Posts Tagged ‘START’

Secretary Clinton is visibly upset about the little boy in Syria who was tortured horrifcally and murdered. He was 13 years old.  His name was Hamza Ali al-Khateeb.  His blood is on the hands of Bashar Al-Assad.

Since I do not in fact work for the government,  which is supposed to work for me,  tonight I am wondering why the president bypassed the secretary of state and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and appointed an ambassador to Syria during the Christmas recess in exchange for NONE of the agreements that State Department had been negotiating for six-plus months.   I am wondering .

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Remarks With Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin After Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining me and the foreign minister. We’ve just had an excellent meeting that capped a day of intensive dialogue between our governments. The foreign minister and I addressed our delegations earlier, and I certainly underscored how impressed and inspired we are by Colombia’s progress and eager to expand our work together on the full range of issues that we have common concerns about.

Colombia has emerged as a regional and global partner. It sits on the UN Security Council, trains police to help 16 other nations to meet their security challenges, and through the leadership of both the president and the foreign minister, has played the leading role in bringing Honduras back into the inter-American system. At home, President Santos and his government are taking bold steps to heal Colombia’s wounds, redress grievances, consolidate democratic freedoms, and promote human rights. And of course, we are absolutely committed to passing the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to open new markets and create jobs and opportunities for both of our peoples.

Since the first High Level Partnership Dialogue last October, Colombia has made significant progress on human, labor, and civil rights. And we are committed to working with Colombia as they continue their progress. We also discussed social and economic development, climate change, environmental protection, energy, education, and culture.

We had a very productive and wide-ranging dialogue, and Colombia’s progress is a testament to the courage and vision of the Colombian people and their leaders. And it’s also a reminder to the United States about why we sustain investments in our friends and our partners even through tight budgets and tough times.

So, Foreign Minister, thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you on these very important issues.

FOREIGN MINISTER HOLGUIN: (Via interpreter) Thank you, Secretary Clinton. To me, to us, it’s a great pleasure to be here today working at the State Department. We truly value the effort and support that the United States has shown Colombia over the course of many decades.

I believe that the success that Colombia has had in the fight against terrorism, against drug trafficking, is due to U.S. support. We have a well-trained police. We have one of the strongest military forces in the region. And today we are happy to take a second step to take drug trafficking or reduce the importance of drug trafficking and think about other issues that are important for us as well – energy, education, science and technology, environment – and to focus on these issues that are important to both of us in our relationship.

We believe that the work that both delegations have undertaken today lead us to developing a specific agenda on a number of issues that will help us further consolidate the relationship that has been strong in the past.

I want to thank Secretary Clinton for supporting Colombia’s aspirations to accede to the OECD. It’s a great opportunity for us to improve practices in our country, and we thank the United States for their support in this endeavor.

As Secretary Clinton said, we talked about the region, we talked about Honduras, and Colombia is very happy to have given its part to reestablishing Honduras within the organization and to do its part to strengthen democracy throughout the region.

And we talked about the issue of security, and Colombia here has cooperated greatly with Central America and the Caribbean on issues related to the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking. And as we talked before, we can continue to be great allies in helping the region, and we believe we can truly contribute to improving the situation throughout.

We thank Secretary Clinton for her support on the FTA, for support on the preferences. We are abiding by the commitments that we achieved during the April agreement, and we are happy to see that our dream that we’ve held for so many months is about to come into fruition.

We also talked about the Summit of the Americas. Colombia will be a host of the summit in April of 2012, and we’ve been talking with many countries about the organization of the summit and we have U.S. support to this end. We want to have discussions on a number of issues that join us, and we hope to have support in the region and throughout the continent, and we’ll see you in Cartagena next year.

I thank you for the work today. I think this is an important step towards strengthening our relationship, a relationship that is no doubt strong already, but there is always room for improvement. Thank you very much.

MR. TONER: We have time for just a few questions. The first goes to Elise Labott from CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madam Secretary. On Pakistan, the Pakistanis have said they’re going to take a new offensive into North Waziristan. Do you see this as a positive sign in response to some of the things that you discussed on your trip in terms of the Pakistanis needing to take action?

And then there are some very troubling signs in the Middle East today. There’s been reports in Syria of the torturing of a young boy, and in Yemen as well the violence is – the government is cracking down on the opposition even further. And it seems as in this second wave of the Arab Spring, if you will, the dictators are really digging in. And in fact, even as you call for them to make a transition, they’re cracking down even further and furthering their oppression. I was wondering if you had some thoughts on that.

Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Elise, first with regard to Pakistan, as I said on our recent visit, Pakistan is a key ally in our joint fight against terrorists that threaten both of us as well as the region and beyond. And when I was there, we discussed our cooperative efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida and to also drive the associated terrorists who are targeting both Pakistanis and, across the border in Afghanistan, Americans, coalition troops, and Afghans. So we are discussing a number of approaches that we think could assist us in this very important fight.

I would also add that there is no doubt that the progress we have made against al-Qaida and terrorists could have not have happened without Pakistani cooperation between our governments, our militaries, our intelligence agencies. And there’s still a lot of work to be done, so we are in the process of discussing what more the Pakistanis could do. We will continue to do our part working together.

With respect to Syria, I too was very concerned by the reports about the young boy. In fact, I think what that symbolizes for many Syrians is the total collapse of any effort by the Syrian Government to work with and listen to their own people. And I think that as the President said in his speech last week, President Asad has a choice, and every day that goes by the choice is made by default. He has not called an end to the violence against his own people and he has not engaged seriously in any kind of reform efforts. And I have here the name of the young boy whose body was so brutally affected by the behavior and the conduct of those who had him in detention: Hamza Ali al-Khateeb. And I can only hope that this child did not die in vain but that the Syrian Government will end the brutality and begin a transition to real democracy.

QUESTION: Have they completely lost legitimacy?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s up to the Syrian people themselves. We’ve obviously, along with others, imposed sanctions, spoken out. We’ve closely coordinated with allies and partners. We’ve imposed an arms embargo. We’ve led the call for a special session in the United Nations. But I think that every day that goes by, the position of the government becomes less tenable and the demands of the Syrian people for change only grow stronger. And therefore, we continue to urge an end to the violence and the commencement of a real process that could lead to the kinds of changes that are called for.

MR. TONER: Our next question goes to Sergio Gomez Maseri of El Tiempo.

QUESTION: Thanks, Madam Secretary and Minister Holguin. You just mentioned that the U.S. is absolutely committed to the passage of the FTA. However, the FTAs – and I mean Colombia, Panama, and Korea – are all hostage of an internal dispute between Republicans and Democrats that has caused deep frustration in Colombia and also questions that come in that you were talking about. So can you tell us if you’re still confident, as you say a couple months ago here, that the FTAs are – are these FTAs going to be passed this year?

And a question for both: Can you comment on what’s expected tomorrow on the general assembly of the OAS regarding Honduras?

FOREIGN MINISTER HOLGUIN: (Via interpreter) On the issue of Honduras, I can say that we are convinced that Honduras will be brought back into the OAS tomorrow, and there has been negotiations on the resolution that took place last week and today. And I can say that most countries, if not all, wish to see Honduras return to the OAS and wish to see the strengthening of democracy in that country, and I can say that the only surprise that we can expect tomorrow is Honduras coming back to the organization.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And yes, I am confident that we are going to pass the Free Trade Agreement. I hope that the people of Colombia do not lose heart in watching the activities of our Congress, because there always is a lot of rhetoric and skirmishing between the parties before they finally hit the deadline to get the work done. And so I am absolutely sure we’re going to get it passed.

QUESTION: Can you (inaudible) Honduras?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I agree with the foreign minister. And I commend Colombia for the leadership role that it has played in enabling us to reintegrate Honduras tomorrow at the OAS.

Thank you all very much.

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Remarks After Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for the New START Treaty


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Washington, DCFebruary 5, 2011

Today, we exchange the instruments of ratification for a treaty that lessens the nuclear dangers facing the Russian and American people and the world. Two years ago, we all laughed about the translation of the ceremonial “Reset Button” that I gave the Foreign Minister in Geneva, but when it came to the translation that mattered most, our two countries, led by our two presidents, turned words into action to reach a milestone in our strategic partnership. And when it comes to the button that has worried us the most over the years — the one that would unleash nuclear destruction –today, we take another step to ensure it will never be pushed. Our countries will immediately begin notifying each other of changes in our strategic forces. Within 45 days, we will exchange full data on our weapons and facilities, and 60 days from now we can resume the inspections that allow each side to trust but verify.

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Additional information on START is available. See links below.

New START Treaty Entry into Force

The Role of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers

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Secretary Clinton to Travel to the Munich Security Conference

Press Statement

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 1, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Munich, Germany, on February 4 to 6, to participate in the Munich Security Conference where she will conduct a series of bilateral meetings and give remarks highlighting the importance of the transatlantic security relationship.

On Saturday, February 5, the Secretary and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will exchange instruments of ratification for the New START Treaty. Once this exchange occurs, the New START Treaty will enter into force.

A responsible partnership between the world’s two largest nuclear powers to limit our nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability is imperative to promoting global security. With New START, the United States and Russia have reached another milestone in our bilateral relationship and continue the momentum Presidents Obama and Medvedev created with the “reset” nearly two years ago.

We can all be thankful to Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov for the success of the ratification of New START.

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No one was more invested in today’s Senate ratification of New START than Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The treaty was her baby. She won Sergei Lavrov’s cooperation and respect. Their teams and they negotiated this treaty together, and Secretary Clinton has worked very hard behind the scenes to achieve those Senate votes. Here are some remarks and responses on the subject from P.J. Crowley’s press briefing today.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
December 22, 2010 

“… Clearly, from the Secretary on down we are monitoring the Senate and anticipate a vote on the New START Treaty perhaps in the next hour. The Secretary has been monitoring developments this morning from home. She actually plans to go up to the Hill, perhaps is leaving her house as we speak, and will be there when the vote takes place.Over the course of a number of months either in phone calls, meetings, or interactions on the Hill, she has perhaps touched virtually every member of the Senate where she has great friendships from her time there. And we believe this will be a strong bipartisan statement and an important development both in the nonproliferation agenda and demonstrates our commitment to reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons. It is certainly appropriate that the two countries with the leading nuclear arsenals should demonstrate a commitment to arms control and to reduction in the size of their respective nuclear forces.

QUESTION: Why did you use the word perhaps?

MR. CROWLEY: Perhaps. Perhaps what?

QUESTION: She has perhaps touched –

MR. CROWLEY: I can’t say that she has talked to every single senator, but I think she has touched virtually everyone if not everyone. I can’t – I haven’t got a whip count. So that’s why I qualified it slightly.”

And here are some photos from today.

Going into the Senate chamber with her fingers crossed.

Jubilant (and probably greatly relieved) after te vote.

Cutie with a Christmas tree pin.

Outside Joe Biden’s Senate office.

Merry Christmas, Mme. Secretary!  It should be a very happy one for you.  Thank you for all of your very hard work negotiating this treaty for us and negotiating the vote!

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I saw her on the Senate floor thanking the “aye” voters. I am so happy for her! She worked very hard to negotiate this and to get it passed. Awesome job, Mme. Secretary!!!!


Senate Approval of New START


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 22, 2010

Today the Senate took a great step forward in enhancing our national security by providing its advice and consent to ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation. I congratulate the Senators of both parties who worked tirelessly to ensure that New START was approved, and I thank all the Senators who voted for this treaty for their commitment to our national security.

Once this Treaty enters into force, on-site inspections of Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons facilities can resume, providing us with an on-the-ground view of Russia’s nuclear forces. The information and insight from these inspections forms the core of our ability to “trust but verify” compliance with New START. A responsible partnership between the world’s two largest nuclear powers that limits our nuclear arsenals while maintaining strategic stability is imperative to promoting global security. With New START, the United States and Russia will have another important element supporting our “reset” relationship and expanding our bilateral cooperation on a wide range of issues.

President Obama and Vice President Biden have been unwavering in their dedication to this treaty to both strengthen our domestic security and reduce the international threat of nuclear weapons. This day would not have been possible without their leadership or the efforts of Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen. I also thank President George H.W. Bush and all the former Secretaries of State who added their support to this Treaty and worked to see New START approved. I and all my colleagues at the State Department look forward to working with our Russian partners to conclude the approval of New START in Russia, bring the Treaty into force, and deliver the global and national security benefits of New START.

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**Keatsian post alert**

Not that there are no serious stories to follow this weekend, in fact the air is thick with storm clouds that involve our Mme. Secretary one way or another, and certainly if and as events are confirmed, posts will appear on this blog. Meanwhile, the day after Black Friday seems to cry out for lighter fare.

Diane reminded me this morning that I once referred to Hillary Clinton’s “kissy-mouth.” This is a position her lips take when she is producing any of the back vowels (Ɔ O Ʊ U), the bilabial consonants (b p m), and the glide (w). Most speakers of Standard American English do not articulate these phonemes with quite the care Hillary Clinton is wont to take – especially when she is speaking to audiences that are not native speakers of English or to whom she wants to make her message eminently clear.

Aside from enhancing the comprehensibility of her message, the visual effect of this oral idiosyncrasy, the formation of the “kissy-mouth,” (a very handy mouth to be able to make if one is attempting to speak French with any modicum of comprehensibilty) is also disarmingly attractive.   Mme. Secretary does not use French, but she has mastered the kissy-mouth and would probably sound quite good in French.

From a purely Keatsian point of view, the kissy-mouth makes for pretty pictures to satisfy the guilty pleasures of Hillary-watchers no matter whether their names have a D, R, or I behind them.   To a deeper extent, it is seductive and might actually be hypnotic!

My suggestion for the coming weeks:   Mme. Secretary should meet face-to-face, no phone calls, with the Republicans who are showing soft on START.   I have faith that the kissy-mouth can help get those 67 votes. (It’s worth a try.  Smart power.  Those Senators have been missing their eye-candy ever since she left for DOS.)

This post is dedicated to Robyn and Diane.

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Even from this side view, you can tell that Mme. Secretary is wearing her game face. THAT is the face I fell in love with! THAT is the She-Means-Business face. Whoa! Look out below! Hillary says it’s “Bombs away!”   Or actually, out front, as it were.

Getty Images 24 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd R) makes a statement during a meeting on the New START treaty in the Roosevelt Room of the White House November 18, 2010 in Washington, DC. With Obama are (L-R) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Obama, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Vice Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA), U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN). The New START treaty is a nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and Russia.


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