President Obama an analysis of relations with Putin’s Russia and some recommendations that some thought extreme at the time.  More recent events have shown her assessment to be on target.

As was the case with some previous chapters, the final paragraphs seem directed to Putin and the Russian people more than to us.   It is excellent advice and they all should attend to it.


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>



She does not mention this, so I shall even though it is off-topic.  The APEC  summit in Vladivostok came at the end of this trip for which she cut short an already brief vacation.

Just Confirmed: Hillary Clinton to Visit Cook Islands, Indonesia, China, Timor-Leste, Brunei, and Russia

August 28, 2012 by still4hill

She had been away and working non-stop for eleven days.  There are no “weekends” for a traveling secretary of state.  It was eleven solid days packed with work.  She had  been in six countries. She was in Vladivostok through the September 9, flew home and was at the State Department for a 9:15 meeting on September 10.

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for September 10, 2012

Take note of the date.  She came home to more than a dozen embassies and consulates under siege and was at her office late the next evening as tragic events unfolded.

To those who question where she was and what she was doing, I can answer that she was working as she had been for two solid weeks with no break.  I would also ask them when the last time was that they worked through two weeks straight for the long hours that she worked without a day off.  To imply or assert that Hillary Clinton ever shirked any aspect of her duty as secretary of state, especially with our embassies and consulates in danger, is a reprehensible assault on a dedicated public servant – particularly when the agenda is purely political.

As I said, it is off-topic, parenthetical, and it is just me.



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She is friends with new FMs before they become FMs. She knows everybody!

Remarks With Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Yerlan Idrisov After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
October 3, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON:Good afternoon, everyone. I am delighted to welcome a very well known figure here to the State Department and to have this opportunity to greet him as Foreign Minister. But before I turn to the issues that bring us together today, let me say a few words about a subject that I know is on many people’s minds.

There are continuing questions about what exactly happened in Benghazi on that night three weeks ago. And we will not rest until we answer those questions and until we track down the terrorists who killed our people. Active efforts are also underway to determine who was responsible and bring them to justice.

We have already formed an Accountability Review Board to examine this attack and to explore how we can prevent anything like this from happening in the future. The board is beginning its work this week under the leadership of Ambassador Thomas Pickering. The board’s mandate is to determine whether our security systems and procedures in Benghazi were appropriate in light of the threat environment, whether those systems and procedures were properly implemented, and any lessons that may be relevant to our work around the world.

The men and women who serve this country as diplomats deserve no less than a full and accurate accounting, wherever that leads. And I am committed to seeking that for them and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.

No one wants to determine what happened that night in Benghazi more than the President and I do. No one is more committed to ensuring it doesn’t happen again. And nobody will hold this Department more accountable than we hold ourselves, because we served with and we knew the four men we lost. They are not just names or profiles to us. They are our colleagues and our friends.

In our initial reviews over the past two weeks, we have worked closely with other agencies, and we have learned a number of things. We will continue to learn more in the days to come. We are committed to a process that is as transparent as possible while balancing the needs of the investigations underway. It will take time before we have a complete understanding of what actually did happen. But still, I am asking the board to move as quickly as possible without sacrificing diligence and accuracy. In the interim, we will continue to provide as much accurate information as we can to the public and to the Congress.

As I’ve been saying for four years, our diplomats and development experts are on the front lines, just like our troops. And the entire United States Government needs to work together to protect them. We will not retreat. We will keep leading, and we will stay engaged everywhere in the world, including in those hard places where America’s interests and security are at stake. That is the best way to honor those whom we have lost.

Now let me say again what a pleasure it is to welcome Foreign Minister Idrisov here to Washington in his new capacity. He served here for five years as Kazakhstan’s ambassador, so we already know him as a friend and partner. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Foreign Minister for Kazakhstan’s strong statements in support of the United States and the duty to protect diplomats following the Benghazi attack.

Today we discussed the many ways our nations are enhancing our cooperation through our Strategic Partnership Dialogue. As a critical link in the Northern Distribution Network, Kazakhstan is part of our efforts to supply and support our troops in Afghanistan. And Kazakhstan is looking forward to a future of greater regional cooperation and economic integration after the security transition ends in 2014. They have pledged to support the Afghan National Security Forces. They are focusing on infrastructure projects and training Afghan officials.

Kazakhstan has also embraced the Vision for a New Silk Road that will strengthen the region’s economic ties, where goods and people can move freely throughout the region. I thanked the Minister for everything that Kazakhstan is doing to promote stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

We discussed Kazakhstan’s program of economic and democratic reforms at home. Kazakhstan is working to strengthen its institutions, including its newly elected parliament. And I assured the Foreign Minister that the United States will continue to support this path toward becoming a modern democracy.

At the same time, I did express the importance of continuing to strengthen space for the development of civil society. A strong civil society is essential to an effective democracy, and we urge that all human rights be protected. In this regard, I did express concern over a new religion law, and made the point that its implementation should not restrict the right of people to worship peacefully.

Finally, we talked about our partnership on nuclear nonproliferation, disarmament, and security. I thanked the Foreign Minister for Kazakhstan’s work with the IAEA to establish an international nuclear fuel bank. And we discussed our shared commitment to seeing Iran come into full compliance with its UN Security Council and Nonproliferation Treaty obligations.

Our nations have enjoyed more than 20 years of diplomatic relations. And as we enter this third decade of partnership, I look forward to seeing new ways and new opportunities for our countries to work together.

Thank you so much, Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER IDRISOV: Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your kind words. I’m really happy to see friends in the room. Jill, we had the tradition of having breakfast together, and I think it’s my turn now, and I invite you to Kazakhstan for the next breakfast we have.

Madam Secretary, dear friends, it’s a lucky coincidence for me to have the opportunity to end my five year tour in Washington, D.C., and to start my new job as Foreign Minister for Kazakhstan by having a meeting with an outstanding statesman, outstanding diplomat, Secretary Clinton. I’m not yet seasoned as she is. Therefore my statement will be very brief. Over the years of Kazakhstan’s young independence, our nations have built a relationship which is robust, dynamic, and broad, covering vast areas ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to energy partnership, nation building, and regional security.

I will try to do my best to make sure that our relations go from strength to strength to the benefit of our nations, our region, and the entire world.

Thank you, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much.


MS. NULAND: We’ll take three questions today. Let’s start with CBS. Margaret Brennan, please.

QUESTION: Thank you. Madam Secretary, were their multiple requests for increased security in Tripoli and Benghazi, and can you address whether Washington or your office rejected those requests?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me start by cautioning everyone against seizing on any single statement or piece of information to draw final conclusions. It’s essential that we go through all of the information and the entire context so that we can get a full and complete accurate understanding of what happened. I take this responsibility very seriously, and I believe that our diplomats, our leaders, and the American people deserve a rigorous, serious, careful process.

Now, we are already working with Congress and the relevant committees, and we will continue to respond to questions and requests in a cooperative way. As a former member of Congress, I deeply understand as well as anyone the important role that Congress is playing and should play in this effort. I am aware, too, that many people are eager for answers. So am I, Margaret, and no one wants the answers more than we do here at the Department. And now based on the reviews so far, we’re developing a better understanding of what happened, but we have a lot of work to do to give complete and accurate responses to all the questions and statements that are swirling out there.

So we have to keep working through lots of documents and talking to scores of individuals before we have a definitive accounting. Over the course of this review, there will naturally be a number of statements made, some of which will be borne out, and some of which will not. So let’s establish all the facts before we jump to any conclusions, and let’s do so so that we can get to the bottom of what did happen.

So I’m asking the board to move as quickly as possible without sacrificing accuracy. In the interim, we will provide as much accurate information to the Congress and the public along the way. I think it’s really very important for us to do this in a rigorous, careful way, because I have observed over the course of many years, as a lawyer, as someone in public life, that at the beginning of any kind of inquiry or investigation, there’s going to be different perspectives, different points of view, people trying to present what they believe applies to a certain set of circumstances. But I’ve also seen how important it is to get everything lined up and analyzed, and that is what we are doing, and we’re doing it as expeditiously as possible, and we’ll certainly keep you, the Congress, and the public informed.

MS. NULAND: Next one. Alexey Berezin from Khabar TV, please.

QUESTION: We know that a Strategic Partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan is going on, so my question is about the future, about the perspectives of this partnership. So please comment on this one.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me say how pleased we are that this Strategic Partnership has already produced results. We are working across a broad range of issues together, and I think it speaks, as the Minister said, to both countries’ desire to deepen and strengthen our relationship. We view Kazakhstan as not just a regional presence but a global leader. Certainly when it comes to nonproliferation, there are few countries that can match Kazakhstan’s experience and credibility when talking about nonproliferation. We are very grateful for the role that Kazakhstan is taking on with respect to Afghanistan, and I have been privileged, as you know, to visit Kazakhstan, both as First Lady and as Secretary, and to have seen the remarkable developments in such a short period of time in this new – this old nation but new, modern country.

So we think that our strategic partnership reflects where we are today and where we hope to be tomorrow. Minister?

FOREIGN MINISTER IDRISOV: Madam Secretary was so eloquent, there is very little that I have to add. I fully subscribe to what Madam Secretary said. Let me highlight another aspect of our cooperation and our vision is to focus on the region. The region requires so much attention that we have to segment our efforts so that our efforts are successful. Our long-term goal, which is shared by our partners in the West, in the South, to the East, and to the Northeast – to turn our space into a genuine platform for cooperation, a genuine space for win-win scenarios.

So this is the goal we’ll be driving ourselves by, and we will continue to count on the very strong shoulder of our American friends.


MS. NULAND: Last one today. Special friend to Kazakhstan – (laughter) – Jill Dougherty of CNN.

QUESTION: (Inaudible), sir, it was very nice of you to say that.

Secretary Clinton, I wanted to ask you about Iran. Today, we are seeing some uprisings – the people obviously very much hurting, very frustrated about the fall of their currency. I know you’ve said many times you do not want to hurt them, but can you now, at this point, prevent that? And is the ultimate goal to bring down the economy, if that’s what it takes, in order to stop Iran’s nuclear program?

And in our tradition of just adding another question – but this just happened – the attack on the Turkish border. Turks killed and now there is serious mulling over by the Turks some type of unilateral military action. What’s your opinion on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Jill, first with respect to Iran, our goal has been and remains to persuade the Iranian regime to negotiate seriously in good faith with the international community over its nuclear program, to fulfill its obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency and to the United Nations, and to do so expeditiously. We have always said that we had a dual-track approach to this, and one track was trying to put pressure on the Iranian Government to come to the negotiating table and to do just as I have described: to reach a peaceful resolution of the many legitimate questions that surround their nuclear program and ambitions.

I think the Iranian Government deserves responsibility for what is going on inside Iran. And that is who should be held accountable. And I think that they have made their own government decisions, having nothing to do with the sanctions that have had an impact on the economic conditions inside the country. And of course, the sanctions have had an impact as well, but those could be remedied in short order if the Iranian Government were willing to work with the P-5+1 and the rest of the international community in a sincere manner.

With respect to what happened on the Turkey-Syria border, we are outraged that the Syrians have been shooting across the border. We are very regretful about the loss of life that has occurred on the Turkish side. We are working with our Turkish friends. I will be speaking with the Foreign Minister later to discuss what the best way forward would be.

But this also comes down to a regime that is causing untold suffering to its own people, solely driven by their desire to stay in power, aided and abetted by nations like Iran that are standing firmly beside the Assad regime regardless of the damage, the loss of life, the violence that is happening both inside of Syria and now increasingly across Syria’s borders with their neighbors.

It’s a very, very dangerous situation. And all responsible nations need to band together to persuade the Assad regime to have a ceasefire, quit assaulting their own people, and begin the process of a political transition. So this is an issue that we are seized with and deeply concerned by and will continue working on.

Thank you all.

MS. NULAND: Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov Preceding Bilateral Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Treaty Room

Washington, DC

February 1, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m delighted to welcome my colleague, the foreign minister of Kazakhstan, a country with whom we have very friendly relations and work together on a whole range of issues, both bilaterally and regionally and globally. Kazakhstan has served in recent years as the chair of the OSCE, the chair of OIC, and has been very helpful in our efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. So I am pleased to have this opportunity to discuss at length some of the issues that we’re working on together.

FOREIGN MINISTER KAZYKHANOV: Thank you, Madam Secretary. This is my first visit as a foreign minister to Washington, and I’m looking forward for the discussion of our strategic partnership between our two countries, and I would like to thank Madam Secretary for inviting me. And in 20 years time, two countries covered a lot, and we are prepared to strengthen our cooperation in the future. I think that we will discuss today successful cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States on nuclear nonproliferation and upcoming meeting between two presidents on the sidelines of Seoul Summit.

We also will cover issues of stabilization in Afghanistan and our logistics support to the Northern Distribution Network, issues of trade investment and energy partnership, of greatest importance, and as well as the topics of visa simplification procedures. And thank you again, Madam Secretary, for these wonderful opportunities to meet with you here in Washington.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Yerzhan.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

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Remarks with Kazakh Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 25, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am delighted to welcome to the State Department the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, with whom I have worked now for two years as Secretary of State. And I appreciate this opportunity to continue our dialogue on a range of important issues.

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV: (Via interpreter) Thank you, Secretary. I am glad to have this opportunity to meet with you so that we could summarize the results of our cooperation last year. And also, I would like to say that we should make plans for the next year. And I would like to say that I am grateful to you for your outstanding contribution to the partnership between the U.S. and Kazakhstan, especially with respect to continued contacts between President Nazarbayev and President Obama.

And I would like to stress that this is an especially important day for me because I am meeting with you. You’re a really outstanding person, an excellent politician and diplomat. And I think that the contribution you are making will serve to strengthen the foundation for the relationship between our countries.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister. Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Kazakh Foreign Minister Saudabayev After Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Palace of Independence
Astana, Kazakhstan
December 1, 2010

MODERATOR: (Via translator) Welcome to (inaudible) Chairman of the OSCE, State Secretary and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Saudabayev and U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV: (Via translator) (Inaudible), first of all, to thank you for your great interest in the work of this Astana summit, and wish you fruitful work in the capital of Kazakhstan.

A meeting of the head of our state, Nazarbayev, and the head of the U.S. delegation at this summit, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has just finished. And, as President Nazarbayev stressed, the participation of State Secretary Clinton in this (inaudible) summit is one more testimony to the fact that our strategic partnership between our two countries has been further developed.

At the meeting there was a deep and detailed exchange of opinions on the most topical issues of this Astana summit, which was (inaudible) important political results. The two sides have agreed that Kazakhstan’s effective chairmanship, including this first summit, OSCE Summit in the 21st century, is giving an impetus to the further development of cooperation in the OSCE space.

Another part of this summit is the response to transnational threats, especially from outside the OSCE area; above all, from Afghanistan. Situations in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asian countries has been discussed.

It was stressed that, in order to achieve stability and sustainable development of the region’s countries — thought through policies important and the rule of law, as well as implementation of human rights. The two parties agreed that development is only achieved through the rule of law with strong democratic institutions. As far as the humanitarian dimension is concerned, it was noted that Kazakhstan chairmanship was trying to achieve interaction with civil society, and through the participation of NGOs in OSCE work, also at this summit.

It was also stressed how important it was to normalize relations of the Islamic world with the West, and to achieve an effective dialogue between civilizations and to increase tolerance. These are issues that are always in the central focus of the Presidents Nazarbayev and Barack Obama. And Kazakhstan will continue to promote those issues.

As the chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, we have paid a lot of attention to further development of the strategic partnership between our two countries, including in such areas like security, political independence, economic and trade relations, as well as promotion of democracy. We have reconfirmed our determination to continue our cooperation in the area of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament, including the celebration of a Nuclear Security Summit.

At the meeting in Washington in April this year, at the meeting of the two presidents it was also stressed to take Kazakhstan in the economic area is contributing to the implementation of the joint initiative of the United Nations and the United States on global food security. And this connection of two countries has recently started to implement major projects for agriculture that would profit from the most up-to-date U.S. technologies. Nazarbayev also established a university that established good cooperation with the leading U.S. universities. And this opens up better prospects for technological cooperation.

Kazakhstan has highly appreciated the support provided for security in Afghanistan in — the two sides also stressed an important contribution of Kazakhstan to assistance to Afghanistan.

Our country also hosts 1,000 Afghani students to complete their university studies at a cost of 50 million U.S. dollars. Fifty-five Afghanis have already started their studies.

And Kazakhstan has now — has joined the security forces, international security forces, in Afghanistan.

I am quite convinced that today’s meeting between President Nazarbayev and State Secretary Clinton has given a new impetus to the entire development of the — in the entire area of our bilateral relations.

Distinguished State Secretary, let me welcome you once again, from the bottom of my heart, in this capital of Astana. You, being an international personality and a great friend of Kazakhstan, we are very thankful to you for your consistent support and help that we have noticed in very specific ways during our chairmanship at the OSCE. And I would like to express my hope that we continue our fruitful and effective cooperation for the good of our peoples and countries. And I give you the floor. Thank you. (Applause.)

This applause is a sign of your support of our cooperation.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin by expressing what a pleasure it is for me to be here in Astana. And I want to thank the president, the foreign minister, and the people of Kazakhstan for their hospitality and warm welcome. I fondly remember my first visit here in the 1990s, when Kazakhs were just beginning to chart their new course as an independent nation. I was proud that the United States was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan, and to welcome you into the community of nations. And today Kazakhs can be proud of all you have accomplished, and our two nations can be confident in the strength of our strategic partnership.

The relationship between the United States and Kazakhstan is rooted in mutual respect and mutual interest. Kazakhstan may be a young nation, but it is home to an ancient and rich culture, which I saw for myself at the museum in Almaty 13 years ago. America is still a relatively young country, yet we deeply respect the hopes of the people of Kazakhstan, and your aspirations for a better future, and we seek to broaden our partnership and to work with you to continue making progress toward developing into a stable, secure, democratic, and prosperous nation that is a leader in the region and beyond.

We also look forward to cooperating with the Kazakh private sector and NGOs that are working for free markets, the rule of law, and a vibrant civil society in which citizens can exercise their full range of human rights. These goals will take continued hard work. But America believes in Kazakhstan’s promise, and we are committed to your future.

Today’s OSCE Summit is a testament to both Kazakhstan’s valued role in the international community, and the strong ties between our two countries. As the first former Soviet Republic to lead the OSCE as an independent nation, Kazakhstan has helped to focus attention on Central Asia’s challenges, as well as its many opportunities.

As the foreign minister said, we have discussed security, the economy, the environment, democracy, human rights, and tolerance. The United States is committed to the OSCE, and we and our partners are working to empower it to take an even more effective role, including the encouragement of more transparency and cooperation between and among militaries, helping resolve long-standing conflicts, and standing up against attacks on civil society and journalists. Our discussions here in Astana have been constructive and substantive.

Last night, I met with many of the participants who took part in the independent conference of non-governmental organizations that ran parallel with the summit. I was impressed by their effort and energy on crucial challenges, including protecting fundamental freedoms. They know what we all know, that a thriving civil society is a vital building block of democracy, and that disparate, diverse voices must be heard and supported.

In the discussion that I had with both the president and the foreign minister, I thanked Kazakhstan for your support of the international mission in Afghanistan, and for all you are doing to help the Afghan people, particularly the very kind invitation for 1,000 students to continue their education here, in Kazakhstan. This will enable these young people to contribute to Afghanistan’s development. I also thanked Kazakhstan for the recently concluded air transit agreement that will help ensure the delivery of critical resources to Afghanistan, and I welcomed Kazakhstan as the newest member of the International Security Assistance Force, which now includes 49 countries.

We discussed our shared interest in curbing nuclear proliferation, and safeguarding vulnerable nuclear material. Kazakhstan has long been a leader on this issue, and the United States deeply values our partnership. Along with the United Kingdom, our nations recently secured more than 10 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium, and 3 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium here in Kazakhstan. That is enough material to have made 775 nuclear weapons. And now we are confident it will never fall into the wrong hands. This is a milestone of our cooperation, and a major step forward in meeting the goals set at this year’s Nuclear Security Summit of securing all nuclear material within four years.

I also shared with the minister and the president the discussions that I have had with civil society leaders. I expressed our continued interest in Kazakhstan’s national human rights action plan, and reforms to electoral, political, and libel laws. I assured him that America’s commitment to working with Kazakhstan and the other nations of Central Asia to advance democracy and human rights will not end when the summit is over.

On all of these and other fronts, Kazakhstan and the United States are making progress together. The bonds we are forging between our governments and our peoples are making both of our countries — and, indeed, the region and the world — more secure and prosperous. And surrounded by the energy and optimism that one feels in this new dynamic city, I look forward with confidence to a positive future for Kazakhstan and its people.

So again, Minister, let me thank you for your leadership and your hospitality. (Applause.)

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV: (Via translator) Thank you very much. Please ask questions. According to the law of hospitality, first I give the floor to our guests.

MODERATOR: (Via translator) Mr. Burns, please.

QUESTION: A question for Secretary Clinton. Thank you. On Iran, now that the date has been set for talks in Geneva — although it’s not clear that the agenda itself has been agreed — can you say what exactly it is that the United States hopes and expects to achieve? And also, given the outcome a year ago, when an apparent agreement unraveled rather quickly, is this really Iran’s last chance? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Bob, first, we are encouraged that Iran has agreed to meet in Geneva next week with representatives of the P-5+1. This is an opportunity for Iran to come to the table and discuss the matters that are of concern to the international community: first and foremost, their nuclear program.

The agreement you referred to that was a result of the negotiations of last fall, the so-called Tehran Research Reactor agreement, will certainly be discussed, but would have to be modified in order to take into account what is known through the IAEA and other sources of the developments in Iran’s nuclear program since that agreement was first reached and then not implemented.

The international community has been very clear. Iran is entitled to the use of civil nuclear power for peaceful purposes. It is not, however, entitled to a nuclear weapons program. And the purpose of the negotiations will be to underscore the concern of the entire international community in Iran’s actions and intentions. We hope that Iran will enter into these negotiations in the spirit that they are offered. We want to see Iran take a position as a responsible member of the international community. But in order to do that, it must cease violating international obligations, cease any efforts it is making and has made in the past toward achieving nuclear weapons.

So, that is what we will be focused on. And the agenda can be more comprehensive than that, but that is the principal purpose of the meeting in Geneva.

QUESTION: (Via translator) I have a question for Mr. Saudabayev. It is known that Kazakhstan is going to be succeeded as chairmanship, but will remain a member of the troika, of the threesome of the OSCE. Could you please tell us in which areas are you going to work next year?

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV: (Via translator) Kazakhstan is going to continue being active as a member of the OSCE, and to contribute towards the search for solutions of problems, and the implementation of the decisions to be taken at this summit. For one year we will remain a troika member. And the processes that we hope to have been given an impetus will be continued further by our successors, and we will continue to work together in close contact with them.

And as to the internal life of our country, the processes have become (inaudible) as part of our further development of our country and the economic and social area, as well as the democratic development. As part of the implementation of the national program “The Way to Europe,” this is also going to be continued.

MODERATOR: (Via translator) Mr. Andy Quinn is an American press member.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, this trip has given you your first chance to meet personally with foreign leaders following the Wikileaks release over the weekend. I am wondering if you could tell us how much of a topic it’s been in your discussions, what sort of responses you may have heard. And has anyone expressed any worry about U.S. trustworthiness, going forward?

And, for the minister, your government saw some embarrassing details also come to light in the Wikileaks release. What is your reaction to this? And do you feel that this type of release will change the way the U.S. is perceived as a diplomatic partner, going forward?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andy, I have had the opportunity to meet with many leaders here at the summit in Astana. We have talked about many important issues, and the work that we are doing together to solve global problems. I have certainly raised the issue of the leaks in order to assure our colleagues that it will not in any way interfere with American diplomacy or our commitment to continuing important work that is ongoing. I have not had any concerns expressed about whether any nation will not continue to work with and discuss matters of importance to us both, going forward.

As I have said, I am proud of the work that American diplomats do, and the role that America plays in the world. Both President Obama and I are committed to a robust and comprehensive agenda of engagement. It’s one of the reasons that I am here in Astana at the OSCE Summit. And I am confident that the work that our diplomats do every single day will go forward. And I anticipate that there will be a lot of questions that people have every right and reason to ask, and we stand ready to discuss them at any time with our counterparts around the world.

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV: (Via translator) I believe that what has happened is part of a normal cost, or a normal price, that one has occasionally to pay while we lead our work. That is why we will be able to live through this incident, as we have through others. And, as head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in my country, now declare that this will have no effect for our strategic partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan. Thank you.

MODERATOR: (Via translator) One question from the Kazakhstan members of the press.

QUESTION: (Via translator) I have a question to both the Secretary of State and Mr. Saudabayev. It has been mentioned that right after the meeting between the two presidents, Nazarbayev and Obama (inaudible). I still would like to know what is going to happen next, apart from the operation on the Nazarbayev’s university and the plans for agricultural cooperation. Are there any other agreements or projects to be implemented between our two countries? And what could prevent them from happening? Any — is there anything subjective that — or personal — that might affect those plans?

And one more question to State Secretary Clinton. It is known that some amendments to the act on cyber space have been adopted in the United States that would entitle the U.S. President to regulate the exchange of information in the Internet. I would like to know more about this concerning the amendments to the act on cyber space. Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER SAUDABAYEV: (Via translator) At this briefing, we don’t have the opportunity to discuss prospects for general cooperation and specific areas of cooperation in our bilateral relations, because this is a huge area that has several dimensions. I can only take note that we have, once again, reconfirmed that we both have a very optimistic outlook, as far as our bilateral relations are concerned, and we have a lot of potential in this area. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I would add we discuss not only the importance of our strategic partnership between our two countries, but how the United States and Kazakhstan can work together in the region and beyond. We value Kazakhstan’s role and influence in the region. It was critical, after the events of last spring affecting Kyrgyzstan, to have Kazakhstan play a leadership role. The United States worked closely with Kazakhstan. The Minister and I talked several times about what Kazakhstan was doing to assist Kyrgyzstan, and we are continuing to work together and supporting Kazakhstan’s influential position in trying to help stabilize Kyrgyzstan.

We discussed further what additional regional steps might be considered to better integrate the Central Asian nations. I believe that this is an important area of the world. Kazakhstan has done well, economically, and with its development. Now we need to see how to work together to assist the other nations in the region to develop more successfully and inclusively.

With regard to cyber security and cyber space, the United States is, like many nations, addressing the opportunities and the challenges and the threats that are posed in cyber space. We want the Internet to be a vehicle for the free exchange of information, yet we are well aware of the dangers that can be posed to the misuse of the Internet to all kinds of institutions and networks. And so this is not only a matter of concern for the United States; we think this deserves attention at the highest international levels, and that is beginning to occur.

MODERATOR: (Via translator) Thank you very much. That will be it. We don’t have any time left. Thank you.

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Remarks With Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton With Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt Before Their Meeting.  State Dept Photo

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, what a pleasure to welcome the foreign minister of Sweden, who has been at the forefront of politics, both in Sweden and globally, for so many years. It’s a delight to have him. We have a great relationship with Sweden. We have had so many important issues that we have tackled together. Sweden will assume the presidency of the European Union, which will give an even greater emphasis to the leadership that Sweden shows on so many global concerns. And I’m just delighted that the minister could be here.
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: And I’m delighted to be here. Glad to see you. We’ve seen each other a couple of times already.
SECRETARY CLINTON: We have. We have.
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: And we have a spectacularly good bilateral relationship. But we also have, I think, one of the, or probably the most fruitful (inaudible) transatlantic relationship that I think we’ve had in living memory of an open and very constructive dialogue on what is, by all standards, an extremely challenging mutual agenda, where we need to move together on a lot of these issues. We’ve had x-numbers of meetings. There will be more. And as said, Sweden will be assuming the presidency of the European Union in the second half of this year, and the further strengthening of transatlantic cooperation, partnership, and dialogue on all sorts of issues will be very high up on our agenda.
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: So that will (inaudible) —
FOREIGN MINISTER BILDT: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much.
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Remarks With Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton With Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin Before Their Meeting. State Dept Photo SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am very pleased to welcome to the State Department the minister for foreign affairs from Kazakhstan. We have a lot of good work going on between the United States and Kazakhstan. I will explore with the minister some additional ways that we can cooperate. And we’re very appreciative of the support that has been given to the United States in a number of areas. I had a memorable visit to Kazakhstan some years ago, and I am very, very much looking forward to our discussions. Thank you for being here, Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER TAZHIN: Thank you very much indeed. First of all, it’s a great honor and pleasure for me to have possibility to meet with you in State Department. Thanks. I remember one phrase that was said many years ago here in Washington, that foreign relations like human relations; they are endless, and usually the solution of one problem leads to another one. But fortunately, we have not any serious problems in relations between United States and Kazakhstan. And I hope, thanks to your activities, thanks to our joint activity, the relations between Kazakhstan and United States will be even more constructive, more stable, and more fruitful. So thank you very much again.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir.

Remarks With Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton With Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov Before Their Meeting. State Dept Photo

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this afternoon, we have a great privilege of welcoming to the State Department the minister for foreign affairs of Azerbaijan. We have a very close relationship on many important issues. Today, we’re going to discuss how we can expand and deepen that relationship. I’m delighted that the minister could come so early in the Obama Administration so that we could begin these discussions.
As you know, Azerbaijan has a very strategic location that is one that is important not only to their country, but really, regionally and globally. And so they’re in a position to take increasing responsibility and leadership on these important matters.
Welcome, Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER MAMMADYAROV: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. I just want to add a few words. It’s a great pleasure to be back in Washington and back to State Department. I’m appreciative for this invitation. And I am absolutely sure that this meeting will move forward the strategic partnership which exists between Azerbaijan and United States. And I am ready to discuss all the issues of mutual interest; in our mind, it’s global or it’s regional or it’s bilateral.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister. Thank you all.


Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 5, 2009

Date: 05/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton meets with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian before their meeting.  © State Department photo by Michael Gross

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good morning, and it’s a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister here today. The relationship between the United States and Armenia is a very lasting and durable one. The Obama Administration is committed to broadening it, deepening it, working with Armenia to assist them in their continued development and aspirations. And it’s a great pleasure to welcome the minister. And I look forward to our talks, sir.
FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN: Thank you, Madame Secretary. Thank you very much for your warm welcome. Our meeting is a good opportunity to move forward our bilateral agenda and to discuss a wide range of issues. We are determined to strengthen, to deepen, to enhance our friendly partnership with the United States. This is the main message of my visit to Washington. And I would like to use this opportunity to express our thanks to the Administration of the United States, to Madame Secretary, and to the State Department for all constant efforts to help to support the normalization process with Turkey and settlement – peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s an honor to assist. Thank you, Mr. Minister.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.



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