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Archive for March 9th, 2009|Daily archive page

Madame Secretary and Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Vygaudas Usackas

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, NATO, Politics, Washington on March 9, 2009 at 4:51 pm

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At the Signing Ceremony After Their Meeting:

March 9, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Welcome, and it’s a great pleasure to have the foreign minister along with his delegation from Lithuania here today. Some of you may remember that the minister was a shining star in the Washington, D.C., diplomatic ferment when he served as Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States. He served for five years, and there was a great regret when he left Washington, so it’s especially nice to have him back in his new capacity. I think he’s been foreign minister since December, if I’m not mistaken.

FOREIGN MINISTER USACKAS: That’s correct.

SECRETARY CLINTON: So he’s been a foreign minister longer than I have been.

During our discussions, the minister and I affirmed our shared commitment to the common principles and common purposes that unite our countries. It is no accident that Lithuania is one of our most dependable partners and allies. Both our countries share a determination to promote democracy, uphold the rule of law, encourage broad-based economic prosperity, and we are deeply committed to NATO’s pledge of collective security.

These principles provide the foundation for our efforts to address a growing array of economic, diplomatic, and security challenges. In order to succeed in these common efforts, we have to cooperate even more closely than we already have in the past.

The instruments of ratification we are exchanging today, which are called for by the 2005 protocols regarding extradition and mutual legal assistance between our two countries, are an example of that increased cooperation. This exchange is the first of the 27 similar sets of agreements that the United States will be undertaking with all EU member-countries. These protocols will enter into force shortly, when the related agreements between the United States and the European Union take effect.

Many of the law enforcement challenges our countries face today have little respect for borders. Networks of computer hackers, financial criminals, and violent extremists often hide behind international borders and use geography to gain impunity. These twin agreements between the United States and Lithuania give our police and our prosecutors the state-of-the-art tools they need to cooperate in bringing criminals to justice on both sides of the Atlantic.

In conjunction with the similar agreements we are pursuing with all of the countries of the European Union, the agreements for which we are exchanging instruments of ratification today will help provide the Euro-Atlantic community with powerful tools to apprehend and prosecute individuals who might otherwise escape justice.

These agreements are only one small facet of the vibrant partnership the United States enjoys with the people and Government of Lithuania.

Now, I have been told that this year marks the 1,000th anniversary of Lithuania’s name. Now, we in the United States cannot claim such a lengthy history, but I am convinced that our strong relationship, cooperation, and shared values can last just as long. I look forward to working with the foreign minister as we go forward from today’s meeting working together as allies to create a stronger, safer, and more prosperous world.

FOREIGN MINISTER USACKAS: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. It’s great to be back in Washington this year, and it’s great to see you again, this time not as a senator but Secretary of State.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER USACKAS: Indeed, United States and Lithuania are bound by many ties, and we are members of NATO, we are – Lithuania is a member of the EU and enjoy very close transatlantic relationship. But most importantly, that we are bound by the human chain, human chain of the people who have been residing in United States for more than one hundred years. And I am coming here to Washington, D.C., straight from Chicago, where we had a celebration of millennium for Lithuania and where many people came to enjoy Lithuanian national music and dance.

I am here today to talk to Secretary Hillary Clinton about the challenges for the Euro-Atlantic community. We talked about energy security issues, which are very important both for Europe and for United States. We talked about our common neighborhood of NATO and the European Union, which stretches from Belarus to Georgia. And we also talked about, very important, a neighbor, Russia, with whom we have decided to re-launch – resume NATO-Russia Council only last week. We believe that NATO has an important agenda before the summit, and we look forward to working with United States so as to prepare NATO alliance for the challenges of the 21st century.

Lithuania is a trustworthy ally of United States. We’re present in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re going to be increasing our military presence in Afghanistan. And we are continuously sharing our experience of democracy building and free market with such countries as Ukraine and Georgia. We strongly – we are strongly committed to the future membership of Ukraine and Georgia. Those countries have a lot to learn from the examples and lessons learned of Central European countries. And I’m looking forward to working with Secretary of State and with her staff to advance our reforms and to share the best lessons learned with the countries I mentioned.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister. And if you will, join me now for the signing of the protocols.

(The Instruments of Ratification are signed.)

(Applause.)updated

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International Women of Courage Awards to be Announced by Hillary Clinton…

In economy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Middle East, news, Politics, Turkey, United States, Washington, Woman of the Year on March 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce this year’s recipients of the Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage. The awards ceremony will take place on March 11 at 4 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the U.S. Department of State.

The annual Award for International Women of Courage recognizes women around the globe who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights and women’s equality. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to outstanding women leaders worldwide. This year, the Secretary of State will pay tribute to honorees representing Afghanistan, Guatemala, Iraq, Malaysia, Niger, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

The Awards Ceremony will be pool press coverage for cameras and open for writers and still photographers.

Final access time for writers and stills: 3:30 p.m. from the 23rd Street entrance.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following:

(1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center),(2) a media-issued photo identification card, or

(3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver’s license, passport). Press should allow adequate time to process through security and to be in the briefing room 10 minutes prior to the briefing.

PRESS CONTACTS:
Ruth Bennett
Office of International Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State
(202) 312-9867
BennettRE@state.gov

Office of Press Relations, U.S. Department of State
(202) 647-2492

Hillary Clinton pledges multifaceted efforts to stabilize Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The United States will work with its NATO allies to forge a multifaceted strategy to stabilise Pakistan and Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged. “We will be working with our NATO allies and other partners to come up with a comprehensive strategy that integrates military and civilian assets in a way that can try to stabilise both Afghanistan and Pakistan from the mutual threat they face from Al Qaeda and the Taliban,” she told German ZDF-TV during her tour of Europe.

According to a transcript released by the State Department, Clinton claimed insurgent groups “are determined to destabilize those countries to gain and hold territory to serve as safe havens for terrorists who plan and plot against Europe and the United States”. She said the Obama administration is “focused on a policy review concerning Afghanistan and Pakistan because we think we have strategic interests there and threats emanate from there”.

Clinton also held talks with members of the 26-nation NATO alliance on formulating an effective way forward in Afghanistan. Before travelling to Europe, Clinton hosted the Pakistani and Afghan foreign ministers in Washington for tripartite consultations on fashioning a comprehensive policy, under the Obama administration, for the Pak-Afghan border regions.

U.S. and Turkey Reaffirm Strong Partnership

hill-and-turkish-pm(Mar. 7) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan today reaffirmed the strong bonds of alliance, solidarity and strategic partnership between the Republic of Turkey and the United States, as well as the commitment of both countries to the principles of peace, democracy, freedom, and prosperity enshrined in the Shared Vision and Structured Dialogue document agreed to in July 2006


They reaffirmed their determination to diversify the broad based bilateral relations particularly between the Turkish and American people.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan today reaffirmed the strong bonds of alliance, solidarity and strategic partnership between the Republic of Turkey and the United States, as well as the commitment of both countries to the principles of peace, democracy, freedom, and prosperity enshrined in the Shared Vision and Structured Dialogue document agreed to in July 2006. hill-and-turkish-fm2

Turkey and the United States reiterated their determination to continue close cooperation and consultation on all issues of common concern. They pledge to contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East and in this context,

to support a permanent settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of a two-state solution;

to enhance energy security and to expand the Southern corridor of natural gas and oil infrastructure

to enable Caspian basin and Iraqi energy producers to reach European and world markets;

to promote peace, stability, and prosperity in the south Caucasus, including through U.S. support for the efforts of Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations and joint support for the efforts of the Minsk Group to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict;

to continue to cooperate in the Balkans;

to support strongly a comprehensive and mutually-acceptable settlement of the Cyprus question under the auspices of the UN and in this context ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots; and to enhance their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, particularly against their common enemies, the PKK and al-Qaeda.

The United States will continue its intelligence support for Turkish operations against the PKK and is reviewing ways to be more supportive. As members of the G-20, Turkey and the United States pledge continued cooperation to deal with the global economic crisis and efforts to increase and diversify bilateral economic relations with particular emphasis on trade, investment, scientific and technological cooperation.

Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Babacan discussed Turkey’s accession to the European Union as a member, a goal the United States continues to strongly support, as well as the Government of Turkey’s continued emphasis on reform process.

With their commitment to Transatlantic relations and as Allies in a strong NATO, they pledge continued cooperation in Afghanistan, including through continued Turkish contributions to Afghanistan. They reiterated their commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq as well as reiterated their support for a democratic, pluralistic, unified and federal Iraq.

They also welcome Turkey’s deepening relations with the Government of Iraq as evidenced by high level visits as well as trilateral meetings to discuss cooperation against the PKK.

Turkey and the United States will strongly back the United Nations Security Council in its work to maintain global peace and security for the prevention and removal of threats to the international community and in this context will cooperate in dealing with issues including terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime and the threat of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery in the region and beyond.

Finally, they reaffirmed their determination to diversify the broad based bilateral relations particularly between the Turkish and American people. In that context, the Secretary and Minister announced the establishment of “Young Turkey/Young America”: A New Relationship for a New Age.

This initiative will enable emerging young leaders in Turkey and the United States to develop initiatives that will positively impact people’s lives and invest in future ties between the leadership of our two countries.