Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

Hillary Clinton was in Oslo, Norway today, International Women’s Day, to receive an honorary doctorate at the BI Business School.

Our best compliments, Mme. Secretary!

Look for Hillary around the 38:33 minute mark.

OSLO, NORWAY – MARCH 08: Hillary Clinton attends the Gender Equality Conference at BI Business School on March 8, 2019 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad/Getty Images)

OSLO, NORWAY – MARCH 08: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the BI Business School on The International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

OSLO, NORWAY – MARCH 08: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends the BI Business School on The International Women’s Day on March 8, 2019 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Rune Hellestad – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

Just a personal note from me:  She always shines in these interviews and did so again today. I particularly liked this interviewer. There was something very simpatico about him. I liked his organization of the questions. Very pleasant. She was at ease. It was all around a nice atmosphere.




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The United States has four coasts subject to the perils presented by climate change: the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic. As a nation with land above the Arctic Circle, we belong to the Arctic Council.

When she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton participated regularly in Arctic Council summits hosted by a variety of the eight member nations. This was one. I have bolded the list of member states.

Lisa Murkowski  was nice enough to post this picture on her Facebook page along with this comment about an hour ago.

Lisa Murkowski

Heading home from the Arctic Council in Nuuk, Greenland. But wanted to share a picture: with the Ministers of the eight Arctic nations in attendance, as well as Secretary Clinton and Secretary Salazar.

Here is a fact sheet released by the State Department about the Arctic Council meeting results.

Secretary Clinton Signs the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement with Other Arctic Nations

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 12, 2011

On May 12, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined representatives of the other seven Member States of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, and Sweden) in signing an Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) in the Arctic (Agreement). The Agreement is the first legally-binding instrument negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. It coordinates life-saving international maritime and aeronautical SAR coverage and response among the Arctic States across an area of about 13 million square miles in the Arctic.

As Arctic sea ice coverage decreases, ship-borne activities are increasing significantly in the Arctic. Flight traffic is also on the rise as new polar aviation routes cross the Arctic air space in several directions. As human presence and activities in the Arctic expand, the potential for accidents increases as well. Limited rescue resources, challenging weather conditions, and the remoteness of the area render SAR operations difficult in the Arctic, making coordination among the Arctic nations imperative. The SAR Agreement will improve search and rescue response in the Arctic by committing all Parties to coordinate appropriate assistance to those in distress and to cooperate with each other in undertaking SAR operations. For each Party, the Agreement defines an area of the Arctic in which it will have lead responsibility in organizing responses to SAR incidents, both large and small. Parties to the Agreement commit to provide SAR assistance regardless of the nationality or status of persons who may need it.

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(See more like this here>>>>)

It is immediately apparent why there is a need for this council. Russia is a player.

After Hillary left the State Department, she launched a series of  speaking engagements. One of these was in Canada.

Speaking to the Montreal Board of Trade last night, Hillary Clinton warned the audience of increased Russian activity in the Arctic and hung responsibility for another Cold War on Vladimir Putin’s doorknob.

As Secretary of State,  Hillary was an active participant in the Arctic Council and repeatedly echoed the message that we are an Arctic nation.  The concerns she voiced in Canada are as much an issue for the U.S. as they are for Canada.

Along with the disquiet she expressed regarding Russia’s activities in the north came further comments about recent activities in Europe.

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In light of the above, this is of some concern or should be to all the member nations including ours.

Russian servicemen of the Northern Fleet’s Arctic mechanised infantry brigade participate in a military drill on riding reindeer and dog sleds near the settlement of Lovozero outside Murmansk, Russia January 23, 2017. Picture taken January 23, 2017. Lev Fedoseyev/Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS
By Andrew Osborn | MURMANSK, Russia

The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union’s Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum.

But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers.

It is part of a push to firm Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States, and Norway as well as newcomer China.


Grigory Stratiy, deputy governor of the Murmansk Region, told Reuters there was strong interest in sea route from Asian nations however and that new icebreakers would allow for year-round navigation in the 2020s.

“Whatever the weather, the Northern Sea Route will be needed. Its use will definitely grow,” said Stratiy, who said Russia was keen to attract foreign investment to the Arctic.

When asked about his country’s military build-up, he smiled.

“There’s no reason to be afraid I can reassure you,” he said, saying it was driven only by a need to modernize.

“Russia has never had any aggressive aims and won’t have them. We are very friendly people.”

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Anyone thinking that Putin is playing nice friendly reindeer games up there is, of course, deluded despite the “peaceful and cooperative nature of the Arctic Region” as stated on the State Department page.  We should never trust Putin, as Hillary warned, especially when his military is involved. So this military build up is one thing to watch.

It’s nice to have ice breakers available when you need them, and the Russians were very helpful the time the whales were trapped under the ice as portrayed in that Drew Barrymore movie. Those missile installations, though. No wonder we sent troops to Norway.

The North Sea Route concept, characterized in the article as a mini Suez Canal, is an obvious business venture, but of course the real target is oil. Drilling in the Arctic is an enterprise popular with Republicans.

Lastly, how the hell did “newcomer China” get into this competition? It has no land above the Arctic Circle. Or does it?  Is it building synthetic islands up there, too?

The new administration has a dangerously narrow view of China’s adversarial scope. It goes beyond trans-Pacific trade and artificial islands to expand its continental limit in the South China Sea and East China Sea. China has invested in significant “development” enterprises in Africa centered largely on resource extraction with tandem infrastructure upgrades benefiting their ability to move products for shipment and not benefiting local residents or their farms or businesses in any way. I don’t think I have ever heard Donald Trump say the word “Africa.”  At the very least, China’s presence in the Arctic deserves a question.

As for Russia, and its military push, we always do well to heed the warnings of Hillary Clinton.



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Yes, there were more bilaterals last night after which she hosted the Transatlantic dinner. The snip below is from a briefing last night by a senior official providing  background.

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Readout of the Secretary’s Meetings With Belgian Foreign Minister Reynders, Greek Foreign Minister Avramopoulos, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Hague, and the Transatlantic Dinner

Special Briefing

Senior Administration Official
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 25, 2012
MODERATOR: Thank you very much, and again, sorry that this evening has gone on so long, but we thought it would be worthwhile to provide you a readout on background from our Senior Administration Official. For your records, that is actually [Senior Administration Official]. We will do a brief readout of the dinner that just took place, the Transatlantic Dinner with our NATO and European partners, and then have time to take some of your questions.

So with that, let me just turn it over to our Senior Administration Official.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks, and thanks to everyone for waiting up so late. Apologies it’s so late, but the dinner went on for some time. I’ll get to the Transatlantic Dinner. Maybe I can just start with the other Transatlantic engagements, European engagements the Secretary’s had since she arrived on Sunday.

This actually began with her bilat with European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy Cathy Ashton on Sunday evening. And just briefly on that, she – the Secretary spent a good hour with High Representative Ashton covering a wide range of issues starting with Iran. The High Representative is leading the negotiations, recently had some talks in Istanbul with the Iranians, was able to report on those talks, and I think both of them concluded that there’s still time and space for diplomacy, and that effort needs to go on as we pursue both tracks – the pressure track – and I think we’ve heard from a number of Europeans in the course of the week that they’re looking for ways to increase the pressure track even as High Representative Ashton leads the way on negotiations on the diplomatic track. And we’re very serious about both tracks at the same time.

They talked about Burma, obviously, with Aung San Suu Kyi recently being in Washington and the EU having its own engagements with her, and talked about how the U.S. and the EU can coordinate on supporting democratic reforms in Burma. And then they actually spent a considerable time – amount of time on democratic reforms closer to home, which is to say across Eastern Europe. As the Secretary and High Representative were meeting, we were getting election results from Belarus – not that there was much question about how those elections would come out – and unfortunately they came out as expected, which is to say reflecting an unlevel playing field. And Secretary Clinton and High Representative Ashton talked about how we together in the U.S. and Europe can keep the pressure on Belarus and make clear that so long as there are political prisoners and so long as elections are repeatedly falling well short of international standards, then Belarus is not going to be able to have the relationship with Europe and the United States that it needs.

They also talked about upcoming elections in Ukraine, and I think it’s fair to say that we – the United States and Europe are working extraordinarily closely together when it comes to pressing for and supporting free and fair elections that are going to take place on October 28th. Ukraine is hugely important to European security and stability. We have been very clear how much we regret what we see as selective prosecutions, including the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko. And Secretary Clinton, High Rep Ashton agreed the U.S. and the European Union really have the same policy, which is to say that our relations with Ukraine can only really move forward when we see an end of those selective prosecutions and free and fair elections. And they talked about how we can use the time between now and October 28th to support those goals.

There are also upcoming elections in Georgia on October 1st, and once again, I think the two of them agreed how important it was for us collectively to make clear to Georgia how important it is to have a fair and transparent and competitive campaign environment. The most important thing Georgia can do for its future is to consolidate its democracy. We have respectively raised concerns about different issues on the road to those elections, and we’ve been appreciative that the Georgian Government has heard those concerns, and in most cases, taken measures to make sure that the elections that we are going to be very active in monitoring will indeed be free and fair.

And then finally, Secretary Clinton and High Rep Ashton talked about the Balkans. Catherine Ashton is leading an effort to promote the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo. Together, we support the path to the European Union of both of those countries. We think Serbia needs to come to term with an independent Kosovo in order to move forward along that path. And it’s something the United States and European Union are working very much hand in hand on to consolidate the Balkans as part of a unified Europe.

And then this evening, the Secretary, prior to the Transatlantic Dinner, had the opportunity to meet with a number of foreign ministers, including, in particular, several whom she hadn’t had formal bilats with who are new since certainly the last General Assembly, which includes the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr. Avramopoulos; the Belgian Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders; and the very new Norwegian Foreign Minister, Espen Barth Eide. And the Secretary also met with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Just very briefly with Greek Foreign Minister Avramopoulos, of course, they focused considerably on the Greek economy, and the Secretary expressed our understanding and appreciation for the great sacrifices that the Greek people are making in the reforms that have been deemed necessary to keep Greece in the Eurozone and to turn around its economy. We know how difficult those reforms are, but it’s a core American interest to see the Eurozone not just survive but thrive, and that entails also supporting Greece. And she was able to hear from the Foreign Minister the difficult budgetary cuts and tax increases and structural changes they’re making, but we were impressed with the seriousness of the effort, and I think it was useful for the Secretary to hear about the important reforms that Greece has undertaken, and for Foreign Minister Avramopoulos to hear how strongly the United States supports what Greece is doing.

With Foreign Minister Reynders of Belgium, she – Secretary Clinton thanked him for Belgium’s strong cooperation with the United States on a number of areas, including Afghanistan, where they’ve been very much involved and are – have agreed to help support Afghan National Security Forces after 2014; our cooperation on Syria and Iran, where again Belgium is a core member of the Transatlantic community, is cooperating closely with us. And they also talked about a couple of areas of particular interest not just to us, but to Belgium, which is to say Central Africa, the Congo, and the Sahel where the Belgium Foreign Minister explained what Belgium is doing to try to promote stability in those regions.

Seeing the new Norwegian Foreign Minister Barth Eide was a good opportunity for the Secretary, who had worked very closely with his predecessor, Jonas Store. She congratulated the new Foreign Minister and noted that the United States and Norway are extraordinarily close partners who work very well together. The Secretary, of course, traveled to Norway last summer, and it was a good chance for her to touch base with the brand new Foreign Minister and talk about a number of areas of common interest.

Finally, she did a bilat with Foreign Secretary Hague, mostly focused on Syria, where it was a good chance for the two of them, who have both recently seen Special Representative Brahimi, to coordinate policy on Syria. They also touched on Afghanistan and the challenge of dealing with some of these so-called green-on-blue attacks.

A lot of these themes that I’ve already mentioned, these bilats were also the subject of the Transatlantic Dinner, and I’ll end with a readout of that, which I guess went on for almost two hours. The Transatlantic Dinner, as you all know, is something we do every year at the General Assembly, meeting of European Union foreign ministers, NATO foreign ministers, as well as Macedonia and Switzerland, plus the NATO Secretary General and the High Representative of the EU. And it’s an opportunity to talk about a number of issues on the agenda of European and North Atlantic countries. They can obviously not cover everything; they cover a number of things, but I think particularly worth highlighting would be three topics – Syria, Afghanistan, and Europe and this question of democracy in Europe that I already flagged as being one of the subjects of the bilats.

And I think what is really worth stressing when I mention these topics of Syria, Afghanistan, and democracy in Europe is how much on the same page these members of the transatlantic community are. Members of the EU and NATO are really working in an unprecedented way on each of the topics I mentioned.

Again, just briefly on Syria, there was really a consensus around the table behind the approach that I know you’ve heard about that we’ve been taking in terms of supporting the opposition and trying to coordinate the opposition so that when the Assad regime does fall, as we believe it will, there will be something in place that can provide stability, efforts to respond to the huge humanitarian crisis; of course, Turkey is present at this meeting, was able to speak about the challenges they’re facing with refugees and preparing for a post-Assad Syria and keeping the pressure on the regime.

On Afghanistan, as in previous years, the Secretary was able to thank our European allies and partners for all the contributions they have made to our efforts in Afghanistan. This was the first meeting of this group since the Chicago Summit where important decisions were made on the milestone towards Afghan lead in 2013, and then the full transition by the end of 2014. And to follow up on some of the pledges made, our belief, as you know, is that the key to transition and successful transition in Afghanistan is training, and that requires trainers and it requires funding. And we were very pleased at all of the contributions made by European and other allies in Chicago towards ANSF funding after 2014. And the Secretary reiterated the importance of continuing to finance that project and to contribute the security force assistance teams that are needed to make this a success.

I think it’s worth stressing the Secretary made clear, and I think others around the table also made very clear, that notwithstanding some adjustments to the approach in Afghanistan to deal with these so-called insider attacks, the goal and the strategy and the timeline in Afghanistan remain absolutely unchanged. And Secretary General Rasmussen made that perfectly clear as well. What leaders agreed first in Lisbon and then complemented in Chicago is very clear and has not changed, and again, I can – I think I can say that every single minister on the table who spoke about it reiterated their commitment to the same goal, strategy, and timeline, and their commitment to doing what they can to support those goals.

Finally, and I think it’s really worth stressing, the discussion on democracy in Europe was important. This group gets together, and the world in which we live so often finds itself talking about Libya or Syria or Iran or Afghanistan, but there’s still some concerns in Europe to this group. And the Secretary herself highlighted her personal concerns about some of the upcoming elections that I already mentioned – Ukraine and Georgia, the highly imperfect election that took place in Belarus, and also the climate for democracy and human rights in Russia. And the Secretary noted a number of steps taken recently in Russia that aren’t pointing in the right direction where transparency and democracy are concerned.

And we’ve already raised in other fora our concerns about the new NGO law that requires registration of foreign agents, the increased fines for protests, some selective cases of prosecution, and now most recently, a new draft law on treason which would widen the definition of treason, and then of course the Russian decision to ask our USAID Office to cease its activities in Russia. And the Secretary reiterated our regret of that decision and our belief that USAID has accomplished a lot in Russia, and our commitment to carry on as we can in supporting those in Russia who want to see a free and fair and democratic Russia.

So that’s really the highlights, I think, of the Transatlantic Dinner and the bilat….

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Well!  I have been hanging onto this picture (much to rachel’s anticipation) since Mme. Secretary left Oslo.  It is not from the Embassy Stockholm meet-and-greet today.  It is from the Embassy Oslo event, but it is too adorable not to share, and there are no photos available from Stockholm.  SO!  Here is Hillary with a sweet little baby along with her remarks to the families and staff at Embassy Stockholm.

Meeting with Embassy Staff and Their Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Stockholm, Sweden
June 3, 2012

AMBASSADOR BRZEZINSKI: Madam Secretary, our colleagues at the U.S. Embassy and your families, Natalia and I and the entire U.S. Embassy staff welcome you to our home, which is also your home. Madam Secretary, thank you for making this historic visit. This is the first visit to Sweden in more than 30 years by a U.S. Secretary of State, purely for the purpose of enhancing, deepening, and honoring the relationship between our two countries. And that’s what makes it historic.

I am proud to tell you, Madam Secretary, that Swedish-American relations have never been stronger or warmer. Sweden is in the very front ranks with us in direct engagement with the immediate global problems we all confront. As you already know, our Swedish hosts are both honored and very pleased you are here. They welcome you with the same enthusiasm that we do. We are proud of you, Madam Secretary. We are proud of America. You are most welcome. It is really great to have you here.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, Mark, thank you. Thank you. Well, this is great to see all of you here this evening, and to have a chance to say thank you to all of you, beginning with the ambassador and Natalia and Aurora, who I just got to meet, for their energetic and passionate work on behalf of this important relationship between our two countries. And they do so much together, co-authoring a blog, recording a welcome video to Swedes, raising their daughter. It’s a great team. And I want to express my appreciation to all the great teams. To those of you who are part of this important mission, I thank you for being part of the family of Embassy Stockholm. And your family members who serve with you, I am grateful to you. And I was delighted to see so many young people here when I walked in. And I want to acknowledge and thank the locally employed staff. We truly could not do our work without all of you.

Sweden is one of America’s top partners, one of our oldest friends. When it comes to priorities, whether it is Afghanistan, Iran, counter-terrorism, global economic reform, humanitarian assistance, the Swedes are right by our side. And it is a relationship based on not only shared values, but more than 200 years of friendship and a big migration of Swedes to America. Because today the Foreign Minister was telling me something like one out of every five Swedes at the beginning of the last century actually lived in the United States. Having grown up in Chicago, like Natalia, I knew a lot of Swedish-Americans. So I am well aware that government-to-government relations are important, but it is truly the people-to-people relations that keep the connections.

I also want to thank you, because you were among the first embassies to actively reach out to bloggers. Now, Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and I are great champions of Internet freedom. And he is, as you may know, a prolific blogger himself. And he has called this embassy’s social media platform a model for his own government to follow.

I think that the work that you are doing on economic statecraft — and I thank the ambassador for that — the work you are doing to increase American and Swedish clean tech cooperation that reached agreement on $350 million in U.S. exports to Sweden and $8 billion of Swedish investment in the United States supports President Obama’s export initiative, and helps us take on global warming.

The deal you closed with the Swedish Armed Forces for 15 new Black Hawk helicopters is another example. The training and logistical support — we will provide those Black Hawks through our foreign military sales — will help bring our militaries even closer together. I had the chance to meet with the new defense minister today, and I think there is a lot of work that she is interested in pursuing, as well.

Now, your embassy-in-a-box program, I love that idea. (Laughter.) It gives Swedes living outside of Stockholm a chance to learn about study abroad opportunities and so much more. And I want to thank everybody who helped prepare for this visit. It is true, as Mark said, that it has been, I think, 36 years since a U.S. Secretary of State has come just on a bilateral visit. So I want to thank you all, particularly my control officer, Anna Stenholm* — I don’t know where Anna is. (Applause.)

Now, I hope the weather is better and you celebrate Sweden’s national day on Wednesday. The Prime Minister told me that yesterday was the coldest day in Sweden in 84 years. (Laughter.) It wasn’t what I was expecting. But, nevertheless, we are always prepared to make ourselves flexible as we move forward. So, I am very pleased I had a chance to be here.

And now I just want to shake some hands. And if I can ask somebody where I should start, where should I start?

PARTICIPANT: This is from the children, State of Illinois.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, how cute is that? There is an Illinois map with a heart where Chicago is. That is so sweet, I will take that home. (Applause.)

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Vodpod videos no longer available.

With Stoere in Tromso, posted with vodpod

Remarks With Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton —

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

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

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

MODERATOR: Last one.

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

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

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

MODERATOR: Thank you.

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Public Schedule for June 2, 2012

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 2, 2012



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

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

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

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

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

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Remarks With Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere After their Meeting


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

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

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

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

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

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

So, hearty welcome to Oslo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MODERATOR: Scott Snyder, Voice of America.

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

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

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

MODERATOR: (Inaudible.)

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

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

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

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

But perhaps you want to add to that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Onward.

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