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Remarks With Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa After their Meeting


Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon and Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa
Wakefield Mill Inn
Ottawa, Canada
December 13, 2010

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Good afternoon. I’ll read a brief statement and respond to your questions. (In French.)

Briefly in English, the North American Foreign Ministers Meeting is an important opportunity for Canada, the United States, and Mexico to consult, coordinate, and work better to address key bilateral, trilateral, North American, and global issues. It also provides us with the opportunity to help prepare the next North American Leaders Summit, which is expected in 2011. The chair’s statement I have issued will provide you with a more detailed view of discussions that were held today, but I would like to provide a few highlights.

My colleagues and I had a substantive discussion this morning regarding continental and regional security and ways in which we can jointly address the challenges in our region. We reaffirmed our governments’ commitment, commitments I should say, to trilateral cooperation and coordination in this area, such as our commitment to combating transnational criminal organizations. Trilateral cooperation will reinforce Canada’s efforts to assist partners in the hemispheric – in the hemisphere in the areas of law enforcement, policing, corrections, and judicial systems, as well as disaster preparedness and relief.

We also support efforts to strengthen democracies and build capacity in a number of areas. Haiti, of course, being — and remains of grave concern, and we stand with its citizens as they rebuild their country. It’s essential that Haitian political actors fulfill their responsibilities and demonstrate a firm commitment to democratic principles, including the respect for the integrity of the electoral process. As well, it is critical for the recounting of ballots that be addressed in a timely and transparent manner, and that calm be restored to the streets. We will continue to consult and work with our partners on the ground in Haiti, including the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the Organization of American States and CARICOM to help the country address these important challenges.

My colleagues and I also took a few moments to review the work undertaken since 2009, since the 2009 North American Leaders Summit, which, as you know, was held in Guadalajara, Mexico, including the important steps taken to support our economy and advance our competiveness and address environment, climate change, and clean energy issues.

In closing, I want to thank my colleagues, Secretary of State Clinton as well as Minister Espinosa for their major contribution to the success of this meeting in beautiful Wakefield, Quebec.

Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much Lawrence. It’s a real pleasure for me to join Foreign Minister Cannon and Foreign Secretary Espinosa for the 2010 North American Foreign Ministers Meeting. I want to thank Foreign Minister Cannon and his staff for hosting us here in Quebec and also for the excellent collaboration that we have had over the course of our respective positions working together.

I also want to commend Foreign Secretary Espinosa for the excellent leadership that she and Mexico provided for the recently concluded Cancun Climate Conference. This was a very significant outcome, and it will be important going forward to build on the work and agreement that was reached in Cancun, and it validates the international approach towards solving these very significant global problems. So I really want to express my admiration and gratitude to her.

As Minister Cannon just summarized, the three of us had a very productive discussion today across a wide range of issues, and I want to say first and foremost that the partnership between Canada, Mexico, and the United States is of critical importance. To each of our countries, it goes without saying: We’re not only neighbors, but we bear leadership responsibilities and we care deeply about our neighbors and the global community as a whole.

The work we do together every day – whether it is to drive economic progress, or strengthen our security, or address urgent problems such as climate change or violent extremism in places like Afghanistan, or narco-traffickers or pandemic disease – has a profound impact on every level: locally, regionally, and globally. No partnership means more to the United States or to the hundreds of millions of North American citizens whose lives and futures are increasingly intertwined.

So I appreciate once again this opportunity to affirm and deepen our ties. We have a very robust, comprehensive agenda that we’re working on together that we will be following up on, and I look forward to continue working closely with my North American counterparts to achieve a safer, more secure, and more prosperous North America region and world.

Thank you very much, Lawrence.

FOREIGN SECRETARY ESPINOSA: Thank you. (Via interpreter) I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to the Government of Canada and to Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon for his hospitality here in Wakefield. Along with my colleagues Hillary Clinton and Lawrence Cannon, we have had a very forthcoming discussion on the main issues of common interest for the three countries in North America. We are working to ensure that the North American Leaders Summit which will take place at the beginning of next year here in Canada will be very successful and generate greater cooperation and concrete benefits for the inhabitants of our three countries.

Today, we agreed in recognizing the very strong ties that bind Canada, the United States, and Mexico. We talked about the complementary nature of our economies and the need to increase cooperation from a trilateral perspective in order to ensure both competitiveness and security in our region.

As the other two have noted, we looked over a number of global and hemispheric issues and we also spoke of the results of COP-16 which recently took place in Cancun, Mexico. And I would like to thank them for their generous words of recognition toward Mexico and the Mexican president.

I would also like to particularly recognize the active participation, which is also very constructive, on the part of the Canadian and the United States delegation in the work of COP-16 that led to the achievements of that meeting in Cancun. It was important to reach the agreements that make it possible to move forward in implementing many aspects of the convention that had not been previously implemented. It will particularly benefit developing countries, the most vulnerable countries, small island countries, and the least fortunate countries.

It was important to create the proper environment to ensure that negotiations could be held in the best possible climate. It’s also important to highlight the inclusive nature of these conferences and the presence of many representatives of civil society that were able to express themselves freely. Their presence and their words were at no moment violent or at all a source of preoccupation.
I would also like to thank the Canadian and American participants who were not part of the delegations, but there were many Canadians and Americans who attended as part of the NGO group and representatives of civil society. There were representatives of local governments. They participated constructively in that very important event for Mexico and for multilateralism.

And now we have the opportunity to develop a relevant agenda with regard to the environment, energy, and in creating a common basis to fight climate change among all of our countries. I would like to highlight the importance of strengthening North America’s competitiveness to consolidate our economic recovery. I would also like to highlight our interest in working with the economic cabinets of our respective countries and support for small and medium enterprises, as well as greater cooperation with regard to regulatory issues. We discussed issues – related issues such as security from a perspective of regional integration, and we touched on ways of building cooperation with Central American and Caribbean countries, recognizing that they face huge challenges.

The transnational nature of organized crime also makes it necessary for us to cooperate based on the principle of joint responsibility involving agents that are beyond our borders. We also spoke of the importance of continuing to strengthen our mechanisms for cooperation in regard to health, and the great example of cooperation between Mexico, the United States, and Canada that took place during the H1N1 flu crisis.

I am convinced that we are on the right path to consolidate a leaders summit that will lead to tangible results that will have a great impact for Mexicans, Americans, and Canadians, and that our region will become more and more competitive on the international scene.

I would like to once again thank Foreign Minister Cannon for his hospitality and for having taken this initiative to bring us together. And I would also like to repeat that we are willing to continue working to consolidate the agreements that will no doubt be presented at the leaders summit.

Thank you very much.

(In English) Thank you very much, Mr. Cannon. Thank you, Madam Clinton.

MODERATOR: Well, I’ll just ask you to be seated. Right after the Q&A, we’ll take one – keep it to one question. (In French.) We’ll start with Emmanuelle, Radio Canada.

QUESTION: Emmanuelle Latraverse from Radio Canada. (Via interpreter) Minister Cannon, I’d like to ask you with regards to the situation in Haiti, the dramatic lack of confidence that we see between the population and the institutions in that country, you have called out to the people on the ground there and you’ve said that they have to be able to stand tall and support their responsibility towards the country. You talked about a joint electoral commission.

Given that things might degenerate, isn’t the time come to put more further pressure and do what has been suggested by the senators in the U.S., that is to say to threaten to suspend direct aid to the Haitian Government? Have we come to that point?

(In English) Mrs. Clinton, do you need me to translate or did you get this, because I’d like to hear from you also on this, whether it’s not time in Haiti to ask – to threaten, essentially, to cut direct aid funding to the government, as Senator Leahy has suggested.

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: (Via interpreter) Well, if that’s all right, I will answer first. I think the international community cannot do everything in Haiti. It’s extremely important that the Government of Haiti and the people of Haiti assume their responsibilities and ensure that democracy in Haiti continue. And in particular, the electoral process – it has to continue with respect and calm.

We talked about this matter this morning and we concluded that this was the most important thing to do for the people of Haiti, but also through the OAS, CARICOM, and the United States – or the United Nations, we are willing to consider what’s going on. But at the same time, it’s important for the people of Haiti to assume their responsibility, because I repeat this: There will not be any economic progress if there is no government stability. And what is essential is to get the stability of the government.

SECRETARY CLINTON: What we’re facing in Haiti is a set of challenges that individually are quite serious and, taken together, almost overwhelming in their importance of addressing. We have a continuing humanitarian challenge that is being met, but still there is much to be done. We have a public health challenge with the epidemic of cholera, and the international community is responding. But again, there’s much to be done. We have an economic challenge because we have to figure out ways to put Haitians back to work to begin rebuilding economic growth and giving people a decent standard of living. We have a governmental capacity challenge, which we’ve been dealing with even before the earthquake, but most acutely since, to try to create conditions in which the Government of Haiti has the capacity to work toward meeting the needs of the Haitian people, and that we are in respect of their sovereignty. And we now have an electoral challenge that is acute.

We discussed this at length in our trilateral, and I think we all agree that we have got to address all of these. But certainly the electoral challenge, the instability in the government, the lack of clear way forward as to who will be assuming leadership responsibilities, requires the international community to act and provide technical assistance, provide support for unraveling the complexities and questions surrounding the election.

So all of these are important. It’s hard to pick one out and say, okay, let’s concentrate on this, which is why this is such an intensely complex situation. But I want to commend my colleagues because both Canada and Mexico have been deeply involved and committed. Canada, as you know, took the lead after the earthquake. I remember being here within days to try to chart a way forward. So it’s important that we respond to the needs that exist and try to begin to address each and every one of these challenges to try to create better conditions for the Haitian people.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Lachlan Carmichael, AFP.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, hello.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hi.

QUESTION: You don’t seem ready to take up Senator Leahy on his recommendation that you suspend aid to the government and also impose visas on the leadership. Why not at this point? And then, two, would the United States like Canada being willing to be represented on the international committee to supervise the election review? And then final question: We want to know, of course, how Ambassador Holbrooke is doing.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Lachlan. I think Senator Leahy, who is a strong supporter of American foreign aid and humanitarian relief assistance, is expressing a growing frustration that you will find not only in Congress, but in our government and the American people, that as we’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake there hasn’t been the kind of coordinated, coherent response from the Government of Haiti that is called for. We understand that the government itself was badly damaged, individuals were traumatized. But there has to be a greater effort and there has to be a more focused approach toward problem solving.

So I think that Senator Leahy, who is a very significant member of the Senate and heads the subcommittee that determines where our foreign aid goes in the United States Government, should be heeded by the leaders of Haiti, that this is a very strong signal that we expect more and we’re looking for more.

From the Administration’s perspective, we are still working to try to resolve many of the questions raised by the election and will continue to do so. But at the same time, we don’t want to punish the people of Haiti because of the flaws that were alleged to have occurred in the election. People still need to have their shelter, their education, their clean water, their health, their economic opportunities addressed.

So we are trying to push forward in a difficult environment, and we want to see progress on the ground. And we have supported the international approach toward sending technical experts. We think that’s more important than political leaders. We need to find technical experts who can delve into what happened in the election and try to create a transparent understanding that can not only win the support of the international community, but most importantly the Haitian people.

The United States stands ready to provide whatever support is appropriate, but other countries also have a lot to contribute. And so we are working across the international community to devise the best possible answer to the issues that have been raised.

And finally with respect to Ambassador Holbrooke, as many of you know who have followed American foreign policy, he has given nearly 50 years of his life to serving the United States, starting as a very young Foreign Service officer in Vietnam, now serving as the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He had a very serious medical emergency on Friday. He’s had excellent care, including many hours of surgery in the last three days. He is stable but still in very critical condition. And we appreciate the outpouring of support and concern that has been evidenced from around the world. Presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, very experienced diplomats have been calling and expressing their best wishes. And I know how much the family appreciate that, but so do all of his colleagues.

MODERATOR: Let’s keep it to one question. Terry Milewski, CBC.

QUESTION: Thank you. My question is to Secretary Clinton and Minister Cannon and it concerns something which received scant mention in your prepared statement: the ongoing discussion of perimeter security. It’s nine years now since the SMART Border Agreement was signed, producing in the intervening period a border that seems to get ever thicker. It’s very frustrating for Canadian travelers and for business, time-consuming, and expensive. Is the relative silence on this topic in your statement, does it suggest that this is on the back burner, just not ready, too complex, what? And second of all, more specifically, can you give us any assurances that this – that if there is ever an agreement on this topic that it will produce not a thicker border but a thinner one?

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Let me, Terry, first address that. The challenge, of course, that exists is the following: On the one hand, to be able to maintain the level of trade and our commercial relationship with our largest trading partner in the world, to maintain that and to see it progress over the course of the next several months, indeed, over the course of the next several years, both in Canada and in the United States. Just so that we get a general idea of what this means, it’s $1.6 billion of trade on a daily basis. It’s roughly both in Canada and in the United States a number of direct and indirect jobs. So that on the one hand constitutes a challenge.

The other challenge, of course, is to make sure that our countries stay safe from the threat of terrorism. And so indeed, what is at task here is to be able to continually look at ways that we can put in motion so that those two issues be addressed and that we are able to continue to sustain the economic recovery, albeit extremely fragile, but the economic recovery that’s underway. And so that is the perspective that Canada brings to this issue.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would only add that this is a bilateral issue on which we meet and discuss regularly with our Canadian colleagues, so it’s not surprising that it wouldn’t be on the agenda of a trilateral meeting such as this. We are very conscious of the stakes because, as Lawrence said, we want this to enhance not just security, but trade and commercial activity, business connections, people-to-people travel, recreation, tourism.

For eight years I represented New York, which has a long and very friendly border with Canada, and I am very acutely aware of the importance of this most significant relationship along our long and peaceful border. So we are, I think, committed to discussing and arriving at conclusions about how best to deal with the environment in which we find ourselves today to try to create a border that, yes, protects Canadians and Americans but also enables the kind of ongoing interactions that are critical to both nations.

MODERATOR: Last question from Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg.

QUESTION: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. The American press has one question that’s off the trilateral, outside of the trilateral agenda. We would love to get your interpretation of Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s firing of your counterpart Mr. Mottaki today and what you think that says about the political situation in Iran and whether – how you think it’s going to affect U.S.-Iranian relations. And is it because he snubbed you the other day? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have no idea, Indira. Really, I think our relationship toward Iran is not toward any individual. It is toward the country, the government, which is complex and challenging to deal with because it is not just one channel; there are several different channels because of the way their government is established. So I don’t really have any insight or comment on the report that I also learned of today.

But I would add that the recent meeting in Geneva of the P-5+1 was a good start. It was just that. It wasn’t more than that, but it was a good start to a return to a serious negotiations between Iran and the international community. And they agreed on a second meeting in January. We remain committed to pursuing every diplomatic avenue available to us and our international partners to persuade Iran to forgo a nuclear weapons program, and we remain convinced that that is not only in the interest of peace and stability in the Gulf and indeed in the wider region and world, but it’s also in the best interest of Iran.

So whether one person or another is foreign minister is not as important as to what the policy of the Iranian Government is in dealing with the international community on this very important matter.

MODERATOR: Thank you very much. If you could stay seated for a few minutes while the ministers make their way out.

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Mme. Secretary began her long day today in Canada. She attended the North American Foreign Ministers Meeting hosted by Lawrence Cannon. FM Patricia Espinosa represented Mexico. Here are pics of the day.

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Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton to Attend North American Foreign Ministers Meeting

Press Statement

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
December 9, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Canada to participate in the North American Foreign Ministers Meeting on December 13, 2010, in Wakefield, Quebec.

The North American Foreign Ministers Meeting is an important forum for identifying trilateral priorities and ways the United States, Canada, and Mexico can collaborate as partners in North America, the western hemisphere and internationally.

In the trilateral sessions, Secretary Clinton, Minister Cannon, and Secretary Espinosa will discuss key issues that Canada, the United States, and Mexico face individually and as a region, including the state of the economy and North American prosperity, regional security, energy and climate change, the health and safety of citizens, and matters concerning the broader western hemisphere.

The United States, Mexico, and Canada share many opportunities and challenges and work collaboratively on a wide range of issues. The North American Foreign Ministers Meeting is an opportunity to reinforce the close relations among the three nations and to identify common objectives and strategies to ensure greater security and well-being, as well as economic prosperity, for the citizens of North America and the people of the western hemisphere.

Stay warm, Mme. Secretary!  It’s cold up there!

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MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2010

8:15 a.m.  Secretary Clinton meets with His Excellency Franco Frattini, Foreign Minister of Italy, at the Department of State.

ON FOREIGN TRAVEL  Secretary Clinton attends Meetings Regarding the Haiti Earthquake hosted by the Government of Canada, in Montreal, Canada

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Hillary Clinton will be attending a conference tomorrow in Montreal to begin planning for the long-term recovery of Haiti.  It will be her second appearance in Canada as Secretary of State. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 13, 2009 for the climax of a year celebrating the 100th anniversary of our Boundary Waters Treaty with Canada.


Here she is wearing red for Canada that day.  Canadians tweeted about the color of her pantsuit as she crossed the bridge.


This was taken upon Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon’s first visit to the new Secretary of State last year.  He will be hosting this very important conference.

The link below goes to CTV.  There is video on the page, so it might be worth a peek tomorrow to see if they have video from the conference. According to the article,  Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive has arrived in Ottowa and will be an important member of tomorrow’s conference.

Montreal hosts Hillary Clinton, ministers, for Haiti
CTV.ca News Staff

Date: Sun. Jan. 24 2010 6:33 PM ET

Foreign ministers from around the world, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will meet in Montreal Monday to lay the groundwork for a long-term plan to rebuild Haiti.

Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon will serve as host of the six-hour meeting, officially known as the Ministerial Preparatory Conference of the Group of Friends of Haiti.

Read more>>>

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Daily Appointments Schedule for January 22, 2010

Washington, DC
January 22, 2010

SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON

12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Bilateral Meeting with His Excellency Vladimir Filat, the Prime Minister of Moldova, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

12:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing Ceremony with the Government of Moldova, at the Department of State.

1:00 p.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with the Haiti Task Force Team, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers Remarks to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Chiefs of Mission Conference, at the Department of State.
(CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

2:30 p.m.
Secretary Clinton hosts a Bilateral Meeting with His Excellency Lawrence Cannon, Foreign Secretary of Canada, at the Department of State.*


4:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova, at the Department of State.

*Cancelled flight scrubs Cannon, Clinton meeting

Last Updated: Friday, January 22, 2010 | 2:26 PM ET

The Canadian Press

Plane trouble has forced Canada’s foreign affairs minister to cancel a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence Cannon was scheduled to sit down with Clinton Friday to discuss the international relief effort in Haiti, among other things. Yemen, Afghanistan and Arctic co-operation were also on the agenda.

Instead, officials with the Department of Foreign Affairs said Cannon will speak with Clinton by phone and hold a news conference in Ottawa.

They said “technical problems” forced the cancellation of Cannon’s scheduled commercial flight.

Clinton is scheduled to attend a foreign ministers meeting that Cannon will host in Montreal Monday to discuss reconstruction efforts in Haiti.

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Remarks With Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon Before Their Trilateral Ministerial Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
July 16, 2009

Date: 07/16/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton hosted a North American Trilateral Ministerial Meeting in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the Department of State.  She is joined by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon. State Dept photo by Michael Gross © State Dept Image by Michael GrossSECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is a particular delight for me to welcome Foreign Minister Cannon and Foreign Secretary Espinosa here to the State Department. Canada and Mexico are our closest friends and allies, and I’ve been pleased to have visited both countries in the six months of my tenure as Secretary of State. We are so fortunate to have neighbors with whom we share so many values and common interests and very human and family ties.

Today, we will be discussing how we intend to work even more effectively together, to speed economic recovery, to make North America more competitive, and our citizens safer. And I look forward to discussing with my colleagues and with their distinguished delegations who have traveled here the wide range of issues that we are all concerned about.

Let me ask if either of my colleagues would like to say a word. Patricia.

FOREIGN MINISTER ESPINOSA: Thank you, Secretary, just to say how honored Mexico feels to be able to host this leaders’ summit in the city of Guadalajara on the 9th and 10th of August. We are looking forward to this meeting. We feel this is really one of – one that gives us great opportunity to put our agenda in place in order to face the enormous challenges that our societies in the three countries are currently facing.

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Well, thank you very much, Madame Secretary, for this kind invitation to be here today with Secretary Espinosa, to lay the table literally, put – make – set up the agenda for our North American Leaders’ Summit. Our leaders will be meeting shortly. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity not only to be able to once again, all three of us, work together for the good of our countries, but also for North America. (Speaking in French.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, we’re going to now go immediately into our working groups, and I appreciate so much the concerns that bring us together. And in preparation for the leaders’ summit, we want to have a very specific agenda filled with the concrete actions that we intend to take together. So, thank you.

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Remarks With Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon After the North American Trilateral Ministerial Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
July 16, 2009

Date: 07/16/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton hosted a North American Trilateral Ministerial Meeting in the Benjamin Franklin of the Department of State.  She is joined by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa Cantellano and Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon. © State Dept Image by Michael Gross SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon, and I’m delighted to be here alongside my counterparts and colleagues from our neighbors to the north and the south, Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon, Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa. Each of them have hosted me in their countries, and I am so pleased that they could be here today for this important trilateral consultation.
This is an example of what I was speaking about yesterday in my speech, the kind of partnership that the United States is very committed to not only building, but in this case, really deepening and broadening. The partnership between our nations and our entire North American region has such enormous potential to enhance safety and opportunity for our citizens as well as health and prosperity. And we are focused upon our shared assets and values, particularly our dynamic economies and our creative hardworking citizens, to make North America the most prosperous, safest, and competitive region in the world.
We had an excellent series of discussions that each of us, in turn, led. And we really focused on concrete ways we can work together to capitalize on our strengths and address our common concerns. We discussed the upcoming North American Leaders’ Summit that will be hosted in Mexico by President Calderon. President Obama plans to attend. And Foreign Minister Espinosa can share with you some very specific details in a moment.
We discussed a range of global issues that affect us as well as closer to home; particularly the political crisis in Honduras. We reaffirmed our commitment to restore constitutional and democratic order, and underscored our support for the dialogue process that was started by President Arias. We support a peaceful, negotiated resolution and urge other countries to play a positive role in achieving that outcome, and to refrain from any actions that could lead to violence.
We reviewed our joint response to this spring’s H1N1 outbreak, and I want to commend publicly the Government of Mexico, as I said in our private meetings. Mexico’s leadership in the face of the H1N1 crisis, its openness and transparency, its sharing of information set a real model. It also was part of a prior agreement that had been entered into by our three countries where we did agree to work together in the face of such a challenge. We believe that our cross-government, cross-border communication were instrumental in minimizing the spread of the illness. Now we understand that the flu is seasonal. It’s likely to come back this fall in North America. And we want to enhance our vigilance and collaboration and build on the strong relationships already established.
This meeting was extremely successful from my perspective because the more we can coordinate, the more we can present a united front in world venues like the G-20 or APEC, other places where we have membership, the more we can do for our individual countries and for our mutual future.
So with that, let me turn to Secretary Espinosa and invite her to make some remarks.
FOREIGN MINISTER ESPINOSA: Thank you, Secretary.
(Via interpreter) Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here with you today for this very fruitful meeting that was held today between the foreign ministries of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. First of all, I would like to thank Secretary Clinton for her hospitality and her willingness to hold this meeting, which is a very important event for our three countries.
This event, as Secretary Clinton has pointed out, focused on addressing the issues that affect the three countries in our region, North America. This is very important in order to make progress in terms of preparing for the upcoming leaders’ summit that, as I was saying this morning, will take place in Guadalajara in Mexico on the 9th and 10th of August. We, the Mexican people, are very honored and very fortunate to be hosts for that important meeting.
During our conversations, I expressed my agreement with Secretary Clinton as well as Minister Lawrence Cannon from Canada. We agreed on the importance of continuing to push forward in our region with mechanisms for cooperation that respond to a very clear mandate from our leaders. We should make use of our positive experience in trilateral cooperation. We should have a more strategic approach, a deeper approach, and also an approach that allows us to truly have results for families in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico so that they may benefit from our relationship.
I feel that it is very important that this meeting between the foreign ministers has allowed us to expand on the regional and global agenda. This is a definitive moment internationally. So consultations between the three countries of North America are extremely important so that we can be more influential and so that we can promote the values that we share, as Secretary Clinton has stated. We have agreed to push forward with this engagement, to have a systematic approach to this engagement, so that we can contribute in a more significant fashion toward building a world that is more fair, that is cleaner, and that is more balanced.
As far as world and hemispheric issues, I would like to comment on the issue of Honduras. We all agree on the importance of the fact that the constitutional order was broken. We have all condemned and completely rejected that fracture of constitutional order. It is important to reach a negotiated solution that is based on dialogue. And in that sense, we firmly support the efforts to mediate by President Arias of Costa Rica, and we have expressed our interest and our desire in having a process that allows for a return to democracy in Honduras without any blood being spilled, without any type of violence.
The three countries of this region, we all face common problems, and we have common solutions. Moreover, the challenges of our time demand coordinated action with our neighbors, our partners and our friends. As a proof of our need to work together, to work jointly, we have the health emergency that took place in North America caused by the H1N1 epidemic. And I would like to thank the words of Secretary Clinton for her recognition of President Calderon’s decisions.
And at the same time, I would like to say that we saw this as a shared problem, and our agencies acted in a coordinated fashion and we were able to confirm that in order to address a crisis like that, we need to work together, as is the case with the international economic crisis, where Mexico, the United States, and Canada have achieved an important consultation process on that topic.
As a region, we have been able to promote our position and we have been able to show that the way out of this crisis that affects everyone is by acting together. We have worked in this joint fashion in order to consolidate the region as a space for trade and economic exchange that is of benefit to all.
We reviewed some general topics within the agenda that will be addressed in Guadalajara by President Barack Obama and President Calderon, as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper. We looked at the issue of regional competitiveness. We also need to – looked at the way we need to improve the way in which we produce certified transport and market our products, looking toward being more efficient, and with greater security. That is key so that the products of our region can be the most affordable and the ones that are most beneficial to the families of this part of the world, and so that we can compete with other regions of the world.
We have also discussed clean energy, the environment. We discussed actions to take given climate change. These will be the trademarks of the dialogue between the leaders of North America. And we have also expressed that we want this region to become a model for other regions of the world, a model of cooperation on these topics. We should recognize that – we should realize that the threats that our hemisphere faces are threats that go beyond our borders, and that is why our conversation had a significant focus on issues of security.
We have put together a broader concept of security, a concept that goes beyond our already growing cooperation to combat organized crime and other threats that can affect our region. We have looked at a security focus. That means we need to be better prepared for epidemics, for natural disasters. We need to work jointly in a cooperative manner in order to offer all of our communities a place where their peace of mind is ensured.
As you know, Guadalajara will be the first trilateral meeting for president – between President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and President Calderon. We are very pleased with the dynamics of this engagement. Clearly, its objective is to have a greater impetus for our region. That is why the summit at Guadalajara, I am sure, will offer a valuable opportunity for a political dialogue at the highest level under conditions that are propitious to give North America greater influence on world topics.
Once again then, I would like to thank you for your hospitality. I would like to reiterate also the great satisfaction from the Mexican people and government for being host of this important meeting in August.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: It – I certainly, at the outset, want to thank Secretary Clinton for hosting this event. It certainly was a pleasure to participate alongside Secretary – with Secretary Espinosa in this meeting, which, of course, provides a timely opportunity to discuss mutual interests and concerns to us as neighbors and advance, of course, the cause of the North American issues that our leaders will take up. (Speaking in French.)
(Via interpreter) Mexico, the United States, and Canada share the same continent, our population, our economies, our environment, and the same challenges. All this is intimately linked.
(In English) Today, Secretary Espinosa and I discussed some of these challenges, as well as the opportunities available to us in an effort to ensure that North America’s economy remains prosperous and that our citizens be safe and reach, of course, their full potential. The many areas that were discussed are grounded in the common interests of all North Americans, with distinct voices and a diversity of ideas. We spoke of the future of our continent and its role in the world.
(Via interpreter) The recent arrival of H1N1 confirms the importance to work together, to take the necessary measures in order to be prepared for such challenges.
(In English) We focused on four priority areas for strengthening cooperation: The economy, since the global financial crisis and the recession have significantly affected the economies of our three countries; clean energy, climate change, given our highly integrated continental energy market and shared environment, and the latest commitments made at L’Aquila during the last G-8 meeting; security and citizen safety, given not only the successful trilateral cooperation on H1N1, as I mentioned before, and the lessons learned from it, but as well the growing challenges of transnational organizations and – I’m sorry, transnational organized crime on our continent.
(Via interpreter) We have also discussed regional challenges and what is at stake in all three countries, and we are working together to find solutions. Our discussion was very productive and pragmatic.
(In English) Many of the challenges – of these challenges require a North American solution. So we laid the ground for our three leaders to have a fruitful discussion in the month of August. We are looking forward to President Obama and President Calderon’s crucial contributions at the North American Leaders’ Summit that Prime Minister Harper will attend.
Merci. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. We’d be glad to take your questions.
MODERATOR: Our first question goes to Jill Dougherty of CNN.
QUESTION: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. Over the past few days, Madame Secretary, we’ve been hearing some very strong frustration coming from you about the vetting process. And then also, at the same time, there has been a spate, which I’m sure you’ve seen, of reports about your allegedly being sidelined by the White House.
And I would ask you, if you could, to set us straight on this. Is the White House actually making it more difficult for you to put the team that you want in place? And then also, how would you describe the impact that you, as the Secretary of State, are having directly on the formation of U.S. foreign policy?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first let me say that I don’t think there’s anyone who’s ever served in government who is not frustrated by the system that our country has. Most governments after they’re elected are up and going in a relatively short period of time. We are now six months into our new Administration, and it’s not only here, but across the government, we don’t have critical positions filled. I think it’s pretty obvious that the process has gotten much more complicated, cumbersome, and lengthy, and that is something that I hear from everyone. And it is a matter that I think we’re going to have to address. And it’s not just this Administration; it’s gotten increasingly more difficult.
But it’s hard to explain in my position to our foreign counterparts that we don’t yet have positions filled that would be the natural interlocutors for their counterparts in other countries. But that’s something that we’re all frustrated by; it’s not in any way limited to myself or even to the State Department or USAID.
I don’t really pay a lot of attention to what is said. I really stay focused on the work that I do. I broke my elbow, not my larynx. (Laughter.) I have been consistently involved in the shaping and implementation of our foreign policy. And I’m off to India and Thailand tonight. I will be back to co-lead the Strategic and Economic Dialogue with China. I will be meeting with Prime Minister Maliki as we continue to support the transition of Iraq to a better future, and then I will be off to Africa. So I think that I’m just going to do the work and make the contribution. I feel very honored and positive about my working relationship with the White House and in my personal relationship with President Obama.
MR. KELLY: The next question to Hugues Poulin, Radio Canada.
QUESTION: I would like to ask you about Guantanamo. Canada has one citizen in Guantanamo. He was arrested in Afghanistan many years ago. He’s been six years or more now in Guantanamo. He’s facing serious charges. But many organizations consider him as a child soldier. They want him back to Canada. Even the judge asked government – Canadian Government to bring him back to Canada. But until now, the Government of Canada refused to do that, even challenged the judge decision, and appeal.
So are you going to ask Canadian Government to bring back Omar Khadr, or are you going to judge him in Guantanamo? I would like to know what’s the story now.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you know, President Obama, immediately upon taking office, recommitted our country to our basic values – prohibiting torture and setting in motion the closure of Guantanamo. There is an extremely rigorous process that is underway that is evaluating each and every one of the detainees. Some have already been released and transferred to either their home countries or other receiving countries. We’re going through this in a very thoughtful and diligent manner, so I don’t want to comment on any particular case.
But the President and certainly I and our entire Administration are 100 percent committed to the closure of Guantanamo, and to proceeding with the transfer of those who can be transferred, the trial of those who should be tried, and the continuing detention of those who pose a grave threat to not only our country, but people everywhere.
QUESTION: Omar Khadr will be trialed in Guantanamo?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not – no, I’m not commenting on any individual case.
QUESTION: Thank you.
MR. KELLY: The next question is Jose Diaz, Reforma.
QUESTION: Hi, good afternoon. This is a question for Foreign Minister Cannon. As you know, the decision by Canadian authorities to require a visa for Mexican citizens willing to travel to Canada is causing an uproar in Mexico that even many people say goes against the spirit of these kind of meetings. There are thousands of businessmen and students in Mexico currently that one week ago didn’t need a visa, and now, they are required to produce a medical exam and a proof of not having a criminal record.
How are you going to solve this crisis? And when was exact date that you notified the Mexican foreign ministry about this decision?
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Well, thank you for that question. First, let me be very clear in terms of our relations with Mexico. Canada enjoys a very strong and productive relationship with the Mexican Government. I have been to see Secretary Espinosa on a couple of occasions. We’ve discussed numerous issues. We’ve strengthened our trade relations over the course of numerous years, the tourism industry. We’ve been able to look at ways of expanding education and increasing, of course, our trade numbers with Mexico.
This issue, in terms of the visas – as you know, Canada had looked at the visa issue. We’ve looked at it for some time. Those people who are seeking refugee status are unduly high. We are in a position where we need to look at and find solutions. We will be working with the – with my Mexican counterpart, and my counterpart will also engage her colleague in immigration as well as Minister Kenney back in Canada to work this, work the solutions, and find the ways to be able to eventually lift the visa requirement.
But from now until such time as that occurs, we have to be able to straighten the situation out. And once again, I want to make this perfectly clear, the relations between Canada and Mexico far supersede the elements of visa requirements. It’s a very important relation that we want to continue to nourish and develop.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) by the notification to the foreign minister of Mexico, please?
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Well, maybe my colleague can answer that.
FOREIGN MINISTER ESPINOSA: (Via interpreter) I wanted to say – is that first of all, I wanted to talk about the importance and the complexity and the size of the relationship that exists between Mexico and Canada, and how much we appreciate that relationship which has been so beneficial for our two countries and both of our societies.
Now having said that, I would also like to say that from the very first moment that we were notified that the intent was there of the Government of Canada to require visas for Mexican nationals traveling to that country, we stated, with a great deal of respect but also very firmly, that we were in disagreement with this measure, that it was our opinion that this is not something that is going to help to resolve the problem that Canada’s trying to solve, and also our willingness to work on an urgent basis and very intensely to achieve, as Minister Cannon said, in understanding ways that would allow us to correct this decision which has already been taken and that has been implemented by Canadian officials.
You asked me when? Monday. Monday was the day that we were formally notified. We had talked. We had been talking, of course, about this intent that this decision was coming, but when exactly we were – the decision was taken, when we were told, okay, we’re going to do this from now on, it was Monday. Later on – and I thank Minister Cannon for letting me have a bilateral space with him so that we can talk more broadly about the practical issues that have been coming up with respect to the implementation of this decision. Minister Cannon, thank you very much for that willingness, and we will continue to work in this constructive spirit, in the certainty that we will be able to solve these issues and go back to the way the situation was before.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, I have (inaudible) Iran. Iran has announced today that the head of the Atomic agency, Mr. Aqazadeh, has resigned. He was vice president of the Islamic Republic and also a close ally of Mousavi. And tomorrow, Mousavi and Rafsanjani are going to participate in a big demonstration against the regime in Tehran. So I wanted to know what you make of the situation in Iran right now.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you may know, I talked about that yesterday in my speech. I don’t have anything to add to what I said before. Clearly, the decisions about what happens inside Iran regarding its future government makeup and other matters that are within the control of the Iranian people are ones that we watch with great interest, but know that it is up to Iran to determine the kind of future that it wants.
I would just underscore what I said yesterday, that we continue to believe that it would be in the long-term interests of Iran to begin to make different choices. It has a very stark choice as to whether or not it will make some changes that apparently many people in Iran want from the inside, and certainly, the international community is hoping to see in its external relations. But that is going to be up to the Iranians.
MR. KELLY: The next question, Sheldon Alberts, Canwest.
QUESTION: Hi, this is to Foreign Secretary Espinosa and to Minister Cannon. I’m wondering if you – if the Mexican Government is considering any sort of reciprocal action on Canadian citizens or if it would consider if there’s no satisfactory result in terms of Canadian – the Canadian Government lifting the visa requirement at some point. So I’m wondering, first of all, if there’s any retaliation planned.
Minister Cannon, I’m also wondering whether the Canadian Government may have underestimated the reaction to this. The European Union is saying that they may be requiring visas on Canadian travelers if it’s not satisfied that the action taken against the Czech Republic was appropriate.
FOREIGN MINISTER ESPINOSA: (Via interpreter) With respect to this issue, first of all, I’d like to repeat what we just said, how much we value our relationship with Canada; and, in that respect, to underline that in Mexico, every year, we get about 1,300,000 travelers from Canada. It’s one of the countries that brings an important number of tourists to Mexico. In fact, there are many Canadian citizens who have made second homes in Mexico, that have retired in Mexico, that spend some months in Mexico and some months in Canada.
We would not like to in any way damage this flow of people that so much benefits our country as well as Canadians, and it is for that reason that we do not expect to impose a visa requirement on Canadian tourists. However, because of the Canadian Government’s decision in the sense that visas are applied to every Mexican citizen, we have decided – and this was today communicated to the Canadian Government – that we are going to suspend the agreement to not use visas in official and diplomatic passports.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: (Inaudible) that what needs to be said here clearly is that we’re not looking for – we’re not looking for difficulties with our allies. What we have noted, though, is that there has been an increase in the number of immigrants coming to Canada seeking refugee status, which was, as Minister Kenney pointed out, way beyond the levels that are acceptable. And so we need to be able to address this issue, engage this issue. We have done so through our domestic policy, and we will be doing so as well, seeking solutions and working cooperatively with our colleagues, both in Mexico as well as in the Czech Republic, to be able to find the ways to move forward.
Nothing in this situation would lead to believe that there is a permanency in all of this. We have to be able to find ways to move forward and to find solutions to it. But this having been said, we were, and we reached an unacceptable level. And therefore, we had to intervene and we had to act. And this is precisely what we did. Advance notice had been forwarded and given to the parties involved, and Canada acted according to what it needs to do.
QUESTION: (Inaudible.)
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: (Via interpreter) What I just said is that in both cases, we realized that it was an unacceptable level of people who were seeking asylum and seeking the status of refugee in Canada. This number was totally abnormal, and therefore, my colleague, the immigration minister, decided to take the measures that needed to be taken. Well, this being said, this doesn’t prevent us from going on and keep on working and finding with our colleagues from Mexico and with our colleagues from the Czech Republic the elements that will allow us to face this problem.
And I conclude in saying that my colleague, Minister Kenney, said that in Canada, we needed to reform our system. And therefore, it is a task that he’s going to work on in the next few weeks and few months.
But in conclusion, I want to repeat and underline the importance of our relations both with the European Union, with whom we are negotiating a wider economic space, but also with Mexico, which is a privileged partner in North America. And in many multilateral fora, we are working hand-in-hand to realize different things. They are our fifth commercial partner in importance.
MR. KELLY: Jesus Esquivel, Proceso.
QUESTION: Good afternoon. It’s for Madame Secretary Clinton, my question. In a few days, you’re going to present a report to the U.S. Congress in reference to the human rights situations in Mexico in the fight against drugs. We understand that you already take the decision, and it’s going to be not to withhold the money in the Merida Initiative for the Mexican case.
Lately, it has been a lot of reports in terms of the Mexican military are committing torture and horrible human rights violations in the fight against drugs. My question to you is: Do you believe, with this reported favor of Mexico, don’t you think the U.S. would lose moral authority in the human rights situation in terms of violations committed by the U.S. forces, like in Iraq, Afghanistan? And you are – in other words, in – you know, there are few human rights violations in Mexico. But anyway, we have to support the government of Felipe Calderon.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me say that I know that President Calderon is concerned about these matters. He has made very clear that one of his goals is to make sure that the police forces and the military forces in Mexico are well trained and certainly conduct themselves in a manner that meets all expectations and standards.
So what we see here is an administration under President Calderon locked in a very difficult battle with the most ruthless drug traffickers and criminal cartels anywhere on the planet. And we have worked very closely with his administration to provide additional support for police training, and it is our assessment that the steps taken and the commitment demonstrated by the Calderon administration is deserving of confidence.
Now does that mean that there are not violations or actions that we would find unacceptable? Of course not; that happens in any society. And certainly, we see it in big city police departments, we see it in military actions, and it’s not confined to any one country. But what we are evaluating is the level of commitment by the Calderon administration to deal with the challenges that it faces in putting together a police force that is under tremendous pressure – 16 police officers killed in the last several days. So of course, there has to be constant reminding of people on the front lines whose families are at risk, whose children are kidnapped, whose lives are endangered, that they must comply with certain standards, and we’re absolutely confident that that is the message being delivered by the Calderon administration.
Thank you very much.
MR. KELLY: Thank you very much.

 

 

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Remarks With Canadian Foreign Minister Cannon

Press Conference

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
June 13, 2009

Date: 06/13/2009 Description: Media availability with Secretary of State Clinton and Minister of Foreign Affairs Cannon at Carillon Tower promenade.  © Photograph taken by Harry Scull, Jr.

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Canada and the United States have committed this morning to amending the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This is important for both nations. These inland waters are the largest system of fresh water in the world, a foundation for billions of dollars in trade, shipping, agriculture, recreation, of course, and other sectors. The Government of Canada has taken significant efforts in the past three years to protect the Great Lakes, and today, this joint stewardship of the environment represents a cornerstone of the Canada-United States relationship. This aspect of our long history of collaboration will remain strong as we begin a second century of jointly managing our shared waters. The agreement has been a model of international cooperation and has achieved numerous successes.
However, as you know, the Great Lakes are still at risk and need more to be done. So we will be doing that together.
The Secretary of State and I also discussed the global economic downturn and the risks of protectionism, cooperation in the Americas, and Afghanistan, as well as Pakistan. Our country’s prosperity and security are inseparable from those of the United States. Americans, as you know, are our closest neighbors, allies, and trading partners.
(Via interpreter) Every day, there is trade to a value of $2 billion that cross our common border from Canada. And Canada is the first export market for 35 of 50 of the American states.
People are worried by a rising tide of protectionism developing in the United States in various circles, and our government is very concerned, in particular, about the negative impacts of Buy America legislation being felt on Canadian businesses. Now, Canada’s and the United State’s shared history demonstrated we can do great things. When we work together, we are able to, of course, serve our mutual interests. Now, this is crucial as we are engaged in emerging from this crisis, and we want to be able to emerge from this crisis stronger, better, and, of course, in a more prosperous manner.
Thank you. Merci.
Date: 06/13/2009 Description: Secretary of State Clinton responds to questions  from the media following the bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Cannon. © Photograph taken by Harry Scull, Jr.SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister Cannon.
I’ve had a delightful morning here, and I want to thank my Canadian hosts, especially Foreign Minister Cannon, the members of the International Joint Commission, and the many distinguished colleagues from both sides of the border who have made this celebration so memorable.
We are celebrating, because the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Boundary Waters Treaty marks a recognition of a ground-breaking agreement, one of the first in the world to recognize the environmental consequences of managing our natural resources, ensuring clean drinking water, protecting the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system, the Niagara Falls and Niagara River that are such magnificent treasures. So for me, it’s a particular delight both to have been back in Western New York; many friends from Niagara and Erie counties — I just am delighted to see them, but also to be here in Canada, because Canada is such a trusted ally, a friend, a valued trading partner and a democratic model for the world.
This treaty, which we have celebrated, is not a static document. It’s a living instrument of our cooperation and partnership. It has provided an effective framework for the last 100 years, but now we have to take stock of where we are and how we’re going to be proceeding with confidence and effectiveness into the future. As we look at the strong foundation that this treaty has helped to establish between our countries, it’s truly remarkable: $1.6 billion in goods that flow across the border everyday, supporting millions of jobs; the world’s largest energy-trading relationship. I want to underscore that, because I’m not sure that enough Americans know, Minister Cannon, that you are our number one supplier of energy in the world, and we are grateful for that. We collaborate closely on citizen safety and defense, and, as both the Minister and I have noted, we have soldiers serving side-by-side together in Afghanistan to try to prevent the spread of terrorism and extremism.
So our common values are deeply rooted. But we have to work together even more closely. After this morning’s ceremony, the Minister and I had a chance to review some of our other important matters. Obviously, we discussed international and global concerns that we are both deeply engaged in, and we discussed our nation’s plan to revise and update the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to protect the Great Lakes Basin for future generations. We reviewed our joint efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe. We discussed the challenges in Pakistan, the Middle East, Iran, and elsewhere. We talked about our equal commitment to our own hemisphere, and I’m very grateful for the Canadian Government and the Minister’s particular emphasis on working with us in Haiti, working to strengthen our relationships with our neighbors to the south.
We also have been very focused on ensuring that nothing interferes with the trade between our countries. I deeply respect the Minister’s comments and his concerns, but as President Obama said, nothing in our legislation will interfere with our international trade obligations, including with Canada. But we want to take a hard look, and the Minister and I discussed this, as to what more we can do to ensure that the free flow of trade continues. We consider it to be in the interests of both of our countries and our people.
So as always, it’s great to be in Canada, and we deeply appreciate our close working relationship the Minister and I have forged over a relatively short period of time, and we look forward to continuing close collaboration and cooperation. Thank you very much.
QUESTION: (Off-mike).
SECRETARY CLINTON: We watched closely the enthusiasm and the very vigorous debate and dialogue that occurred in the lead-up to the Iranian elections. We are monitoring the situation as it unfolds in Iran.
But we, like the rest of the world, are waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide. The United States has refrained from commenting on the election in Iran. We obviously hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: For Canada, on behalf of Canada, Canada is deeply concerned by reports of voting irregularities in the Iranian election. We’re troubled by reports of intimidation of opposition candidate’s offices by security forces. We’ve tasked our embassy officials to – in Tehran to closely monitor the situation, and Canada is calling on Iranian authorities to conduct fair and transparent counting of all ballots.
(Via Interpreter) According to (inaudible) irregularities in the Iranian election, we are also deeply concerned with reports according to which there might have been intimidation, intimidation against opposition candidate’s offices, for instance; amongst them would be intimidation by security officials. I therefore asked our people in Tehran and officers in the Canadian embassy to follow the development very closely. And finally, we hope – we hope with a great deal of vigor that the counting of ballots be done transparently and that all the ballots that have been used during this election be indeed counted.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, welcome to Canada.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
QUESTION: Canada’s government and many Canadian businesses have said that our economy and our bilateral relationship is being hurt by the Buy American policy. Secretary Clinton, why is it in there, and if you don’t call it protectionism, what is it? And to Minister Cannon, how deeply is this hurting Canada’s economy and our relationship with the United States?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me just reiterate that the provision is not being enforced in any way that is inconsistent with our international trade obligations. And we take that very seriously. Obviously, Canada is our number one trading partner. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that we intend to not only nurture, but see grow.
And I am well aware of the concerns that there may be elements of the international trade obligations or absences of agreements that should be looked at so that we can promote more procurement and other kinds of trade interactions. And I have assured Minister Cannon that we will take a very close look at that.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Thank you. On – I was able this morning to bring Secretary of State Clinton up-to-date, up-to-speed on the Prime Minister’s visit last week to – with Premier Charest, who, as you know, is the premier responsible for the Council of the Federation. This issue was discussed. As you know, the premiers have agreed to look at the procurement issue as being one of importance. My colleague, Minister Day, as well, did go and travel to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, so I was able to bring the Secretary of State to – up-to-speed on this issue, and at the same time, get assurances that we would look to find different options to make sure that what we already have built in terms of a solid foundation continue – can continue to flourish and to prevail.
So we still have work ahead of us, and we’re looking forward to doing that.
(Via interpreter) — I had the opportunity to indicate to Secretary of State Clinton and bring her up-to-speed on the recent meeting with Premier Charest. Well, as the premiers, members of the Council of the Federation, Premier Charest being the chair, and the commitment from all premiers to look at the whole issue of procurement and public expenditures so that such expenditures be part and parcel of perhaps even an agreement with the Americans.
My colleague, Minister Stockwell Day, took the same undertaking with the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. So this enabled me to allude to these events with the Secretary of State, and also enabled me, by the same token, to look at what options might be open to us in upcoming months. As I mentioned a moment ago, there is a very solid basis upon which we can work; indeed, there are other issues to be worked on, but – and that we’ve always been able to reach an agreement with the Americans on a number of topics. I don’t think this impediment is a major one, and we will continue our dialogue.
QUESTION: (Off-mike)
SECRETARY CLINTON: First, let me say how gratified we were that the United Nations Security Council reached and agreement on a very strong resolution that contains not only new sanctions and the authorization for inspections of ships that may be carrying contraband or weapons of mass destruction or other dangerous technology from North Korea, but that the resolution represented a unified response to the provocative actions that have been taken by the North Koreans over the last several months.
This was a tremendous statement on behalf of the world community that North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver those weapons through missiles is not going to be accepted by the neighbors, as well as the greater international community. We intend to work with our partners, including Canada and others, to enforce the provisions of this resolution in a vigorous way, to send a clear message that we intend to do all we can to prevent continued proliferation by the North Koreas.
I will add, however, that the North Korean’s continuing provocative actions are deeply regrettable. They have now been denounced by everyone. They have become further isolated, and it is not in the interests of the people of North Korea for that kind of isolation to continue. So the Six-Party Framework, which the North Koreans left, turning their back on the obligations to continue with denuclearization, is still an open opportunity for them to return. And we are going to be consulting closely with our friends and allies, not only in Northeast Asia, but more generally, to determine a way forward in response to further actions.
But I think these sanctions and the authorizations included in this resolution give the world community the tools we need to take appropriate action against the North Korean regime.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Canada already, of course, abides by Resolution 1718 that was passed in 2006. And we’ve implemented that resolution and the binding sanctions, of course, that were introduced.
We as well are very – and we welcome the additional imposition of – by Resolution 1874. Canada, of course, is very, very pleased that the world community has come together in a united response at the (inaudible) to be able to signal to the international – to North Korea the international community’s determination that their recent conduct is inacceptable. So we’re very pleased by this Security Council resolution, as well.
We’re also pleased by the new resolution’s calls upon North Korea to return immediately to the Six-Party Talks and to demand, of course, that these talks that are extremely important in terms of nonproliferation and the use of nuclear weapons get going.
(Via interpreter) Canada, of course, is very much abiding by Resolution 1718 that was adopted in 2006, and we are very happy with that recent resolution, adopted by the UN Security Council. Canada will apply with determination all the provisions contained therein. For that matter, we’re delighted to see that the international community has sent a very clear signal to North Korea. And will add, by way of conclusion, that for our part, it’s important that the discussions amongst the six parties resume as quickly as possible, and we’re delighted that this resolution also calls upon the Government of North Korea to go back to the negotiating table, so that we might limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
QUESTION: (Off-mike).
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m sorry, and what?
QUESTION: (Off-mike).
SECRETARY CLINTON: First, with respect to our shared border, there is certainly no argument that we each have to take additional security steps, given conditions in the world. I mean, I think we both regret those. We are sorry that we have to respond to them, but nevertheless, that is the reality. And we are doing everything we can in the Obama Administration to listen and work with our Canadian counterparts.
There have been several very productive discussions already between our Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, and her Canadian counterpart. Because we know that we want to maintain this extraordinary relationship that we have with the right amount of security to protect our citizens on both sides, without interfering in the free movement of goods and people that we value so greatly.
Sometimes we need to help each other really understand fully the challenges that we are each facing to make sure we achieve that common goal. I would still argue that although we do have law enforcement on our border in greater numbers than we did ten years ago, compared to a border that I know of anywhere, just about, in the world, this is a demilitarized, free, open border with appropriate law enforcement personnel and technology in the interest of protecting our two peoples.
So we will work very closely with the Canadian Government, and we will try to solve problems that have arisen between our governments in the past to make sure that we are doing what we need to do with security in a way that does not interfere with all of the other interests that we share.
We are both members of the Arctic Council. We, and Canada, with its very extensive presence on the Arctic waters, along with Russia, Norway, and — Denmark, right? – are the members of the Arctic Council. We want to work closely together. We want to foresee issues and try to resolve them so that they don’t become problems. And we feel, as one of the five nations working with the others, that we have an opportunity here, and we intend to take this very seriously. Obviously, there are questions of sovereignty and jurisdiction that have to be acknowledged and respected, but what we don’t want is for the Arctic to become a free-for-all. If there is going to be greater maritime passageways through the Arctic, if there is going to be more exploration for natural resources, if there are going to be more security issues, I think it’s in the Canadian and the United States’ interests to try to get ahead of those, and try to make sure we know what we’re going to do to resolve them before countries that are not bordering the arctic are making claims, are behaving in ways that will cause us difficulties.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Let me respond by saying at the outset how very pleased I was one of the first initiatives that Secretary of State Clinton took on was to be able to host the Antarctica Joint Arctic Council Meeting in Washington a couple of months ago, which was, I think, a strong indication, once again, of our country’s commitment to not only this border here, but, of course, to our northern border. And what I can say on that is that there are no obstacles. We have been able to manage the issues as it should be between the two neighbors. We, of course, as a country, as well as the United States, Russia, and the other members of the Arctic Council, have agreed to abide by, of course, the United Nations Convention, the Law of the Seas, to go forward and do the mapping. We’ve been able to, as a Canadian Government, assume our responsibilities, assert our responsibilities in terms of sovereignty by our infrastructure programs.
So from that perspective, it’s going extraordinarily well, as well as, as Hillary Clinton just mentioned, Peter Van Loan, who, as you know, is our minister responsible for – I was going to say homeland security, but for border crossings and has worked extremely well with the Secretary of State, Secretary Napolitano, over the course of the last several weeks. They’ve established a working relationship, which I feel is something that is extraordinarily good in terms of moving forward. And so I’d say that on that front as well, things are going very, very well.
(Via interpreter) Briefly, I would say this: I congratulated Secretary of State Clinton for the initiative she took at the very outset of her mandate, and by convening in Washington a joint meeting between the Arctic Council and the Antarctica Council. At that time, we were able to examine a variety of subjects that arise in the extremities of the globe. And as I mentioned, we were – we have always been able to manage our difficulties in a very positive, healthy manner. That is what exists in the arctic part of our country.
We are members of the Arctic Council with three other countries. We are committed into various provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. We have also noted, with a great deal of satisfaction and interest, the work that is being done by Minister Peter Van Loan, who is the minister responsible for public safety here in Canada, as well as with the American Secretary for Homeland Security, Mrs. Napolitano, to deal with issues that arise in common to both our countries. In that regard, many steps are being taken. So we’re very happy with the progress that has been made.
And I will tell you, by way of conclusion, that the relationship between Canada and the U.S. again continues to shine, and it is a real breath of fresh air and a ray of sunshine for many countries in the world when we want to see how borders should be managed and the relationship between two countries. We are great, great friends.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Thank you. Merci.

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 24, 2009

Date: 02/24/2009 Description: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Before Their Meeting. State Dept Photo

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning.

FOREIGN MINISTER MORATINOS: Good morning.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, can you say a few words about what you plan for the Gaza donors’ conference?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are still working on that. We have made no decisions, and we are working across the government to determine what our approach will be. And I’m looking forward to attending. But you know, there’s still a lot of work to do. Thank you all very much.

Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta

Photo Opportunity

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
February 24, 2009

View VideoDate: 02/24/2009 Description: Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta.  State Dept PhotoSECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I’m so pleased to welcome you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s such a pleasure to have you here.
PRESIDENT RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.
QUESTION: So, Madame Secretary, what will be your title for Dennis Ross? Is it a special advisor on Iran? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, there is so much work we’re doing, I’m so pleased to have so many good people helping me.
QUESTION: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon

Photo Opportunity

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary Clinton and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon Before Their Meeting
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
February 24, 2009

Date: 02/24/2009 Description: Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon State Dept PhotoSECRETARY CLINTON: Hello. This is a big week for Canada, and I just expressed the appreciation that we feel for the wonderful welcome and hospitality that President Obama received on his visit. And I’m delighted to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Well, I am very pleased to be here, Madame Secretary, and particularly after that great visit in Canada. And hopefully, we’ll have you there in Canada very shortly to be able to match that.
SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, I —
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: I’m sure you’re going to be very well received as well.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Canada, and I had one memorable visit when we had a state visit, and I got to skate on the canals in Ottawa. That was a personal highlight, so thank you all very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Thank you.
QUESTION: Happy Mardi Gras.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Now, Matt, I am so happy to know that you’re on top of what’s going on. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: The most important things.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It is the most important thing. I’m just surprised you’re here covering this instead of out celebrating. (Laughter.) Nice to see you all.

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Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 24, 2009

Date: 02/24/2009 Description: Remarks Secretary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi.  State Dept PhotoSECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I was very pleased to welcome the minister and his delegation here to the State Department. As you know, we are consulting very closely with the Government of Pakistan on our strategic review of our way forward. And I’m very grateful for the minister’s advice and counsel, and I look forward to further discussions and to having him back here tomorrow night for dinner along with his counterparts from Afghanistan.Thank you, Mr. Minister.FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thank you all very much.

QUESTION: Mr. Minister, do you have any concerns that the 17,000 troops announced by President Obama going into southern Afghanistan will push the Taliban further into areas of Pakistan like Baluchistan? And Secretary Clinton, did you assure the minister that you’ll work with Pakistan on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re going to save our comments for when we have something to say about the results of our joint efforts. And there is a very open and fully consultative – a full consultative process which we will be working on, and many of these issues will be discussed among us.

Thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: We had an excellent meeting. There’s a convergence between us, there’s a willingness to work together, and I see a lot of hope in the new Administration, the new leadership. And Pakistan is willing to work with the American Administration to fight extremism and terrorism. We are determined to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Hillary Rodham Clinton 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_afp_20090224_capt.photo_1235498222295-1-0 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_afp_20090301_capt.photo_1235881670185-1-0 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.2b38935942224d9a9757f11ec5b96f0f.us_canada_dcsa112 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.21e320d6630f4d9fb58dbb306ad248db.us_spain_dcmc102 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.519792bb135f4cd88ad4927dab6cf563.us_spain__dcmc105 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.a430611695a6451db547091da156f269.us_canada_dcsa107 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.b9a79a0b25d449c08e41db103b0eff14.us_canada_dcsa110 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.c1c3c22a9a4f45c783223c1c43759ab3.us_canada_dcsa109 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090224_capt.cfffb8c4d90447289ffe7542a554e6e7.us_canada_dcsa105 Lawrence Cannon, Hillary Rodham Clinton

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