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Archive for February 25th, 2009|Daily archive page

Secretary Clinton Welcomes Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez Merizalde

In Columbia, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics on February 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm

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SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the foreign minister of Colombia here. It’s a real pleasure to have the representative of a country that has made so many strides and so much progress, and we have a lot to talk about because there is so much we have in common to work on. Welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER MERIZALDE: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER MERIZALDE: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.

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Secretary Clinton Welcomes Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim

In Brazil, foreign policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on February 25, 2009 at 8:24 pm

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I am so pleased to welcome the foreign minister of Brazil to the State Department. Mr. Minister, our countries have a great set of opportunities and responsibilities.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: That’s important, then.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s what we’re going to do.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: That’s important.

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

Secretary Clinton Welcomes Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Poland, Politics on February 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm

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Poland: One of Our Closest Allies
Remarks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Before Their Meeting

February 25, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister here. You know, Poland is one of our closest allies, and our relationships between our two countries, particularly the Polish American community and the many contributions that they’ve made, make this an even more special partnership. So, welcome Mr. Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (In Polish.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

Secretary Clinton Welcomes Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis

In fabulous women, foreign policy, Greece, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton on February 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am so pleased to welcome a friend to Washington and to the State Department. She’s no stranger to either, but it’s a great honor for me to have you here in my new capacity.

FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: Thank you, Madame Secretary. It’s a pleasure to be back in Washington.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: And I’m looking forward to working with you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Me too. Thank you. Thank you all very much.

Secretary Clinton With Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Middle East, Politics on February 25, 2009 at 7:55 pm

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February 24, 2009

Remarks Secretary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I was very pleased to welcome the minister and his delegation here to the State Department. As you know, we are consulting very closely with the Government of Pakistan on our strategic review of our way forward. And I’m very grateful for the minister’s advice and counsel, and I look forward to further discussions and to having him back here tomorrow night for dinner along with his counterparts from Afghanistan.

Thank you, Mr. Minister.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thank you all very much.

QUESTION: Mr. Minister, do you have any concerns that the 17,000 troops announced by President Obama going into southern Afghanistan will push the Taliban further into areas of Pakistan like Baluchistan? And Secretary Clinton, did you assure the minister that you’ll work with Pakistan on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re going to save our comments for when we have something to say about the results of our joint efforts. And there is a very open and fully consultative – a full consultative process which we will be working on, and many of these issues will be discussed among us.

Thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: We had an excellent meeting. There’s a convergence between us, there’s a willingness to work together, and I see a lot of hope in the new Administration, the new leadership. And Pakistan is willing to work with the American Administration to fight extremism and terrorism. We are determined to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

Secretary Clinton with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Cannon

In Canada, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton on February 25, 2009 at 7:41 pm

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Hello. This is a big week for Canada, and I just expressed the appreciation that we feel for the wonderful welcome and hospitality that President Obama received on his visit. And I’m delighted to have you here.

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Well, I am very pleased to be here, Madame Secretary, and particularly after that great visit in Canada. And hopefully, we’ll have you there in Canada very shortly to be able to match that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, I —

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: I’m sure you’re going to be very well received as well.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Canada, and I had one memorable visit when we had a state visit, and I got to skate on the canals in Ottawa. That was a personal highlight, so thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Thank you.

QUESTION: Happy Mardi Gras.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Now, Matt, I am so happy to know that you’re on top of what’s going on. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: The most important things.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It is the most important thing. I’m just surprised you’re here covering this instead of out celebrating. (Laughter.) Nice to see you all.

Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta

In foreign policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta on February 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

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February 24, 2009

Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta. State Dept

Good afternoon. I’m so pleased to welcome you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s such a pleasure to have you here.

PRESIDENT RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.

QUESTION: So, Madame Secretary, what will be your title for Dennis Ross? Is it a special advisor on Iran? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, there is so much work we’re doing, I’m so pleased to have so many good people helping me.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

Secretary Clinton and Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos on February 25, 2009 at 7:17 pm

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February 24, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Before Their Meeting.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning.

FOREIGN MINISTER MORATINOS: Good morning.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, can you say a few words about what you plan for the Gaza donors’ conference?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are still working on that. We have made no decisions, and we are working across the government to determine what our approach will be. And I’m looking forward to attending. But you know, there’s still a lot of work to do.

Thank you all very much.

State Department Releases Human Rights Reports

In Asia Tour, Human Rights, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, protest, sexism on February 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

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February 25, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: I apologize for being a little late. This is such an important event in the annual calendar of the State Department.You know, human progress depends on the human spirit, and this inescapable truth has never been more apparent than it is today. The challenges of this new century require us to summon the full range of human talents to move our nation and the world forward.

Guaranteeing the right of every man, woman and child to participate fully in society and to live up to his or her God-given potential is an ideal that has animated our nation since its founding.It is enshrined also in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was reflected in President Obama’s Inaugural Address when he reminded us that every generation must carry forward the belief that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.Our foreign policy must also advance these timeless values which empower people to speak, think, worship and assemble freely, to lead their work and family lives with dignity, and to know that dreams of a brighter future are within their reach.

Now, the promotion of human rights is essential to our foreign policy, but as a personal aside, I have worked for many years and in various capacities on the issues that are encompassed under the rubric: human rights. It is of profound importance to me and has informed my views and shaped my beliefs in ways large and small.As Secretary of State, I will continue to focus my own energies on human rights, and I will engage as many others as I can to join me, both through traditional and untraditional challenges. I am looking for results. I am looking for changes that actually improve the lives of the greatest numbers of people. Hopefully, we will be judged over time by successful results from these efforts.

To begin, not only will we seek to live up to our ideals on American soil; we will pursue greater respect for human rights as we engage other nations and peoples around the world. Now, some of our work will be conducted in government meetings and official dialogues. That’s important to advancing our cause. But I believe strongly we must rely on more than one approach as we strive to overcome tyranny and subjugation that weakens the human spirit, limits human possibility, and undermines human progress. We will make this a global effort that reaches beyond governments alone. I intend for us to work with nongovernmental organizations, businesses, religious leaders, schools and universities as well as individual citizens, all of whom can play a vital role in creating a world where human rights are accepted, respected, and protected.

Our commitment to human rights is driven by our faith and our moral values, and by our belief that America must first be an exemplar of our own ideals. But we also know that our security and prosperity and progress is enhanced when people in other places emerge from the shadows to gain the opportunities and rights that we enjoy and treasure.

It is now my pleasure to bring to the podium Karen Stewart, Acting Assistant Director* for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, who will present the report and take your questions. Karen?

Thank you. Thank you all very much.