Archive for April 21st, 2009|Daily archive page

U.S., Netherlands Seek To Hold Pirates Accountable

In foreign policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The Netherlands, United States on April 21, 2009 at 12:59 am

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Remarks With Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen After Their Meeting

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning, everyone. I cannot tell you how happy I am to welcome a colleague and a new friend to the State Department. It is always wonderful working with our Dutch allies on a range of issues. And as many of you know, the foreign minister scheduled and pulled off the meeting we had in The Hague about Afghanistan in just a record period of time. Minister Verhagen is someone who takes so seriously the range of issues that not only concern our two countries, but indeed our concerns about the world.

We have just discussed a wide range of issues and set up a process that will continue going forward so that we can get in depth on a number of important matters. I told the minister that unfortunately, I have to leave to attend to my first Cabinet meeting, which was scheduled long after we had set this time aside for our meeting. But we were able to touch on everything from piracy to the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and last but not least, the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage to the New World, which has particular interest to me as a New Yorker.

I want to just quickly mention a few of the matters that we discussed. Obviously, piracy is a concern to both our countries and indeed to the world. And I want to thank the Netherlands for the work they have done to fight piracy off the coast of Somalia, including their recent successful mission over the weekend to free 20 Yemenis, whose fishing vessel was hijacked by the pirates. Dutch ships and aircraft have been instrumental in the interdiction of pirates and the prevention of capture for ransom of several ships.

We look forward to continued cooperation. And we’re going to work together to seek more effective ways to hold these pirate criminals accountable for their actions, which threaten not only the lives of merchant seamen and the vessels on which they sail, but the security of critical maritime routes.

To this end, we will work on clarifying the legal authorities that exist. There will be, at our request, a meeting of the international piracy contact group in New York City in early May, in addition to the meeting that will be held shortly in Brussels. We’re going to have to determine the best way to bring pirates to justice after they’re captured. And there will have to be additional discussion about this at NATO as well.

I appreciate very much the foreign minister’s extraordinary work in highlighting the necessity for us to be effective in our efforts in Afghanistan that came out of the conference in The Hague. You know, the Dutch contributions in Uruzgan province have been instrumental and a real model in showing how we can bring stability and security to the people of Afghanistan. Dutch soldiers and civilians have done excellent work. In fact, the Dutch “3D” approach – defense, diplomacy, and development – pursued simultaneously, which may sound familiar to some of us, is a model for our own efforts and the future efforts in Afghanistan. There’s a lot of work for us to do there, and the minister will be meeting with Ambassador Holbrooke as well to go into greater depth.

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SOS Clinton Conducts Digital Town Hall Meeting

In Dominican Republic, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, United States on April 21, 2009 at 12:38 am

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Digital Town Hall of the Americas

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
April 17, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you, Rodolfo Espinal. I appreciate very much your serving as our moderator today. This is an exciting venture here at FUNGLODE, the Global Democracy and Development Foundation, which is hosting us in Santo Domingo.

We are connected online from Brazil and Peru to Mexico, Jamaica, and far beyond even our hemisphere. I am personally honored that President Fernandez is here with us. I’ve had an excellent series of discussions with the president and his ministers. I’m also delighted that Margarita is here as well. I have known Leonel and Margarita for many years. We were – he was very young and I was younger. (Laughter.) And it is a pleasure to be with him.

I also want to thank your foreign minister. Carlos, thank you for your hospitality and the great cooperation that we have. And again, Monsignor Nuñez, who I was with earlier from the Pontificia Catholic University, mother and teacher for the excellent education leadership, and the Minister of Education, with whom I toured the Rosa Duarte School.

This digital town hall seems particularly fitting to hold here in the Dominican Republic on the eve of the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago. Here in the Dominican Republic, I feel very much at home. We are linked by geography and history, by common values and cultural heritage. And now, we are finding new and innovative ways to engage one another, expand our dialogue, create new partnerships, solve the problems that we face together.

As someone who had the great honor of spending eight years representing New York in the United States Senate, I feel very close to this part of our world. And in particular, I think of the Avenue of the Americas in the middle of New York City. It has monuments honoring Latin American leaders, a square named for Juan Pablo Duarte, the great Dominican who helped this nation achieve its independence and whose sister, by the way, Rosa, started the school that I visited earlier.

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