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Remarks With Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca Before Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 20, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me formally welcome the Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova here to the State Department. He’s been having a series of very productive meetings and exchanges. We have been following with great interest the positive changes that are occurring in Moldova, and I’m looking forward to having an in-depth discussion with him about ways that the United States can further deepen and strengthen our partnership to ensure that all Moldovans have the opportunity for the future that they deserve.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER LEANCA: Madam Secretary of State, thank you very much. It’s very gratifying to be back in Washington, DC, to be back in the State Department. I am looking very much forward to our today discussion. As you mentioned already, yesterday and today I had very good discussions both on the Capitol Hill, with representatives of the U.S. Executive Branch, and think tanks. And I follow this wholehearted support for Moldova, for Moldova’s desire to become a free and democratic country, to distinguish itself through the respect for human rights.

Of course, we have a lot of challenges to meet and we are very determined to take our country ahead, but we know and we are confident that only together with the support of our friends and our allies we will be much more effective. And of course, the U.S. has extended to us the friendship, the extremely generous support, and we are extremely grateful to the American Government and to the American people for this generous support.

And of course, we are looking forward, after 20 years since we established our diplomatic relations to consolidate U.S. role in shaping further developments in our region as still crucial. And again, I am very happy to be back. I’m looking very much forward to our discussions.

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

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VOA interview: Hillary Clinton on Moldova-Romania border dispute (sic), Russian troops
January 30, 2010

The following is a transcript of an interview VOA State Department Correspondent David Gollust had with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Paris 29 Jan 2010. In the interview, Clinton discussed developments in Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Burma and China.

GOLLUST: Madam Secretary, I have a question left over from the London conference on Afghanistan. Before your news conference, several of us reporters talked to the women’s rights advocates from Afghanistan. They expressed some real concern that the reconciliation process contemplated by [Afghan] President [Hamid] Karzai might mean that their interest would be sacrificed in the interest of some accommodation with Taliban people. I know the United States won’t be involved in the reconciliation, but is there any kind of assurance you can offer them that their interests might be protected?

CLINTON: Well, David, I share that concern, which is why I have not only spoken with a number of Afghan women and listened to their concerns but also to President Karzai and others about them. There is certainly no intention for that to happen. But, we have to be really vigilant to make sure it doesn’t. The idea behind the standards that would be used for reintegration and reconciliation is that people would enter society in a way that required them to abide by the laws and constitution of Afghanistan, and which provide for equal treatment of women. I do think we should put this in the larger context, which is that, unfortunately, discrimination against women exists even without the Taliban in many parts of Afghanistan. So, I don’t want to sound any alarms yet, because we are just watching the beginning of this process. But, I do want to assure your listeners that the United States is committed to protecting the rights of all people and we pay particular attention to vulnerable populations, like girls and women in Afghanistan.

GOLLUST: Let me switch now to the address you gave in Paris on European security. You suggested that the expansion of NATO has in effect improved the security of Russia itself, even though it has been quite an opponent of NATO expansion. But, what about the argument that Russia itself has perhaps become more defensive, less democratic, because of NATO expansion?

CLINTON: Well, I don’t think that the facts support that. I think, making it possible for Central and Eastern European states to feel secure, to join NATO if that is their choice, creates a compact of nations that are working together to enhance security. NATO has no offensive interest in taking action against any peaceful neighbor. In fact, NATO has a great interest in working more closely with Russia. Because, we believe that, in the 21st Century, the challenges are not between states so much as they are between states that are committed to peace and prosperity and non-state actors and rogue states, and Russia’s confronted a lot of insecurity internally on its own border. And, I think it has helped Russia not to have to worry about its neighbors to the West. Russia has to decide how it interprets developments like the expansion of NATO, but I would like to see a very close relationship between NATO and Russia that I think would continue to benefit all the parties.

GOLLUST: What’s your level of concern about the state of democratic freedoms in Russia? Many people think it’s deteriorated since the Yeltsin years.

CLINTON: I think there are some unfortunate trends in both democracy and human rights and also in development. Russia’s life span is going down. This is a great country with an extraordinary history and very intelligent population, well-educated. So, I think that Russia has some work to do at home, which I believe President Medvedev recognizes. He has spoken about, he’s written about it. And, I think, in the long run, it is in Russia’s interest to be more open and more tolerant of dissent, and to continue working to expand its free market and join the world trade organization and all of the other aspects of modernization, which really should help Russians.

GOLLUST: You spoke in your address about the elections in Ukraine coming up being part of a process that will bring Ukraine closer to the European mainstream. On the other hand, if you look at polls, a candidate who basically opposes NATO membership, might win the election. If that happens, is that a setback?

CLINTON: No, because it’s a decision for a country to make. Nobody is forced to join NATO; it’s only if a country wishes to apply for membership, and if there’s a change in political leadership, in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian people decide that they, at this time, would prefer not to pursue NATO membership, that’s their choice.

GOLLUST: You also mentioned in the address the continuing United States concern about Abkhazia-South Ossetia. Doesn’t, in fact, the fact that Russia practically, or physically occupies these areas really preclude the possibility of NATO membership for Georgia?

CLINTON: No. Georgia is in a process to see if it can meet the standards for membership. There’s certainly not a recognition in Europe or the United States, or among NATO members of the legitimacy of the secession South Ossetia and Abkhazia. We would hope for improvement in the relationship between Russia and Georgia, and a cooling of any tensions and a refraining from provocation. But, this is one of the areas that we’re working on.

GOLLUST: One of the more moving events, I thought, at the State Department a week ago, was your meeting with the prime minster of Moldova. His comments about how grateful he was to become an MCC [Millennium Challenge Corporation] member and how proud he was about democratic reform. Is there something that the United States and/or other allies do about the territorial issue in Moldova that really has been an impediment to that country’s progress?

CLINTON: I discussed this at length with the prime minister. Moldova is struggling to consolidate democracy to improve its economy, it is eligible for Millennium Challenge compact because it is still a poor country in need of a lot of help. Certainly the border disputes with Romania, the continuance of Russian troops on Moldovan territory are matters of concern. But we want to assist Moldova in improving the lives of its people and hopefully over time the problems that it faces can be addressed.

GOLLUST: Another subject you alluded to in the speech was international response to disasters as underlined by the Haiti experience of a couple weeks ago. Are there lessons to be learned from the Haiti example about how the international community should respond to a disaster?

CLINTON: I think there are and we need to be looking at the tsunami, the terrible earthquake in Haiti, and figuring out what are the best ways for the international community to respond. I’ve started discussing this with Catherine Ashton, the new High Representative for the European Union: how do we prepare to take responsibility for different parts of the world, how do we stockpile goods, how do we assign different responsibilities among different nations? I think this is a ripe area for more international cooperation and we should not just respond, we should learn and do it better the next time.

GOLLUST: Still another issue raised at the forum in Paris, U.S. relations with China, the controversy over the Google website. You mentioned that the president will be meeting the Dalai Lama. The issue of Taiwan arms sales is out there. Do you think we are in for, you might say, a patch of rough sledding in relations with China because of the convergence of such issues?

CLINTON: Well I hope not. But there shouldn’t be any surprises on either issue. The United States has supplied defensive arms to Taiwan for many years. We do it within the context of our Taiwan Relations Act and the Joint Communiqué and our commitment to a one China policy. We think it is appropriate and in fact we believe that providing defensive equipment has actually enabled Taiwan to feel more comfortable in drawing closer to China in commercial interactions. And the last three, maybe four presidents have met with the Dalai Lama, so again there shouldn’t be any surprise. We certainly don’t recognize any claim that the Dalai Lama makes to territory inside China. We view him primarily as a religious leader. So again this is something that previous presidents have done and President Obama is committed to doing.

GOLLUST: Another issue out in that region involves Burma. The military government there is talking about an election process that would conceivably be followed by the release of Aung San Suu Kyi when her latest term of detention expires. Is that sequence of events something that would be acceptable both for the United States and other international players?

CLINTON: Well what we want to see are free fair and legitimate elections that give the people of Burma the chance to express their preference for their own leaders. We want to see Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners released as soon as possible. We want to develop a better bilateral relationship with Burma and we have offered the potential of that but of course we really hope to see the kind of progress that would demonstrate that Burma is ready to emerge from a period of authoritarian rule and some level of isolation and violation of human rights and the United States stands ready to work toward better relations with Burma and assistance but we have to see some evidence first.

GOLLUST: Madam secretary I appreciate very much you giving your time today.

CLINTON: Thank You.

VOA News

Recently I discovered that I was wrong all my life in thinking we recognized Tibet as an independent country. It seems we never did. Now I am shocked to find that neither have we ever recognized Taiwan as independent.

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Remarks At Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing Ceremony With the Government of Moldova

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
Washington, DC
January 22, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Daniel, for that introduction. And I know that this very first compact signing for you will have a special place in your heart. And I don’t want to increase the pressure on Moldova, but I think the chairman – or the CEO is going to be paying very close attention to how well we do together.

I want to recognize and thank the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister who have already been acknowledged, and also our Ambassador to the Republic of Moldova. Ambassador Chaudhry, thank you for being here and for your good work on behalf of our efforts in Moldova. I know that we have the North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, who is here. Is Elaine here? Because – there you are, I was looking for you, Elaine – North Carolina has a strong partnership with the government and people of Moldova, and we’re delighted that you would come up for this occasion.

And all of you, thank you for being here for this historic event, the signing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact. Since 2004, MCC has worked with countries all over the world to help millions escape the grip of poverty, to work with governments so that they had more capacity to deliver services to their people, to provide the kind of technical assistance that would go for the long term in the way that governments conducted their business – transparently, with accountability, free from corruption.

Through the MCC, the United States has provided over $7 billion to national governments committed to good governance, economic trade and investments, and the health and well-being of their people. The country-led MCC framework empowers nations to chart their own paths to progress. Each country has to identify its barriers to progress, has to craft solutions to overcome these barriers, has to implement the programs that will move the countries toward economic growth.

In the last five years, over 40 MCC Compact countries have built schools, roads, hospitals, and made many other investments in infrastructure that are providing a solid foundation for future prosperity. And today, I am pleased that we are able to add Moldova to that growing list. This is the final step of a journey that began in 2005 when Moldova became part of the MCC Threshold Program. As a threshold country, it pledged to undertake a series of reforms before it could become eligible for an MCC compact.

And working with the MCC and our partners at USAID, the government implemented legal reforms to curb corruption, introduced budgetary requirements that promoted transparency, and strengthened the capacity of civil society and the media to report on crime. And in that period, Moldova made significant progress economically, socially, and politically. And we are very pleased that this day has come. We applaud the people of Moldova and their leaders for embracing a reform agenda.

We know it was not easy. We know that it came at political cost. But it was so important because it has established a democratic Moldova that has, for the first time, a democratically- elected prime minister in eight years. So this agreement begins a new chapter in the relationship between our two countries. It reflects our commitment to help put the people of Moldova on the road to economic progress, and that’s literally because, as Daniel pointed out, we’re going to be building roads with this money.

We will also be rehabilitating irrigation systems, helping farmers transition into high-value agriculture that has real market quality inside of Europe and beyond, and building those safe roads from Chisinau to the Ukrainian border so that farmers can get their goods to market. These are all essential steps, and we will work with you and support you as you proceed. The Obama Administration is committed to building our partnership, broadening it, strengthening it, and seeing the people of Moldova reap the benefits of market reform, political reform, and all of the efforts that have been undertaken in the last years.

So, Prime Minister Filat, today’s signing is a victory for governance, human rights, and economic reform. We want Moldova to be part of the Euro-Atlantic alliance with all of the benefits that that will bring to the Moldovan people. So I congratulate you, your government, and your people for your ongoing commitment, and I wish you every success in the implementation of this compact. And I thank all of you for being here for this important milestone.

Now, please join me in welcoming His Excellency Prime Minister Filat to the podium.

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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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Below are two events on Hillary Clinton’s calendar for this week. In addition, AFP reports that she “…will attend a conference of international donors in Montreal on Monday to raise aid for Haiti….”

Secretary Clinton To Deliver Remarks On Internet Freedom on Thursday, January 21

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 19, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on Internet Freedom on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. at the Newseum, in Washington, D.C. The remarks will be live-streamed on www.state.gov.

Secretary Clinton’s policy address will lay-out the Administration’s strategy for protecting freedom in the networked age of the 21st Century.

Secretary Clinton To Host Millennium Challenge Corporation Signing With Moldova for $262 Million Poverty Reduction Grant

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 19, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will preside over the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signing of a $262 million poverty reduction grant with Moldova on Friday, January 22, at 12:30 p.m., at the Department of State. The grant will focus on investment projects in irrigation infrastructure, high-value agricultural products and road construction. His Excellency Prime Minister Vladimir Filat of Moldova will represent the Government of Moldova.

The Moldova signing ceremony is the first under the tenure of MCC’s new Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes, who was sworn in by Secretary Clinton last month.

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