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Posts Tagged ‘William Hague’

Hillary harks back to her Girl Scout days and a song many of us can remember having sung in rounds: “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”

Reminding us that in the days following 9/11 NATO invoked Article V of the Washington Treaty, an attack on one is an attack on all, she launches a review of U.S.-European relations since the end of World War II, through the Cold War, and including deteriorating relations during the George W. Bush administration.

Upon assuming the post of secretary of state, she recalls, she made phone calls to European leaders letting them know we remain tight friends.  Her first opportunity to reinforce that message face-to-face came with her attendance at the April 2009 G-20 summit in London.

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 2: London

 

She formed an especially good working relationship with then UK Foreign Minister David Miliband, but allows that she also had a good rapport with then Shadow Foreign Minister, William Hague who now holds the post.  She dubs Hague “the David Beckham of toasting.”

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Prime Minister Cameron Meets With U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Playing Catch-up With Mme. Secretary 3: Germany, France, Czech Republic

She also singles out former French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, as one with whom she had an especially good rapport.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R

If your eyes welled up at times when reading the previous chapter about Pakistan, Hillary evokes smiles and laughter with her description of Former French president, Nicholas Sarkozy.  Revealing that often his interpreters had trouble keeping pace with him and that he asked her why all the other diplomats were unforgivably old, gray, and male,  she revisits that simply charming “Cinderella” moment when she lost her shoe on the steps of the Élyseé Palace.  (Posts here are not necessarily deep and analytical – as you may know.)

Hillary Clinton Loses Her Shoe And Looks Adorable Doing It!

 

She speaks of her strong admiration for German Chancellor Angela Merkel with whom she apparently shares a “color memo” phenomenon so uncanny that on a state visit in June 2011 Angela brought her a framed German front page where readers were challenged to guess which was which sans benefit of visible heads.

Slideshow: Hillary Clinton at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s State Visit Today

Video: Secretary Clinton at the State Luncheon in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel Meets With Barack Obama

Hillary provides a pretty extensive retrospective on NATO, its post Cold War expansion in eastern Europe, and its contributions to operations in Afghanistan and in Libya.  She is very passionate on the subject of NATO calling it one the most successful military alliances in history (and the European Union one of the most successful political ones).  She contrasts 75% of the sorties over Libya striking 90% of the targets with the situation a decade before when the U.S. was responsible for hitting 90% of targets in Kosovo.   Her attestations on pages 231 and 232 are presidential (to the surprise of no one here).   A thing to behold.

Madeleine Albright was known for her brooch-diplomacy. Some of her foreign counterparts came to see her brooches as a mood-coding system.  Hillary, who is, after all, a self-described hair icon,  relates an amusing exchange when she was in Bulgaria (NATO member since 2004) in February 2012.  Prime Minister Boyko Borissov seemed edgy.  He finally confessed that he had heard that when her hair was pulled back it indicated a bad mood.  She reassured him that she was not engaging in hair diplomacy but that it “takes her a little longer” to get her look together.

Secretary Clinton with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov

Turkey has been in NATO since 1952, is strategically very important, but following the G.W. Bush administration the Turkish people took a dim view of the U.S.  Hillary’s first visit there as secretary of state was in March 2009.  She made it a point on that trip to take advantage of mass media.

Hillary Clinton’s Interviews in Turkey

On pages 234-235 she explains the term Islamist Party.  It is an important read.  She discusses [now outgoing] Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at length and states her concerns regarding his “Zero Problems with Neighbors” policy, which, on first take, can appear very positive.  Hillary cites the real and potential pitfalls of such a policy, especially when Iran is one of your neighbors. [Reports are that Erdogan will continue calling the shots, so it is unlikely that this policy will be abandoned.]

Ahmet Davutoglu came into the picture early as a close advisor to Erdogan but soon became the Turkish foreign minister with whom she collaborated over nearly her entire term.  (Ali Babacan was the foreign minister she encountered on her first trip there.)  Only three months after that trip, Davutoglu arrived at the State Department as foreign minister and a long working relationship commenced.

(As I returned to the first draft of this post to edit it, Davutoglu was named the new prime minister of Turkey.  Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister and the best of luck to you in your new post!)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012.  AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu shakes hands with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before taking part in meetings in Istanbul on June 7, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sh Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ahmet Davutoglu

 

Hillary Clinton’s Bilaterals Today

Concerns remain.  Dissent is not easily tolerated.  Religious freedom is an issue.  Hillary  hosted Patriarch Bartholomew at a dinner in his honor early in her tenure at State.

Hillary Hosts The Patriarch

He, in turn, received her at the Patriarchy in 2011.  She has known him for a long time and has enormous respect for his opinion.   There is a beautiful slideshow at the link below.  Hillary mentions seized church property that has not been returned.  The photos provide an idea of the nature of what the government is holding.

Hillary Clinton Visits the Patriarchy in Istanbul

In chapter 9, we saw Hillary negotiate the re-opening of the supply lines from Pakistan into Afghanistan.  She never makes a big deal of that, but it was a testament to her diplomatic skills.  Without those lines open, important supplies could not get to the troops,  and they were closed for many months.

Another of her major accomplishments was one which she was never intended to handle and which she describes blow-by-blow.   She had traveled to Zurich simply to witness the signing of the Turkey-Armenia Accord.  It was to be a quick stop on the way to London.  A formality.  At the last minute  Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandian balked about a speech Davutoglu was planning to make.   Hillary took it upon herself to fetch him and, using two cell phones,  negotiate an agreement for the parties to go ahead with the signing.  She operated mostly  in her SUV.  It was a very dramatic day.  She saved it, and at the event stepped aside for her Swiss counterpart,  Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who was the host, to orchestrate the formalities.  I remember her giving Micheline a little wink of encouragement.  In typical Hillary fashion, she did not care to boast or take credit for this.  She only cared that the work got done.

OK! Now it is a done deal! Hillary helped negotiate the agreement

Turkey-Armenia Accord Salvaged and Signed – Hillary Helps Make History!

Video: Signing of the Armenia Turkey Protocols

How Hillary Saved The Day

 

She departed for the trip to the Balkans that she speaks of on the day of her wedding anniversary 2010.

The Balkans: A Family Affair

There were several notable stops and events on this trip, but she refers specifically to this town hall.

Hillary Clinton’s Town Hall at National Theater Sarajevo

And then there was Kosovo where there was a huge reception in Pristina.  She stood beneath the enormous statue of Bill Clinton, and then discovered a store named for her (so Bill wouldn’t be lonely).

Hillary in Clinton Country (Kosovo, That Is!)

No matter where she traveled as secretary of state, Hillary always made sure to hold a meet-and-greet at the embassy or consulate that had hosted her to thank them for all of the work they had done to make her visit go smoothly.  As it happened, her final stop as secretary of state was especially significant because it was at the Consulate General of Belfast.  Peace in Northern Ireland had been a high priority of the Clinton administration and hard work on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the Irish Sea had brought that troubled land closer to that goal than it ever had been before.

Video: Hillary Clinton with Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness

Hillary Clinton at The Ireland Funds Luncheon

Hillary Clinton with Staff and Families of Consulate General Belfast

Her remarks in the bilaterals at the link below contain references to the March 2009 attacks in Antrim and Armagh that she speaks about in this chapter.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hillary Clinton’s Statement of Northern Ireland Decommissioning

She mentions, as well, her address to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 2009.

Address of Secretary Clinton to Full Session of the Northern Ireland Assembly

The passages I bolded in the background briefing [in the link below] reflect,  I think,  what is so typical of the Hillary Clinton so many of us know and love,  the Hillary who works tirelessly in the background and declines credit for the good she does.   I am very certain that her intervention was integral in attaining this latest ascension up the tall ladder of unity in Northern Ireland.  But Hillary Clinton will always deflect the praise and aim the limelight on others with whom she has labored to reach an accord.  That is simply who she is and how she operates.  It is also very much a quality of character so many of us accept and admire about her.  I,  for one, am very mindful of the role she has long been playing in this peace process.   I know the devolution will succeed,  and there will be a final and lasting peace.  When it does, I and many, will forever remember the key role she played in the process, even as she disclaims it.

Secretary Clinton on Northern Ireland

This European chapter has been somewhat active re: updates prior to publication.  In the latest news, may this peacemaker rest in peace.

Former Ireland prime minister Reynolds dies aged 81

 

Statement by President Clinton on the Passing of Albert Reynolds

Statement August 21, 2014

I am saddened by the passing of former Prime Minister of Ireland Albert Reynolds, who worked hard and risked much as Taoiseach to advance the Northern Ireland peace process.  His leadership alongside British Prime Minister John Major was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Good Friday Agreement, and our world owes him a profound debt of gratitude.  I will always be grateful for his encouragement, advice, and support in the peace process.  I join with his wife, Kathleen, his children, his many friends, and the people of Ireland in mourning his loss.

 

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

 

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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Hillary was on familiar ground today as she returned to Georgetown University, where she spoke several times as Secretary of State and as recently as last December.  This time the occasion was the presentation of the annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security.  The honorees were British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  We also see her with Georgetown President John J. DeGioia and former ambassador and close friend Melanne Verveer.

Clinton Presents Advancing Women in Peace and Security Awards

February 25, 2014 – Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton presented the university’s annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security Tuesday night in historic Gaston Hall.

The awards, created by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), were given to British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Dr. Denis Mukwege, founder of the Panzi hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Read more >>>>

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Hillary continued collecting awards and honors during her birthday month of October.  Several were extremely prestigious.  The Chatham House Prize involved two events.  There was a town hall during the day and a banquet in the evening where the Duke of York presented her with  a scroll signed by Queen Elizabeth II.   She had the opportunity at this event to catch up with old friends William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, and Kevin Rudd who was Foreign Minister of Australia during part of her tenure at the State Department, Prime Minister twice, and is my Twitter follower.

In October, Hillary reentered politics like a wrecking ball helping to secure victories for Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial effort in Virginia and Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign in New York City.

It was a very busy month.  Details from some of these events were not public.

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New York NY

Cipriani

Save the Children Gala: National Legacy Awards

10/04/13

Clinton, NY

Hamilton College

Great Names speaker

10/05/13

New Haven CT

Yale University

Yale Law Award of Merit

10/11/13

London England

Chatham House & Banqueting House

Chatham House 2013 Prize

10/12/13

London England

Concerts

10//15/13

Atlanta GA

Georgia World Congress Center

Closing Session NACS Show

10/15/13

New York NY

Cipriani on Wall Street in New York

Elton John Foundation Honor

10/15/13

New York NY

TBA

McAuliffe Fundraiser

10/16/13

New York NY

Guastavino’s

Voices of September 11 Gala

10/16/14

New York NY

Spring Studios

Michael Kors Award for Outstanding Community Service @ Golden Heart Awards

10/19/13

Springfield VA

Team Terry Field Office

Woman for Terry Endorsement Event

10/21/13

New York NY

Roosevelt Hotel

Fundraiser Bill DeBlasio

10/23/13

Buffalo NY

University of Buffalo

Distinguished Speakers Series

10/24/13

Washington DC

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

Center for American Progress Anniversary

10/25/13

Hamilton NY

Colgate University

Global Leaders Lecture

10/27/13

St. Louis Park MN

Beth El Synagogue

Speaker Series

10/28/13

Chicago IL

Sheraton Chicago

Vanguard fundraising luncheon for the Jewish United Fund

10/29/13

New York NY

Goldman Sachs

Q & A Session

10/30/13

Beverly Hills CA

Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl

Fundraiser Luncheon for Terry McAuliffe

10/30/13

Los Angeles CA

Oceana’s Partners Award Gala

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Archives for October 2013 can be accessed here.

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Yet again, our Hillary has been recognized, this time internationally,  and for some achievements that may have flown beneath the radar of some, but of which we here were well aware. Chatham House, London, honored her with their very prestigious 2013 Prize, today,  presented by HRH The Duke of York.

Brava, Hillary!  Best congratulations, Mme. Secretary! 

Transcript >>>>

Transcript Q & A >>>>

Award Ceremony

HRH The Duke of York presented Secretary Clinton with a crystal award and scroll signed by HM The Queen at a ceremony at Banqueting House on the evening of Friday 11 October. The ceremony included speeches from Secretary Clinton and the Rt Hon William Hague, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

See more >>>>

Winner 2013 – Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been awarded this year’s Chatham House Prize in recognition of her significant and impressive contribution to international diplomacy as US Secretary of State and her work on behalf of gender equality and opportunities for women and girls.

Hillary Clinton

During her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton decisively drove a new era in US diplomatic engagement. She was instrumental in re-orientating the strategic focus of the United States towards the Asia-Pacific region. She was successful both in multilateral diplomacy − helping to develop new international frameworks, such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition – and in bilateral negotiations, brokering an agreement between Turkey and Armenia to reopen their border and negotiating a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.

Her creation and implementation of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) made a bold comment on the importance of comprehensive diplomacy and ‘civilian power’. Her understanding and use of public diplomacy demonstrated that values and ideas must be promoted through two-way dialogue, especially in the age of social media.

Secretary Clinton was equally able to tackle acute challenges in international affairs and to call on the necessary skills and tools when needed. Working in partnership with key allies in both the UN and NATO to protect civilians in Libya in 2011 was a prime example.

Secretary Clinton used her personal standing and visibility as a campaigner on the global stage to support educational and economic opportunities for women and girls. She incorporated more women into peace-building initiatives at the UN, and at the State Department she created the position of ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues.

She led a global campaign for efficient, modern cooking stoves, helping to reduce the 1.9 million premature deaths per year from smoke inhalation on open cooking fires, predominantly among women in developing countries. Her work to integrate women’s rights with broader development goals backed up her long-held belief that ‘it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights’.

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English: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodha...

English: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah host a town hall meeting to discuss the release of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, “Leading Through Civilian Power,” with USAID and Department of State employees, in the Atrium Hall of the Ronald Reagan Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Here she is at the banquet this evening receiving the scroll from Prince Andrew.

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This is a twitpic from UK Foreign Minister William Jefferson Hague.

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P.S.  Nice shout-out in the award ceremony to my Twitter buddy, Kevin Rudd!

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague (R) greets U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before an Official Arrival Ceremony for British Prime Minister David Cameron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington

 

Joint Statement by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague

 

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

January 3, 2013

 


Following is the text of a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide, and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Begin Text:

We welcome the news that the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan are to meet in Addis Ababa on 4 January in a further effort to resolve outstanding issues between the two countries. We applaud the progress made at their Presidential Summit held in Addis Ababa at the end of September 2012, which demonstrated that a durable and equitable settlement is within reach.

We commend the continuing valuable role of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel led by former President Thabo Mbeki and the efforts of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

We regret that progress in implementing the Agreements signed on 27 September has stalled and in particular that the agreed security arrangements at the border are not yet in place. We call on the two leaders now to address concretely all outstanding issues and ensure that the armed forces of the two countries immediately withdraw from the demilitarized zone and deploy the Joint Border and Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), in line with what has been agreed.

We stress the importance of making progress in parallel on other parts of the relationship between the two countries. Full implementation of all agreements on their own terms and without preconditions or linkages between them, will help build confidence and benefit the people of the two countries. The restart of oil production and export will be particularly valuable for both economies and should not be held up by negotiation on other issues.

We underline our support for the approach taken by the African Union to the question of Abyei. The proposal made by former President Mbeki is based on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including the Abyei Protocol. The proposal, adopted by AUPSC on October 24, sets out a clear path towards determining Abyei’s final status in accordance with agreements already signed by both parties, while protecting the rights of all communities and ensuring Abyei can become a model for cross-border cooperation and coexistence. We note in particular that the proposal provides for Abyei’s continuing special status as a bridge between the two countries with guaranteed political and economic rights for both the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya, whatever the outcome of the referendum. We urge the two countries to meet to elaborate on these rights and to move toward agreement on Abyei’s final status.

We remind the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan that the international community is fully committed to a vision of two viable countries at peace with one another, and that we stand ready to support them in realizing that vision. We strongly urge them to seize the opportunity of the Summit meeting on 4 January to demonstrate their commitment to implement what they have agreed and make peaceful coexistence a reality.

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With NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, U.K. Foreign Minister William Hague, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and others.

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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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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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Remarks With U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague After Their Meeting

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
December 12, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon, and let me again welcome the foreign secretary here to Washington and to the State Department. It is a special pleasure to see him at the end of a year in which we cooperated so closely and constructively together. We’ve had a very robust shared calendar as we’ve tackled these global challenges every single day of this entire year, it seems. And we’ve met on many previous occasions, both bilaterally and then through a multitude of multilateral engagements. So it’s good to review and look forward at this time of year.

We will be meeting again, we’ve already concluded, numerous times in the first half of next year. And obviously, we have a lot to talk about whenever we do meet. Our meeting today reflected a wide array of shared concerns and challenges, including the economic crisis in Europe, the embassy – attack on the UK Embassy in Iran, the transition in Afghanistan, the situation in Pakistan, the evolving situations in Burma, North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, and so much more. We lost track of all of the matters which we went over today.

We naturally discussed the decisions regarding Europe’s debt crisis, and we have a – as we’ve said many times, a great stake in a speedy resolution. We support efforts to enact pro-growth reforms, and we will continue to work closely with our European partners. We discussed the ongoing efforts to press the Iranian Government to meet all of its international obligations. The attack on the British Embassy was an affront not only to the British people, but to the international community. Governments owe a duty to protect diplomatic lives and property, and we expect the Government of Iran to do just that both inside and outside of Iran. That is why we strongly supported the UN General Assembly’s resolution deploring the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador here in Washington. And we’re working together on additional sanctions, and the great work that the foreign minister and the Government of the UK has done with us at the IAEA to express nearly unanimous concern about Iran’s nuclear program.

Afghanistan was a big part of the discussion today, following up on our meetings in Bonn and the ISAF meeting in Brussels at NATO. The British and American men and women of our armed forces have literally stood and fought side by side and have reversed the Taliban momentum on the battlefields. And our diplomats and development experts have likewise stood shoulder-to-shoulder to try to help the people of Afghanistan realize a better future. As we talk about transitioning security, we look very clearly at the goal that was set at the Lisbon summit. This transition is a new phase of support for Afghanistan, not the end of our commitment, and we will stay very closely connected as we move through this period as well.

I welcomed the news that the foreign secretary will be going to Burma. I think we have a real opportunity through sustained diplomacy to test the new government and to work toward the resolution of outstanding problems that prevent that country from achieving its rightful place in the community of nations for the 21st century. And there’s a very clear path forward if they wish to follow it. We of course discussed the Middle East and, in particular, Syria. We’ve worked closely together to increase the pressure on the Asad regime. We welcomed the recent action by the Arab League. I met with members of the Syrian opposition last week. We encourage other Arab leaders to meet with them as well and continue our support for peaceful protest and reform inside Syria.

And we compared notes on the parliamentary elections in Egypt. The Egyptian people are justifiably proud to begin the process of choosing their new leaders. We urge the Egyptian authorities to ensure that free and fair voting continues through the next election rounds, and that there be a steady transition toward a new civilian government. And at the same time, we call upon the continued protection of peaceful protestors and holding those accountable for previous incidents of violence.

So this is just a snapshot of our very lengthy and substantive conversation. So again, Foreign Secretary, welcome back to Washington.

FOREIGN SECRETARY HAGUE: Well, thank you very much indeed. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure as always to be here in Washington with Secretary Clinton. The United States of America is our closest and our indispensible ally in foreign policy. And as ever, we’ve had a good meeting of minds as we discussed this very broad range of challenges that we face. As everyone knows, we’ve had in 2011 a momentous year in world affairs, and I think we’ve risen to these challenges with confidence. Our joint efforts in Libya, for instance, to save lives benefitted from the seamless cooperation in diplomacy and in defense, which is one of the distinctive hallmarks of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

2012 is set to throw up challenges in foreign policy that could be more demanding and complex still, and we must be ready for those. Britain is determined to play its full part alongside the United States, standing shoulder to shoulder and building on our shared values, our sense of common purpose, our mutual resolve.

As you’ve heard from Secretary Clinton, our discussions today have ranged over a very wide range of subjects. We’ve discussed the economic situation in Europe, in particular in the Eurozone. And in the United Kingdom, as our prime minister has said in parliament today, we want to see the Eurozone stabilized. That involves far more than simply greater medium-term fiscal integration. Important though that is, the markets wants to be assured that the firewall is big enough for the Eurozone and that banks are adequately recapitalized, that the – that countries like Greece have adequately dealt with the problems.

We cannot sign a European treaty that does not give adequate protection to the single market in Europe, but we’re not changing our relationship with the European Union, and we will work with our European partners over the coming months on the need for the EU to remove barriers to trade, to complete the single market, to conclude free trade agreements around the world. These remain the most important way for Europe to compete and address economic problems and generate essential growth.

As you’ve heard, we share a growing concern with the United States about the situation in Syria and the deplorable violence orchestrated by the regime. We welcome the continued efforts of the Arab League and call on the international community to unite in its condemnation of events in Syria.

Our talks reaffirmed our countries’ close understanding of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program. I particularly thanked Secretary Clinton for her robust support over the recent attacks on our embassy in Tehran, and we shared our latest thinking on the expansion of sanctions against Iran. This includes European Union consideration of measures against the Iranian energy sector as part of the pressure on Iran to return to negotiations over its nuclear ambitions.

We discussed the Middle East peace process and the need for a return to negotiations. That cannot safely be delayed. I briefed Secretary Clinton on our preparations for the London conference on Somalia in February. We need a stronger international approach to the crisis there and to seize the opportunity now to address the root causes of terrorism, instability, piracy. We will spend a lot of time and attention on this in the early months of 2012, and see it as a key priority for next year, and I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Clinton on this.

We reviewed progress on Afghanistan in the light of the Bonn conference, which we both attended last week. Ten years on, great strides have been made. Our goal now is to consolidate them so that the Afghan people can take control of their own security from 2014. And Britain will continue to work closely with the U.S. and with our other partners in Afghanistan as we work towards the very important Chicago summit to be held in May.

We’ve discussed the protests that we’ve seen in recent days in Moscow. It’s clearly important that the Russian Government investigates the allegations of alleged abuses, and we welcome the commitment of President Medvedev to do so.

We also agreed the international community must show strategic patience in the Western Balkans, which Secretary Clinton has rightly described as unfinished business. And we strongly support that region’s integration within Euro-Atlantic structures and the resolution of outstanding issues. We share a common commitment to the territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a single, sovereign state. And we discussed ways in which we can intensify our efforts, working with the Office of the High Representative, the European Union, and other nations to help that country turn a new page in 2012.

We’ve discussed our diplomacy in the Asia Pacific region and the United States announcements about that region in recent weeks, and in that regard, I particularly welcome Secretary Clinton’s recent visit to Burma. Our common objective is to see political freedom in Burma, and constructive engagement which helps further that goal is very important. I will visit Burma in early January, and we will remain in close contact with the U.S. on this issue, as on all the other issues that I’ve mentioned in the coming months.

In all of these areas, Britain doesn’t have a more important ally than the United States, and I look forward to all our work together over the coming year that is as effective and durable in its consequences as it has been this year and in so many other years before it.

Thank you very much indeed.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Okay. Four questions today, first one from BBC (inaudible).

QUESTION: Thank you. Two questions for you: First, Secretary Hague, I know you’ve just said that the UK’s not changing its relationship with the EU. But do you believe that the British Government’s decision on the Eurozone diminishes Britain’s influence in Europe and perhaps in the world?

And a question for both of you: Secretary Hague, you’ve also just said that you welcome the investigation into the allegations of fraud in the elections in Russia. Do you trust – do you both trust that the results will be what is required, and will it allay the concerns of the protesters? What do you think the Russian authorities should do beyond an investigation to address those concerns?

FOREIGN SECRETARY HAGUE: Well, on the – taking the second question first, of course, that will depend on the investigation and what it produces and how it is conducted. It’s important that such investigations take place, so I think it is right, as I’ve said, to welcome the willingness of the Russian Government to do that. Clearly, as nations that believe in democracy and freedom of speech and political freedom, we want to see such investigations take place as transparently and as fully as possible, but I think that it’s impossible to judge them in advance.

On the question of the European Union, no, I don’t agree with the thrust of your question. On all of the issues that we’ve just been describing, all the foreign policy issues in dealing with Iran, pressure on Syria, on how to take forward the Middle East peace process, the European Union is an important player – very important player in the world and in those – and determining the European Union attitude on all of those issues, the United Kingdom plays an absolutely central and leading role.

We also do so in pushing forward the single market in Europe, in championing free trade agreements such as the one we signed with South Korea earlier this year. And all of that continues; that doesn’t change because we choose not to participate in one set of arrangements which are not adequate for us. That’s not a new thing to do. The United Kingdom did not join the euro, and we’re pleased we did not join the euro. We’re not part of the Schengen border arrangements, and we’re very satisfied that we’re not. Europe can develop in a way in which there are overlapping circles of decision-making. And not every nation has to participate in everything.

But that doesn’t alter our central role in driving forward European policy on the whole range of subjects that I’ve just described.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I would just add to what William already said about Russia. We were pleased that the protests yesterday were peaceful. We think that’s a very good sign. There were dozens of them across the country. And the fact that the government has announced that it is willing to investigate allegations of fraud and manipulation associated with the December 4th Duma elections is a good sign and a reassuring position for the Russian people.

But the proof is in the pudding. We’ll wait and see how they conduct such an investigation, what the consequences are. They have a good roadmap coming from the OSCE which has set forth a number of recommendations. So we’re supportive of the announcement of investigations, and now we hope that it will be followed through on.

MODERATOR: Next question, (inaudible) of the London Times.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) from the Times. Last week an American general in Baghdad said that he wasn’t sure what would happen in Iraq after the last American troops have left. After December the 31st, your own Department, Madam Secretary, will be, as it were, in charge of American interests in Baghdad and in Iraq. How confident are you that Iraq is going to turn into the sort of country perhaps you had in mind when this all began?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have been having very intensive discussions with President – with Prime Minister Maliki and various ministers of his government starting last night, going through into the morning in the Oval Office with the President, and we certainly are looking forward to a normal relationship between two sovereign countries.

The outline for our actions was set prior to this Administration coming into office in 2008, when the Bush Administration agreed that our military presence would end at the end of this year. That is going to happen. We hope, in fact, that our troops will be out in time for Christmas. And then we will be taking, on a case-by-case basis, requests for additional assistance, of which there are many coming from the Iraqis. Certainly in the security and the military training arena, there is quite a long list of requests, and we are looking forward to evaluating those and fulfilling them wherever possible.

We are going to be working on police training, which is getting underway. We have a number of agreements that have been worked on under the strategic framework that was adopted back in 2008. So we’re on the path to meet our commitment to withdraw all U.S. military personnel even as we maintain a robust civilian presence under State Department leadership that’ll include diplomats, business and development experts, security assistance experts, law enforcement officers, and others from civilian agencies across the United States Government. They will be working out of our Embassy in Baghdad, out of our consulates general in Erbil and Basra, our diplomatic presence in Kirkuk, and they will be protected, as our civilians are in many places in the world, by contracted security personnel. That’s a very common practice.

So again last night and today, our Iraqi partners made clear that they want a relationship that is deeper and broader than a military relationship, and we are working to achieve that.

MODERATOR: (Off-mike.)

QUESTION: Thank you. Madam Secretary, if I could follow up on Iraq, was there any resolution in your meetings about the fate of the last detainee in —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Steve, I can’t hear you.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. I’ll repeat it. Was there any resolution in your meetings with the Iraq – with the fate of the last detainee, Ali Musa Daqduq?

And if I could ask you both on Iran, with the drone crash, the attack on the embassy, the various assassinations, the explosion at a missile factory recently with the IAEA findings, is there a risk now that the – that our countries are lurching towards some sort of confrontation with Iran? And specifically, Madam Secretary, the Senate has voted to expand U.S. sanctions to include the Iranian Central Bank. Where do you stand on the negotiations? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steven, first, with respect to actions regarding Iran, we are very clearly making known our concerns. We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment, as we would in any situation to any government around the world. Given Iran’s behavior to date, we do not expect them to comply, but we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners, starting with the UK. We obviously believe strongly in a diplomatic approach. We want to see the Iranians engage, and as you know, we have attempted to bring about that engagement over the course of the last three-plus years. It has not proven effective, but we’re not giving up on it.

And with respect to any actions on further sanctions, we have been very tough, and not only did we work hard to get international sanctions through the United Nations, but we, along with close partners like the UK, like the EU, and others, have applied additional sanctions, and we will continue to do so. I’m not going to telegraph where, when, and how, but our view is that the path that Iran seems to be going down is a dangerous one for themselves and for the region. And the danger is compounded, on top of their provocation, their deliberate support for terrorism in many places, by their continuing pursuit of a nuclear weapon. So it’s something that the world has to respond to, and I think we’ve been quite effective in doing so.

With respect to your first question, that is still a matter of discussion between us and the Iraqis.

FOREIGN SECRETARY HAGUE: And on Iran, as Hillary says, we are not giving up on engagement with Iran, but on a number of occasions, Iran has behaved in a way, in recent weeks and months, which have intensified confrontation with the rest of the world. We have seen – in the plots to assassinate the Saudi ambassador here and the invasion of the British Embassy compounds in Tehran, we’ve seen an increasing predilection for dangerous and illegal adventures on the part of at least parts of the Iranian regime. It may not be the work of a united Iranian regime, but from at least parts of the Iranian regime, such actions have been sanctioned.

And so we will increase the peaceful, legitimate pressure on Iran. We see that not as confrontation, but as a necessary response to the – in particular, to the nuclear program. We adopted in the European Union, ten days ago, sanctions on an additional 180 individuals and entities, and we will expand those sanctions further – or we intend to do so at the end of January – with tougher sanctions on the financial sector, on the energy and transport sectors from the European Union as a whole, and so we will continue to intensify that pressure while Iran’s nuclear program continues with no adequate explanation of a peaceful purpose.

MODERATOR: Last question comes (inaudible).

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, could I just ask you, does Britain’s new position in Europe concern you, especially given the historic bridge that the UK has offered between Europe and the U.S.?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have to say it does not. I think that the role that the UK has played in Europe will continue. And we, of course, welcome that. And our concern has not been over the position that the UK has taken, it’s whether the decisions made by other members of the Eurozone countries within the EU will work, and we want to encourage that. We are very hopeful and supportive that this latest set of actions will send the right signals and have the results that are being sought. So I separate out the economic issues – which, as William said, the UK has never been a party to the euro, so that’s not something that’s particularly going to change – from the political work that we do almost every day with the UK and with the EU. So I don’t see any spillover there at my view.

Thank you.

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Mme. Secretary has another busy week ahead with an evening event on Monday.   Then she hits the tarmac again for a few days.  Safe travels, Mme. Secretary.  We love you!

Secretary Clinton To Deliver Remarks at the 2011 Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations on October 31

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 28, 2011

On October 31, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks at the opening dinner of the 2011 Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations, hosted by the American-Turkish Council.   Secretary Clinton’s remarks will begin at approximately 7:45 p.m.

The theme of the 30th Annual Conference is “Honoring the Past, Building for the Future.” The conference is the largest annual gathering of public officials and private business people dedicated to the promotion of a strong U.S.-Turkey relationship. The American-Turkish Council expects several hundred Turkish and American government, business and military leaders will attend.

In addition to Secretary Clinton, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, and Minister of National Defense Ismet Yilmaz will deliver remarks.

 

Secretary Clinton to Travel to London, United Kingdom and Istanbul, Turkey

Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 27, 2011

Secretary Clinton will travel to London, United Kingdom, November 1, 2011, to deliver a keynote speech at the London Conference on Cyberspace, hosted by the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague. While in London, Secretary Clinton will also meet with Foreign Secretary Hague to review a range of issues on our shared global agenda.

Secretary Clinton will then travel to Istanbul, Turkey, on November 2, to participate in the Istanbul Conference for Afghanistan: Security and Cooperation in the Heart of Asia. The conference will be co-chaired by Afghanistan and Turkey and will include Afghanistan’s neighbors and other key regional partners. The United States is attending as a supporter and welcomes regional efforts to demonstrate support for Afghan priorities of transition, reconciliation, and economic growth.

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Today, Secretary Clinton met with too many dignitaries to name. We see her here with several of her counterparts including Ahmet Davotoglu of the host country, Turkey,  as well as the UK’s William Hague, the UAE’s Sheik Abdullah bin Zayad al Nahyan,  and Spain’s Trinidad Jimenez.

She gave a press conference as well as a major address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. We also see her meeting with representatives of Libya’s TNC (Transitional National Cuncil), recognized today by more than 30 countries, our own among them, as the governing body of Libya.   Enjoy!  She’s winking at you!

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