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Posts Tagged ‘India’

Hillary Clinton enjoys dance performance in Chennai

In India, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton on November 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

Clinton meets Mumbai attack survivors

In India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 20, 2009 at 7:09 am

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Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, right, smiles as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on during Clinton's meeting with a group of Indian businessmen, in Mumbai, India, Saturday, July 18, 2009. Clinton opened a three-day visit to India on Saturday by attending a ceremony commemorating the terrorist attack in this coastal city last November that killed 166 people and raised Indian tensions with Pakistan. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, right, smiles as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on during Clinton's meeting with a group of Indian businessmen, in Mumbai, India, Saturday, July 18, 2009. Clinton opened a three-day visit to India on Saturday by attending a ceremony commemorating the terrorist attack in this coastal city last November that killed 166 people and raised Indian tensions with Pakistan. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

A garlanded Clinton shakes hands with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh upon her arrival at the ITC Green Centre Building in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, on July 19.

A garlanded Clinton shakes hands with Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh upon her arrival at the ITC Green Centre Building in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi, on July 19.

By James Fontanella-Khan in Mumbai

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, on Saturday met survivors of last November’s terror attacks in Mumbai at the Taj Mahal hotel, where 31 people were killed, in a symbolically charged show of solidarity for India’s fight against terrorism.

/The conscious decision to start her five-day visit to India in Mumbai, where 166 people were killed by gunmen, and inside one of the hotels whose interiors became killing fields during siege, have been lauded by Indian officials and Mumbaikers.

“We have a very strong sense of solidarity and sympathy [with India] having gone through what we did on 9/11,” said Mrs Clinton.

“Both our people have experienced the senseless and searing effects of violent extremism,” Mrs Clinton wrote in a condolence book for the victims, as she said that the war to “rid the world of hatred and extremism” needed a global effort.

Shashi Tharoor, India’s junior foreign minister, said: “Her decision to spend two nights under that roof [of the Taj Mahal hotel] is symbolically a very important sign of understanding how much this matters to us.”

During a private ceremony with the hotel staff from the Taj and the nearby Trident-Oberoi, where 32 people were killed, Mrs Clinton praised the courage of those who risked their lives to protect guests trapped inside the hotels during the three-day long siege.

The US secretary of state also paid special tribute to Karambir Kang, the Taj Mahal’s general manager, who lost his wife and two children, who were trapped in a top floor that had been set alight by the terrorists.

Mrs Clinton, who will travel to New Delhi on Sunday, said she would focus on strengthening relations between the US and India throughout the trip, in particular over sensitive matters such as climate change and counter-terrorism.

However, the US secretary of state tried to avoid making any reference to India’s thorny relations with Pakistan, after Indian officials had expressed their concerns that the US was trying to pressure the neighbouring countries towards formal peace talks.

“Clearly, any decision that is made between the governments of India and Pakistan to begin talking together, to explore the very difficult issues between them, is up to those governments,” said Mrs Clinton.

India and Pakistan on Thursday signalled a new thaw in their strained relations, as Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, and his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani, jointly affirmed their commitment to work together to combat terrorism.

However, Mr Singh said formal peace talks could not resume “unless and until [the] terrorist heads who shook Mumbai are properly accounted for, [and the] perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to book”.

New Delhi blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamist group, for the attacks and demanded that Islamabad bring the perpetrators to justice, who India believes may have been supported by agencies within Pakistan.

Mrs Clinton also met with a group of business leaders including Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Group and Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest man and owner of Reliance Industries, to discuss ways to increase co-operation and tackle climate change.

The US secretary of state urged India to act firmly against climate change and not to commit the same mistakes the US made in the past.

“We acknowledge now with President Obama that we have made mistakes in the United States, and we along with other developed countries have contributed most significantly to the problem that we face with climate change,” she said. ”We are hoping a great country like India will not make the same mistakes.”

Clinton to raise her profile with speech next week

In foreign policy, Global News, healing, India, Iran, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Russia, United States on July 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

ClintonSling

Although the speech will address many foreign-policy issues, it is also meant to raise Clinton’s profile and prove that she is loyal to President Obama, her rival during last year’s Democratic primary. Clinton has a tricky balancing act: She must be loyal to Obama’s vision while also making the secretary-of-state job her own and giving it her own personal touch.

from Rozen’s article:

•** Hillary’s hard cast has been removed, and she’s in physical therapy six days a week for the next six to eight weeks. (It really must have been quite a fall. I’m assuming she is fortunate enough to have health insurance that covers all those sessions.)

•** White House aides have nixed plans to hire Sidney Blumenthal — a longtime advisor to Bill Clinton — as a State Department consultant and speechwriter. Secretary Clinton had sought to hire him to raise her profile.

Clinton, Nursing Injured Elbow, Hails Foreign Policy Progress at Six-Month Mark

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently has been absent on the world stage due in large part to her broken elbow. But she says the administration is making strides in foreign policy…

The broken elbow that has kept Secretary of State Hillary Clinton off the world stage for several weeks did not prevent her from addressing her department employees and interns Friday, as she began to mark her first six months on the job.

Clinton has not been accompanying the president on trips out of the country nearly as much as her predecessors did. When President Obama returns this weekend from his current trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana, he will have visited a total of nine countries without his secretary of state in their less than six months in office.

But aides dismiss suggestions that Obama and Clinton are growing apart. Indeed, on Friday Clinton hailed the foreign policy progress she and the president have made, saying the administration is patching up “strained alliances” and striving to influence “adversaries” to change their behavior. Making sure to throw in a couple cracks about her injury, Clinton forecast tough challenges ahead but said the administration is making strides.

“We’ve been on this job for almost half a year. We’ve been working hard and some of us have the scars to prove it,” Clinton, her arm still in a sling, said to laughter. “I have not been throwing sharp elbows,” she joked. “We are seeing encouraging results from all of our efforts, including my physical therapy.”

The secretary of state plans to make what is being called a major policy speech next week at the Council on Foreign Relations to mark, more officially, her first six months in office. She seemed to give a preview Friday, crediting the administration with making strides toward restoring ties with countries around the world.

“We are repairing strained alliances. We’re cultivating new partnerships. We’re working to engage and change the behavior of adversaries. And we are prioritizing development along with diplomacy as part of our global agenda,” she said.

The administration is grappling with a host of international challenges, not all of which look any closer to being resolved. Speaking from Italy, Obama on Friday continued to condemn the Iranian crackdown on pro-reform demonstrators in the wake of the country’s disputed elections. The breakdown in the wake of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election has imperiled U.S. hopes of restoring ties with the Islamic regime. North Korea also continues to defy international warnings by conducting repeated missile tests.

And the administration was recently caught in a difficult spot, having to stick up for leftist Honduran President Manuel Zelaya after he was ousted from office.

But Obama seemed to make some progress toward resetting relations with Russia during his talks this week with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow.

Clinton did not go on that trip, but officials said she would have, if not for her broken elbow. It’s unclear whether Clinton will accompany the globe-trotting Obama more in the latter half of the year. Clinton has met up with Obama in Europe, Trinidad and Tobago and Egypt this year, but the president has gone without her to a slew of countries.

Like her predecessors, Clinton has kept a vigorous international schedule of her own. She’s visited Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Central America, as well as Canada and Mexico, on her own time. Clinton plans to head to India on a separate trip next week, after her policy address.

Clinton said Friday that the Obama administration is facing very high expectations on the world stage. “It may not be fair, but that’s kind of the way it is,” she said, noting that foreign leaders have made “very aggressive demands on our country.”

Clinton took a shot at former President George W. Bush, saying at least one foreign leader told her that the reason they didn’t make such demands over the last eight years was because, “We knew we would never get a response.” Clinton added: “We don’t have the luxury of being bystanders.” Clinton said that the department has had to work “overtime” to deal with what she called an “unprecedented set of challenges” on the world stage. “We don’t have the luxury of deciding which issues to deal with,” she said. “We need to work better, work smarter and work together with more partners in and beyond our government.”

Clinton also announced she would be instituting a new review process within the State Department to assess the agency’s needs and progress every four years.
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