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“They’re sitting on a powder keg.”  Hillary begins this chapter in January 2011 as she prepped to speak at Forum for the Future, an annual meeting where the rich and powerful of the Arab world convene.  In Morocco in November 2009, early in her tenure at the State Department, but already having set signature issues and standards of engagement, she gently and subtly prodded these leaders toward inclusion of marginalized citizens, particularly women and young people.  I have always thought of that speech as foreshadowing the events that were to come.  I have also always thought that she was clear-eyed due to her outreach to civil society.

Hillary Clinton knew the people and their concerns better than their own leaders had bothered to know them.  When she delivered that Morocco speech, she should have been seen the way an outside consultant is in a corporation.   Had she been, her findings and advice might have been heeded.

… it is results, not rhetoric, that matter in the end. Economic empowerment, education, healthcare, access to energy and to credit, these are the basics that all communities need to thrive. And the United States seeks to pursue these common aspirations through concrete actions. We know that true progress comes from within a society and cannot be imposed from the outside, and we know that change does not happen overnight. So we will not focus our energies on one-time projects, but we will seek to work with all of you in government and in civil society to try to build local capacity and empower local organizations and individuals to create sustainable change…

Earlier this year, I visited an Access classroom in Ramallah. I walked into an enthusiastic discussion of Women’s History Month. These were students who did not come from educated families, but they were students with the same ambition and motivation that we heard described by our colleague, the Palestinian foreign minister, about his own son. We want to create more opportunities for students like these to fulfill their God-given potential.

And this points to a related priority – the empowerment of women. I have said, as some of you know, for many years, and President Obama said it in Cairo, no country can achieve true progress or fulfill its own potential when half of its people are left behind. When little girls are not given the same opportunities for education, we have no idea what we are losing out on because they’re not going to be able to contribute to the growth and the development of their countries…

Our work is based on empowering individuals rather than promoting ideologies; listening and embracing others’ ideas rather than simply imposing our own; and pursuing partnerships that are sustainable and broad-based…

As leaders of countries that have a direct stake and care deeply about all of the final status issues that must be resolved, I would just ask you to think about how we can each demonstrate the commitment that is necessary for us to go forward.

Having adhered to the status quo, these leaders and elder statemen were about to experience what Hillary had seen coming all along: upheaval.

On the cusp of wide-spread revolution with Tunisia already boiling over, Hillary did not want to make a boilerplate speech.  She wanted to be clear, strong, and firm.  If they did not change the way they governed,  change would find them.  She recalls that her predecessor, Condoleeza Rice,  had paved the way in 2005 when she stated that for more than half a century the U.S. had chosen to pursue “stability at the expense of democracy” and had “achieved neither”   Hillary intended to make the case for democracy crystal clear in Doha: resisting change is nothing more than a recipe for unrest and conflict – a petri dish for terrorism.

Secretary Clinton’s Travel to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar

Background Briefing on the Secretary Clinton’s Upcoming Travel

As she prepared to travel, the Lebanese government became shaky.  She met with Prime Minister Hariri and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in New York prior to departure.

Secretary Clinton and Escort Meet Saudi King Abdullah and Lebanese PM Hariri

 

The next day she was wheels up for Abu Dhabi.  Protests had spread all over Tunisia fueled, abetted, and broadcast by social media, the 21st century bête noire of despots.   Her first public remarks on the trip were to graduate students at a high-tech institute.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at The Masdar Institute (U.A.E.)

The old strategies for growth and prosperity will no longer work. For too many people in too many places, the status quo today is unsustainable. And the UAE is leading our work and the path we must take into the future. It is putting into practice what it means to be sustainable and laying the groundwork for economic, environmental, and social progress.

From there she proceeded to Yemen which she describes as representative of the warnings she had prepared to voice in Abu Dhabi.

Secretary Clinton’s Surprise Visit to Yemen

She met with the president and he took her on a tour of the Old City of Sanaa where she found the women veiled and the men armed with daggers and Kalashnikovs.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh After Their Meeting

 

Her next port-of-call was Oman, a monarchy, where she met with Sultan Qaboos.  In the book she offers a review of progressive change since the 1970s so impressive that in 2010 the U.N. Development Programme ranked it the most improved country in human development over that period.

Slideshow of Secretary Clinton in Oman: Part I

 

Slideshow of Secretary Clinton in Oman: Part II

 

The Hariri government disintegrated on January 12 while the prime minister was in Washington D.C.

Finally, on the 13th, the speech so carefully prepared.  This is a speech I have posted here several times.  If you have never read it, it is well worth reading.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Forum for the Future

… in too many places, in too many ways, the region’s foundations are sinking into the sand. The new and dynamic Middle East that I have seen needs firmer ground if it is to take root and grow everywhere. And that goal brings us to this Forum … You can help build a future that your young people will believe in, stay for, and defend …Those who cling to the status quo may be able to hold back the full impact of their countries’ problems for a little while, but not forever … let us face honestly that future. Let us discuss openly what needs to be done. Let us use this time to move beyond rhetoric, to put away plans that are timid and gradual, and make a commitment to keep this region moving in the right direction.

The next day Tunisian strongman,  Zine el Abidine Ben Ali,  fled the country he had ruled with an iron fist for decades.  Having played out on satellite TV and social media, the coup became an incentive in the region for other similarly oppressed populations.

Statement on Tunisia

On January 25, massive protests erupted in Tahrir Square in Cairo.  Calling for “bread, freedom, and dignity,” the crowd grew daily and increasingly became focused on driving Hosni Mubarak from office.  Hillary’s first comments on the Egyptian situation came in the context of a presser with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh

 

 As we monitor this situation carefully, we call on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. We support the universal rights of the Egyptian people, including the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. And we urge the Egyptian authorities not to prevent peaceful protests or block communications, including on social media sites.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Egypt

Hillary reviews a 20-year history of acquaintance with Mubarak and his wife noting his steadfast support of the Camp David accords as well as the disappointment that human rights were never expanded.

Inside the White House there was disagreement over the appropriate posture to assume.  Young and idealistic staffers were in the corner with the protesters.  Joe Biden and Bob Gates had misgivings about appearing to push out a long-time partner and the signal that would send.  Hillary saw the former point of view, but shared the latter concern.  It was clear, however, that, important as his partnership for peace had been, Mubarak’s autocracy could not continue to be tolerated as events in Tahrir Square spiraled into violent confrontations.

(Hillary refers to this particular interview with David Gregory but does not mention that it was one of five Sunday morning interviews on this subject that morning nor that she then left for Haiti where she submitted to three more interviews that day.  Our amazing girl!)

Secretary Clinton’s Interview With David Gregory of NBC’s Meet The Press

Long-term stability rests on responding to the legitimate needs of the Egyptian people, and that is what we want to see happen … peaceful, orderly transition to a democratic regime….

A major issue was the lack of coherence within the popular uprising.  It was leaderless, driven by social media, and the only organized body in the country was the Muslim Brotherhood which, alone, appeared prepared to leap into the void if/when the Mubarak government fell, in which case, Hillary told President Obama,  “it all may work out fine … in 25 years.”

Communications with Egyptian officials were over the phone.  She told Foreign Minister Gheit that elections were going to be necessary. He told her that Mubarak remained defiant and refused to resign.

Hillary rcommended an envoy (Foreign Service verteran Farnk Wisner was chosen) and a package deal for Mubarak.

  1.  End the emergency law of 1981 (still in effect);
  2.  Pledge not to run (in a necessary election);
  3.  Agree not to set up his son Gamal as successor.

The military issued a statement that it would not move on citizens while Mubarak made some concessions, but they were small, not major, and too little too late.

President Obama wanted change now.

Secretary Clinton’s Call to Egyptian Vice President Omar Soliman

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Egyptian Vice President Omar Soliman today to convey that today’s violence was a shocking development after many days of consistently peaceful demonstrations … also underscored the important role that the Egyptian Armed Forces have played in exercising restraint in the face of peaceful demonstrations and expressed concern that all parties recommit themselves to using only peaceful means of assembly.

Secretary Clinton’s Statement on Egypt

Hillary continued talking to FM Aboul Gheit by phone and your heart has to go out to him.  (I always liked him.)  He worried about an Islamist takeover and told Hillary that he wanted his little granddaughters “to grow up to be like their grandmother and like you … This is the fight of my life!”

Hillary proceeded to the Munich Conference.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Munich Security Conference Plenary Session

 

How do we offer support to Egypt for its transition to a pluralistic democracy? How do we make sure that there is not greater instability?

… part of what we have to do is to send a consistent message supporting the orderly transition that has begun, urging that it be not only transparent and sincere, but very concrete, so that the Egyptian people and those of us on the outside can measure the progress that is being made.

… it is our hope that this proceeds peacefully, that it proceeds with specific goals being achieved, so that people can see that their voices have been heard, and that there be an election with international observers and with sufficient preparation and performance that it will be viewed as free, fair, and credible when it is finally held.

Video: Secretary Clinton on Events in the Middle East: “The Status Quo is Simply Not Sustainable”

Gheit, meanwhile, submitted to an interview on PBS voicing his government’s (i.e. Mubarak’s) attitude toward commentary from the U.S.

Odds & Ends from Today’s Press Briefing

QUESTION: On Egypt, before we get into the – have you seen the interview that Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit has done with PBS?

MR. CROWLEY: I have not. I’m aware of it. I think our friend and colleague, Margaret Warner, was there today.

QUESTION: Yeah. In that interview he’s pretty angry about what he regards as interference in U.S. – in the U.S. trying to – the Administration trying to dictate to the Egyptian leadership how and when they should do this transition. Do you – what do you make of those comments?

MR. CROWLEY: Well, I haven’t seen them, so I’m reluctant to comment specifically. I think from our standpoint, what’s important here is not how we view things. We’re not trying to dictate anything. As we’ve said and emphasized many times, there will be an Egyptian solution and Egyptian actions within this orderly transition. But it’s important that what Egypt does do is seen as credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people. And it’s our view that what they’ve put forward so far does not meet that threshold.

Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11 and did not leave the country.  “I will die in Egypt,” he stated.

Where Hosni Mubarak Is

About a month later, Hillary visited Tahrir Square.

Secretary Clinton In Tahrir Square

To see where this revolution happened and all that it has meant to the world is extraordinary for me. It’s just a great reminder of the power of the human spirit and universal desire for human rights and democracy. It’s just thrilling to see where this happened.

 

She met with students and activists interested to hear their plans.  They had none, were disorganized, argumentative, very inexperienced politically, and showed no interest in organizing a platform.  She asked if they had considered forming a political coalition joining together on behalf of candidates and programs.  She was met with blank stares and left fearing they would just turn the country over to the Muslim Brotherhood which, of course, is exactly what they did.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks Prior to Meeting With Egyptian Prime Minister

Field Marshall Tantawi permitted elections and when Morsi defeated his candidate he allowed the result to stand.  As to the dueling conspiracy theories that the U.S. had helped/hindered the Muslim Brotherhood, she states that “logic never gets in the way of a good conspiracy theory.”

Hillary Clinton in Egypt: A Background Briefing

 

When she returned to Cairo in July 2012 she found the streets again filled with protesters – against her.  Egyptian police did nothing to help her Diplomatic Security hold the crowds back.  She could hear the anti-American chants 12 floors up in her hotel room.

Hillary Clinton with Egyptian FM Mohamed Kamel Amr

Despite the protests she insisted upon keeping to the itinerary and proceeding to the flag-raising event in Alexandria where, stateside, we heard that her car had been pelted with shoes and tomatoes.  It was a little closer and more unsettling than what we were told.  Her State Department spokesperson, Toria Nuland, was hit in the head with a tomato as they were leaving the event and being escorted very close to the angry crowd.  When Hillary’s door closed, a man pounded a shoe against her window.  No one was injured, thank heaven, but it was not for any assistance from Egyptian security.

Hillary Clinton at the Consulate Flag-Raising in Alexandria Egypt

On my visit to Egypt yesterday and today, I told people I wanted to listen more than talk. I wanted to hear firsthand the concerns, the issues, the aspirations that could be represented to me both by officials as well as citizens.

People want to know and are vigorously debating this among themselves, as you know so well, what this democratic transition occurring in Egypt will be like. Where will it lead?

I have come to Alexandria to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for the Egyptian people and for your democratic future. Yesterday in Cairo, I spoke about the immediate questions that you are facing.

The Egyptian people have every right in this new democracy to look to their leaders to protect the rights of all citizens, to govern in a fair and inclusive manner, and to respect the results of elections.

Earlier today, I met with members of Egypt’s Christian community, with a number of women leaders and advocates, and with young entrepreneurs who want to demonstrate that Egyptian young people are just as innovative and successful as young people anywhere. They have legitimate concerns….

Democracy is not just about reflecting the will of the majority; it is also about protecting the rights of the minority.

The Morsi government failed the inclusion test, was removed by the military a year after that visit, and Egypt continues to lack credible democratic institutions in Hillary’s assessment.

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Jordan’s King Abdullah managed to stay ahead of the wave with credible legislative elections and a crackdown on corruption.  One problem for Jordan after the fall of Mubarak was energy.  Natural gas pipelines providing about 80% of Jordan’s energy needs were often attacked and the flow interrupted.    Over a private lunch with the king at the State Department, Hillary suggested working out trade deals with Iraq and Israel.  In 2013  an agreement with Iraq was signed  and another with Israel in 2014.  Crisis averted.

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Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, all partners of ours,  are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council initiated by Hillary as secretary of state.   They formed a complex web.

Hillary found negotiating with them over human rights issues most ticklish but provides a lesson in diplomacy when she explains that some issues require a soapbox while others are better addressed privately.  You solve it.  We will say nothing.  It was an effective approach to some issues that arose.  She advocates different responses for different situations.

She (and her entourage ) received a welcome fit for a queen in Saudi Arabia in 2010, but women’s issues there were prickly.

Hillary Clinton Gets Royal Treatment

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks At Dar Al-Hekma College Town Hall (Jeddah)

 I, of course, believe that educating young women is not only morally right, but it is also the most important investment any society can make in order to further and advance the values and the interests of the people. The Egyptian poet, Hafez Ibrahim, said, “A mother is a school. Empower her and you empower a great nation.”

I am a graduate of a women’s college, Wellesley College, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and I know how rewarding it is to be a member of this kind of community, where young women are the focus of attention, where our interests are identified, recognized, and nurtured, and where the friendships that you make and the lessons that you learn will enrich your lives long after you graduate.

QUESTION: …  does the prospect of Sarah Palin one day becoming president maybe terrify you? (Laughter.)  And if so, would you consider emigrating to Canada or possibly even Russia in the event of this happening?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Well, the short answer is no – (laughter) – I will not be emigrating.

This event was under high security by female guards.  One heavily veiled guard approached Huma and asked for a photo.  Hillary asked whether this should be done in a private room.  Yes.  The guard removed her veil before the camera and gave a wide smile.  Click. The veil came down.  “Welcome to Saudi Arabia.”

By the next year, the Arab Spring had spread to the Gulf.  In March 2011 the issue was unrest in Bahrain and UAE and Saudi Arabia had sent security forces over the border without consulting  … anybody.  Yemen was also in turmoil.

Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With UAE FM Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan

FOREIGN MINISTER ABDULLAH: Well, the Bahrain Government asked us yesterday to look at ways to help them to defuse the tension in Bahrain, and we have already sent roughly around 500 of our police force, who are there. The Saudis are there as well.

The Bahrain crisis and Saudi-UAE intervention was an issue.

Secretary Clinton’s Interviews In Egypt: Andrea Mitchell (NBC), Steve Inskeep (NPR), Kim Ghattas (BBC), Shahira Amin (Nile TV)

QUESTION: So what leverage do you still have on countries like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia? They’re your allies. You – they – you train their armies. You supply them with weapons. And yet when the Saudis decided to send troops into Bahrain – and I believe Washington made clear it wasn’t pleased about that – they said, “Don’t interfere. This is an internal GCC matter.”

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, they are on notice as to what we think. And we will intend to make that very clear publicly and privately, and we will do everything we can to try to move this off the wrong track, which we believe is going to undermine long-term progress in Bahrain, to the right track, which is the political and economic track.

 

Hillary Clinton’s Press Availability in Paris

I also had the opportunity to engage today with my Arab counterparts, including Foreign Minister Zebari of Iraq representing the presidency of the Arab Summit, Secretary General Amr Moussa of the Arab League, Prime Minister Hamid bin Jasim of Qatar, Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayid of the UAE, Foreign Minister Fassi Fihri of Morocco, and Foreign Minister Judeh of Jordan.

We also had a constructive discussion on Bahrain. We have a decades-long friendship with Bahrain that we expect to continue long into the future. Our goal is a credible political process that can address the legitimate aspirations of all the people of Bahrain, starting with the Crown Prince’s dialogue, which all parties should join.

With all of these partners, we have discussed the urgent humanitarian needs arising from the crisis in Libya. I thanked the Arab leaders for their generous contributions to aid refugees fleeing Qadhafi’s violence, and we agreed that this will be a critical concern in the days ahead. Egypt and Tunisia, in particular, will need all of our support. The United States has made significant pledges of assistance, and we look to all our allies and partners to join us in this work.

 

Video: Secretary Clinton at the National Democratic Institute’s 2011 Democracy Awards Dinner

Why does America promote democracy one way in some countries and another way in others? Well, the answer starts with a very practical point: situations vary dramatically from country to country. It would be foolish to take a one-size-fits-all approach and barrel forward regardless of circumstances on the ground. Sometimes, as in Libya, we can bring dozens of countries together to protect civilians and help people liberate their country without a single American life lost. In other cases, to achieve that same goal, we would have to act alone, at a much greater cost, with far greater risks, and perhaps even with troops on the ground.

As a country with many complex interests, we’ll always have to walk and chew gum at the same time.

CLINTON

It was more complex, of course than walking and chewing gum. It was more like keeping a dozen plates spinning on sticks, but the different approaches to different situations strategy was effective.

Secretary Clinton Lauds Signing of GCC-Brokered Agreement in Yemen

We urge all parties within Yemen to refrain from violence and to move swiftly to implement the terms of the agreement in good faith and with transparency — including credible presidential elections within 90 days.

Video: Secretary Clinton with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani

Today, Sheikh Hamad and I had a productive and wide-ranging discussion about the path forward. We spoke about the importance of helping Libya complete its transition from an armed revolution to a peaceful, unified, and orderly democracy under the rule of law. We discussed Yemen, where Qatar is working as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council to ensure that all parties honor their commitment to take part in a peaceful transition to democracy. We also spoke about the importance of responding to people’s economic needs. So many of these revolutions and uprisings that we have seen were rooted in the economic grievances that people had – not enough jobs, not jobs that paid an adequate wage for a family, too much corruption, and so much else. And we are working together to assist countries to provide more economic change for their people.

Video: Hillary Clinton at the U.N. Security Council

As Yemen unraveled into violence last year, this Security Council stood behind the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Yemeni stakeholders to find a peaceful solution. In the face of setbacks, we held firm. Now many challenges lie ahead. But last month’s successful presidential election and inauguration were promising steps on the path toward a new, democratic chapter in Yemen’s history.

Hillary ends this chapter in post-revolution Tunisia, now markedly changed, where a question at a town hall with students highlighted an issue that certainly backlit all of our dealings with partners during the turbulence of the Arab Spring: that of trust in the face of compromise.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall in Tunisia

QUESTION:  I think that there exists among many young people in Tunisia across the region a deep feeling of mistrust towards the West in general and the United States in particular. And many observers partly explain the surge of extremism in the region and in Tunisia by this skepticism. And even among the mainstream of moderate and pro-Western youth, there is a sense of despair and fatalism when it comes to the possibility of building a real and lasting partnership that is based on mutual interests. So is the United States aware of this issue? And how do you think we can address it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I can speak for both President Obama and myself. We are aware of it. We regret it. We feel that it doesn’t reflect the values or the policy of the United States. And there are several reasons as we understand them. Some people say, well, you supported the prior regimes in these countries. Well, those were the governments. If you’re a government, who do you deal with? You deal with the governments that are in place. And yes, we did. We dealt with the governments that were in place, just like we deal with the governments elsewhere.

I will be the first to say we, like any country in the world, have made mistakes. I will be the first to say that. We’ve made a lot of mistakes. But I think if you look at the entire historical record, the entire historical record shows we’ve been on the side of freedom, we’ve been on the side of human rights, we’ve been on the side of free markets and economic empowerment. And that is where the bulk of the evidence, in my view, rests.

You said you were a lawyer? (Laughter.) I used to be one. (Laughter.) So I think we can make a very strong case, and that’s what we’re doing, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m here, to do it in person.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participates in a Town Hall meeting at the Baron d' Erlanger Palace in Carthage, Tunisia, February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed (TUNISIA - Tags: POLITICS)

This chapter demonstrates a great deal about how Hillary Clinton thinks and approaches problems and conflicts.  Versatility, flexibility,  the ability to multitask are key.  No single situation is clone of another, therefore one-size-fits-all approaches are doomed to fail.  In any conflict of any kind, true settlement will never fully satisfy either side.  Compromise, the ability to effect it and to accept it are also key.

These are the lenses through which Hillary Clinton looks at issues.  This point of view informs her path.  She places her camp chair in the center and surveilles the theater of operations with an eye to finding solutions that mutually benefit the parties.   This is what makes accusations of extremism about her nonsense.  She never puts that chair in an extreme spot.  She knows you do not get the clearest view from there.

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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As you know from the previous posts, it was a busy day with a speech at the Libya Contact Group and a press briefing. Here, no words … just pictures. Enjoy!

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Press Availability in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Press Availability

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Emirates Palace Hotel
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
June 9, 2011

 

 



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SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is the end of a very productive day here in Abu Dhabi. I want to thank the United Arab Emirates for hosting us and to the UAE and Italy for co-chairing this meeting of the Libya Contact Group. The UAE’s leadership on full display here in Abu Dhabi has been critical to this mission from the very beginning.Today’s successful Contact Group meeting was a powerful statement that our coalition remains united and committed. We reaffirmed there is only one way forward for Libya, attacks against civilians must stop, Qadhafi must go, and the Libyan people deserve to determine their own future.

We continued our ongoing dialogue about steps we can take to protect the Libyan people, pressure Qadhafi to hasten his departure, and lay the groundwork for a successful transition to a unified, democratic, Libya. On each of these goals, we are making progress and we have increased the pressure on Qadhafi. But as long as he continues his attacks on his own people, our military mission to protect them will continue.

We are pleased that NATO extended the mandate of Operation Unified Protector for another 90 days. We have stepped up the pace of our strikes and added British and French attack helicopters to our arsenal. With coalition backing, the people of Misrata have expelled Qadhafi’s forces from their city and they are bravely standing against those forces which, unfortunately, are renewing an assault.

We are escalating the political, diplomatic, and financial pressure on Qadhafi, and his isolation is deepening. The list of former officials who have now abandoned him is growing. He’s lost two foreign ministers, an interior minister, ambassadors to the United States and UN, an oil minister, and five generals, and just this week his labor minister defected as well. The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court has sought arrest warrants for Qadhafi, his son Saif, and the intelligence chief Senussi. And we’ve again begun to see brave protestors taking to the streets of Tripoli.

We have very good reason to believe that time is on our side, so long as we sustain the pressure. Since our last Contact Group meeting in Rome, Russia and many others have joined the chorus of nations working to achieve Qadhafi’s departure from power. We recognize the important role that the African Union and African states are playing, and we are consulting closely with them and welcome the recent statements from South Africa, Gabon, Mauritania, and others. The old tactics of divide and rule that Qadhafi mastered in Libya will not work with the international community.

Our support for Libya’s Transitional National Council is also deepening. The United States views the Transitional National Council as the legitimate interlocutor for the Libyan people during this interim period. We expect to see Libyans coming together to plan their own future and a permanent, inclusive, constitutional system that will protect the rights of all Libyans. This is in stark contrast to the Qadhafi regime, which has lost all legitimacy to rule. The TNC is the institution through which we are engaging the Libyan people alongside our work with civil society.

We are all working to put the TNC on firmer financial footing. We’ve taken steps in the United States to license oil sales by the TNC, and we’re pleased that an American company was able to make a purchase, which was delivered yesterday. To help the TNC secure credit, we embrace the idea that a future Libyan government should honor any financial obligations that the TNC assumes on behalf of the Libyan people. We welcome today’s announcement that the temporary financial mechanism has been activated for this purpose. Already, Kuwait announced it will transfer about $180 million, and Qatar will transfer 100 million through this mechanism. We are also continuing to provide non-lethal supplies and working to deepen all of our relationships.

Finally, we will continue to work to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches the Libyan people, including those who have fled the violence into neighboring countries. And yesterday, a group of bipartisan United States senators announced they had agreed on a framework to use Libyan assets frozen by the United States to provide humanitarian aid to the Libyan people, and we look forward to the Congress passing that legislation so we can begin to implement it.

And also today, we announced $26.5 million of new funds to help all victims of this conflict, bringing the American total to nearly $81 million.

We’re optimistic also about the Libyan information exchange mechanism, which will serve as a clearinghouse to match in-kind contributions of non-lethal assistance with the most urgent needs of the TNC. We welcome Italy’s announcement that the mechanism is now in operation.

This is a moment to reaffirm our commitment to our common purpose and continue our progress together, and that is exactly what we did today in Abu Dhabi. Libya is not, however, the only country in the region in the midst of extraordinary changes, and I took the opportunity today to consult closely with a number of our partners on the full range of regional challenges. We spoke about how more we can pull together to support the historic transitions underway in Tunisia and Egypt, which remain critical priorities for the United States. Our European and regional partners are sustaining their focus on supporting Tunisians and Egyptians.

We also talked about the rapidly evolving situation in Yemen. We continue to urge all sides to honor the ceasefire, and we support an immediate, orderly, and peaceful transition consistent with Yemen’s constitution. Violence is not the way forward, and Yemen’s instability is a challenge for us all. The Yemeni people need a government that addresses their needs and aspirations.

And finally, we discussed ways to support the Syrian people and sharpen the choices facing the Asad regime. Syrians took to the streets to demonstrate peacefully for a government that respects their rights, reflects their aspirations, and is accountable. What they have received instead has shocked not only Syrians but people around the world. We are working with our partners in the international community to bring an end to the violence and to support political and economic reforms. President Asad may try to delay the changes underway in Syria, but he cannot reverse them.

This is a remarkable and very busy time. In each of these and other countries, there is simply no going back to the way things were, and yet the full story of each of these transitions remains to be written. All of us are humbled by the risks and the rewards of this moment. A great deal of hard work lies ahead and we must get it right. So speaking for the United States, we will continue to work closely with our partners to help the people of Libya and throughout the entire region navigate this season of change and arrive at a better future destination.

And I’d be happy to take some questions.

MODERATOR: First question goes to AFP, Lachlan Carmichael.

QUESTION: Hello, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hi, Lachlan.

QUESTION: You said that Qadhafi’s days are numbered. It sounds that he could leave much more imminently than we even thought a few weeks ago. So do you think that the Libyan people, through the Transitional National Council, could fill a void very quickly, that they’d be capable to establish order? And the other question is: Have you heard and can you confirm reports that the Qadhafi family is reaching out to Senegal and South Africa to find an exit for Muammar Qadhafi?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Lachlan, to the second question, let me say this. There have been numerous and continuing discussions by people close to Qadhafi. And we are aware that those discussions include, among other matters, the potential for a transition. There is not any clear way forward yet, but we will be focusing between now and the next Contact Group in Istanbul in July on making sure that all of those contacts are understood and evaluated because they occur with many different interlocutors, and that we begin the very difficult but necessary work with both the TNC and the Qadhafi regime to try to bring about the kind of transition from power in the first instance that is necessary to see from Qadhafi, and then in the second, going to your first question, the necessary work that lies ahead so that if Qadhafi were to leave tomorrow, there would be a receptivity by the international community to redouble our efforts to help the TNC and others throughout the country who wish to be part of an inclusive process that establishes the necessary institutions, such as a constitution, that can begin to guide the democratic reform that is sought.

We have seen a great deal of improvement in the efforts of the TNC. We are obviously doing all we can to assist them in better organizing themselves and building those institutions that any state needs. But they know and we know there’s a long road ahead. However, we all stand ready to assist them and have begun discussions with them about what more they would need once the transition occurs.

MODERATOR: Al Jazeera, please. Mahmoud Hamdan.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Hi.

QUESTION: Hi. Excuse me. Do you believe that the Council now qualified to use this financial aid and – or is – do you think that they still – are you still thinking that they have to go in some procedures to be able to use this aid?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, we are ready, through the establishment of the financial mechanism, to begin money flowing to them through this mechanism but also through bilateral efforts. So we do think that they are prepared. As you may know, there was a lot of work done, led by the Qataris and the Emiratis and the Kuwaitis and many of the rest of us, to establish this mechanism with sufficient transparency and accountability, because the last thing we want is to put to the TNC in a position where the money flows but they are not – they don’t have the systems in place to actually put it to good use. We think that they do now, and we’re working to assist them. So the money is being deposited in the financial mechanism that we announced today.

MODERATOR: Next question, Reuters. Andy Quinn.

QUESTION: Hi, Madam Secretary. If I could just turn briefly to Syria and Yemen, on Yemen there are reports today that the U.S. is stepping up air strikes on suspected militants to keep them from exploiting a power vacuum while President Saleh is undergoing treatment. How concerned are you that al-Qaida is gaining ground while the situation tips further out of control in Yemen? Do you have any position now on whether or not he should return? And what are you and the Saudis doing to try to breathe new life into the GCC roadmap?

On Syria, please, Russia said today it will veto any UN Security Council resolution on Syria. How can the international community increase pressure on President Asad if he has such powerful protectors at the United Nations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I’m not going to comment on the first part of your question regarding any operations. I think it’s clear that we have worked very closely with our partners in the Gulf and others to try to bring about a peaceful transition. On several opportunities, President Saleh did not go forward with what we thought had been agreed to. He remains now in Saudi Arabia receiving medical treatment. The vice president, in accordance with the Yemeni constitution, is now currently serving as the acting president.

Our ambassador and other ambassadors continue to meet with a cross section of the Yemeni population, including senior Yemeni Government officials as well as members of the opposition because, obviously, we are committed to doing what we can to create a stable base for Yemen to make the changes that are necessary. We don’t think that the instability can be fully addressed until those changes commence. And so we’re going to continue to consult closely with our friends in the region to determine the best way forward.

I can’t speculate on what President Ali Abdullah Saleh will decide to do. That’s obviously up to him. But Yemen has a strong constitution, and we believe if their constitution were actually implemented, Yemen would be moving in the right direction. So whatever happens in Yemen needs to be in line with their own constitution, and we’ve been urging that, and we will continue to do so.

With respect to Syria, everyone that I spoke with here today is deeply concerned about events in Syria. We are seeing a continuing use of violence by the government against their own people, and we’re seeing violent responses by elements of the Syrian population against security forces. And we know that, repeatedly, that President Asad has said over the last several years that he wanted to make changes, and, as President Obama said, he either needs to make them or get out of the way.

We believe that Syria can play a positive and leading role in the region as a pluralistic democracy contributing to regional stability. But sadly, under President Asad, it is becoming a source of instability in the region, exporting its problems. People are fleeing their country, seeking safety beyond their borders, and therefore, we think the international community has an important role to play, and I don’t think anyone looking at the situation can conclude that this is going to end well unless there is a change in the behavior of the government. So we’re going to continue to press for changes and do everything we can to try to bring international pressure to bear on the government to take action immediately and to cease the violence.

MODERATOR: Last question, Al Arabiya, Abdullah Mataran (ph).

QUESTION: (Via interpreter) (Inaudible) the countries in this group – they – we say that the legislative council has not been recognized, although, it is the only council that represents the Libyan people. So what does the U.S. think about this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: You’re talking about the Transitional National Council? Yeah. I think that it is important to look at how far the Transitional National Council has come. It is a very young institution, and it is trying to represent the entire nation, which is a challenge given that the opposition controls a significant part of the east and is fighting in the west. But I think that the progress that the TNC has made should be encouraging. But as I said, it’s important to be clear about how much more needs to be done.

There is a lot of work ahead of the TNC – work to expand its reach, to be more inclusive, to build institutions, and we’ve had very open conversations with the representatives of the TNC about that. But I think that they have issued statements of their intent, of the kind of Libya they would like to see in the future, which are very impressive. So what we hope to be able to do, along with all of our international partners, is to help them improve their capacity to serve as the transition leader of Libya.

What we seek are open, fair, legitimate elections, as Tunisia is facing, as Egypt is facing, that will determine what the makeup of the next Government of Libya will be. But we think that the Transitional National Council is in a position to guide and lead that process. And that’s why what happened today was so important in ensuring that they got additional financial support and validation from the Contact Group.

MODERATOR: Thank you all very much.

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Public Schedule for June 9, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 9, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

Secretary Clinton is on  foreign travel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates accompanied by Counselor Mills and Assistant Secretary Feltman. For more information, click here.

11:30 a.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, in Abu Dhabi.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

1:00 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton attends the Libya Contact Group Ministerial Lunch and Co-Chairs Opening Remarks, in Abu Dhabi.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

1:20 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammed Saba, in Abu Dhabi.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

2:30 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton attends the Libya Contact Group Third Ministerial Session, in Abu Dhabi.
(POOLED CAMERA SPRAY)

TBD Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with TNC Executive Bureau Chairman Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, in Abu Dhabi.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED)

TBD Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in Abu Dhabi.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED)

TBD Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Belgian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov, in Abu Dhabi.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED)

TBD Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in Abu Dhabi.
(MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED)

6:00 p.m. LOCAL  Secretary Clinton holds a press availability, in Abu Dhabi.
(OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)

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Well, we have only these two pictures. It is interesting that, while I try to cover her arrivals and departures here, it is often difficult to find the information pictorial or written. Dipnote used to tweet the information, but that all changed some time ago. So,  when I find a few pictures to assure us that she has either arrived or departed.  I post them.

This evening, however, the local news covered the arrival, not of the Secretary of State, but of her Deputy Chief of Staff. I will not be touching upon the related story here. It is a personal situation for the people involved. The blog is here to cover the work of the Secretary of State since, clearly, the mainstream media fails.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by Tarek al haidan, deputy minister of state for foreign affairs, upon her arrival at the airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by Tarek al haidan, deputy minister of state for foreign affairs, upon her arrival at the airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

 

I am tacking on this press briefing by Victoria Nuland that took place en route.  As far as I have seen, this is her first official act as Department Spokesperson and her first official trip in that capacity.  We all wish her success in her new position

Briefing En Route Abu Dhabi, UAE

 

Special Briefing

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
June 8, 2011

 


 

MS. NULAND: Okay. So we are headed to Abu Dhabi for the third Contact Group meeting. As you know, these have been happening monthly, alternating between Europe and the region. The first was in Doha, then in Rome, and now in Abu Dhabi. With each meeting, international pressure is growing and momentum is building for change in Libya. Not only does the Contact Group allow us to sustain the coalition, it also allows us to reinvest all these countries in our common effort and to concert views on our next steps.

And while the main focus of this meeting is obviously on Libya, the Secretary will also have a chance to use her meetings with a broad cross-section of European and Arab partners to talk about the evolving situations in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain and to sustain our support for the democratic transitions in Egypt and Tunisia.

More broadly, the Contact Group reflects the President and the Secretary’s model for diplomacy in the 21st century. It’s a flexible mechanism which allows us to build and sustain a broad coalition of like-minded states and international organizations which are united in common purpose to advance a shared agenda of peace, security, and democratic reform, and to translate that agenda into common action.

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Public Schedule for June 8, 2011

Public Schedule

Washington, DC
June 8, 2011

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:
Secretary Clinton is en route to foreign travel accompanied by Counselor Mills.

Details from the press office:

Secretary Clinton to Travel to U.A.E., Zambia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia

 

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

 


 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) for a meeting of the Libya Contact Group on June 9. This meeting will build on the last Contact Group meeting held in Rome and will allow the United States to discuss with its international partners the range of issues with respect to addressing the situation in Libya, including the ongoing implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Lusaka, Zambia, on June 10 for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial Forum, where she will showcase this centerpiece of our trade policy with Africa and engage with government, private sector, and civil society representatives from 37 different countries. While in Zambia, she will also meet with Zambian President Rupiah Banda as well as participate in events to highlight U.S. government initiatives to improve the lives of the Zambian people.

From there, Secretary Clinton will travel to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In Tanzania, she will highlight our successful bilateral engagement including a host of programs including Feed the Future (FTF). In Ethiopia, Secretary Clinton will focus on regional issues, visiting the African Union (AU) headquarters and meeting with AU Chairperson Jean Ping, in addition to bilateral meetings. She will also meet with civil society to draw attention to their innovative and enterprising work.

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Another award for our Mme. Secretary and travel to Africa are in the offing.


Secretary Clinton to Receive 2011 Marshall Foundation Award on June 2

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will receive the 2011 George C. Marshall Foundation Award at a dinner on June 2 at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

The Award program will include remarks by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright; former Chilean President and current Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet; General Raymond Odierno, Commander of the U.S. Joint Forces Command; and Michael Strianese, Chairman, President and CEO of L-3 Communications. Christiane Amanpour of ABC News will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Secretary Clinton to Launch Women’s World Cup Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports

 

Notice to the Press

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

 


 

On June 6, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will launch the Women’s World Cup Initiative: Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports, at the Department of State with members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and youth soccer players from around the world.

This joint initiative by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues harnesses the power of sports and international exchanges as a means to empower women and girls worldwide.

The event will take place at approximately 9:30 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State. The event will be streamed live on www.state.gov .

The Women’s World Cup initiative includes:

– Sports Visitor Program
Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Office, 18 teenaged female soccer players and their coaches from Bolivia, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories and South Africa will travel to the United States May 31-June 9 through the Sports Visitors Program for a 10-day exchange. During this time, the young athletes will travel to New York City and Washington, D.C., where they will meet with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and play soccer with local teams. The delegation will also meet with local community organizations that provide sports opportunities for youth with disabilities and mentorships through a soccer and literacy initiative.

– Sports Envoy Programs
Partnering with U.S. Soccer, former Women’s National Team players Briana Scurry and Amanda Cromwell traveled in May as Sports Envoys to Germany to lead soccer clinics and engage young audiences in Berlin, Dresden, Wolfsburg, Sinsheim and Frankfurt. Additional Sports Envoys will travel to Brazil this summer.

– Women’s Sports Management
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ International Visitor Leadership Program will lead a parallel 10-day international exchange program for five sports management professionals. With an emphasis on the administration of women’s and girls’ soccer programs, the program will allow the visitors to exchange ideas and best practices in the management of sports and recreational programs with their American counterparts. They will examine how athletic programs for women and girls promote leadership, teamwork, respect, self awareness and life skills, and how sports and recreation programs can make a positive impact on at-risk and underserved youth.

Visit www.exchanges.state.gov/sports for more information.


Secretary Clinton to Travel to UAE, Zambia, Tanzania, and Ethiopia

Press Statement

Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 31, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a meeting of the Libya Contact Group on June 9. This meeting will build on the last Contact Group meeting held in Rome and will allow the United States to discuss with its international partners the range of issues with respect to addressing the situation in Libya, including the ongoing implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Lusaka, Zambia, on June 10 for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial Forum, where she will showcase this centerpiece of our trade policy with Africa and engage with government, private sector, and civil society representatives from 37 different countries. While in Zambia, she will also meet with Zambian President Rupiah Banda as well as participate in events to highlight U.S. government initiatives to improve the lives of the Zambian people.

From there, Secretary Clinton will travel to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to meet with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. In Tanzania, she will highlight our successful bilateral engagement including a host of programs including Feed the Future (FTF). In Ethiopia, Secretary Clinton will focus on regional issues, visiting the African Union (AU) headquarters and meeting with AU Chairperson Jean Ping, in addition to bilateral meetings. She will also meet with civil society to draw attention to their innovative and enterprising work.

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