•9:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Chief Israeli Negotiator Yitzhak Molho, at the Department of State.
•10:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries
of the Regional Bureaus, at the Department of State.
•10:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Save the Children Board Chair Anne Mulcahy, at the Department of State.
•11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto, at the Department of State:
•1:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Nigerian Foreign Minister Henry Odein Ajumogobia, at the Department of State:
•3:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers remarks at the 2010 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Mid-Year Conference, at the Department of State.
•5:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Department of State's Employee Affinity Groups, at the Department of State.
Top to bottom: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images, TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton is in Kosovo today, and many people there love the Clintons. In the capital, Pristina, Clinton visited an 11-foot statue of her husband Bill, who as U.S. president backed the 1999 NATO air campaign that stopped a crackdown by Serbian forces on Kosovo's ethnically Albanian majority. When he attended the unveiling of the statue last year, he was greeted with a giant cake bearing his portrait. And, both Hillary and Bill have been lauded on billboards in Pristina.
Update, 5:09 p.m.: At a "townterview" today, Clinton said the statue's bronze hair reminds her of how Bill Clinton looked when she first met him, back in the 1970s:
I have to say it's quite a statue. And my husband -- it still looks like he has bronze-colored hair, which I like. Because when I met him -- you know we've been married as of Monday 35 years -- so when I met him when we were in law school, he had very brownish, reddish hair. And the statue reminds me of that, so of course I like the statue. Nobody should paint it white. Don't paint it white. Keep it that color.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Today in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Secretary Clinton urged Bosnians to "reject the false promise of self-serving nationalist agendas." She made the remark while dedicating the new U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, saying that's the advice she gave to young people earlier in the day when they asked her how they can get to the goals they had for their country. Clinton said nationalist agendas "will lead only to more distrust, disunion, stagnation, and poverty. No one will create a stable and prosperous future for this country by stoking the animosities of the past."
Here's the remark in context:
I just finished an excellent event with the young people at the National Theater. Their questions were all about how to get to the goal that they believed in, a country that is part of Europe, part of NATO, but most importantly its full self, the promise being realized, the potential fulfilled. I urged them, as I urge every citizen, to reject the false promise of self-serving nationalist agendas. Those will lead only to more distrust, disunion, stagnation, and poverty. No one will create a stable and prosperous future for this country by stoking the animosities of the past.
The only way forward lies in working together toward shared aspirations -- so you can create the jobs, attract the investment, build a better life for everyone.
In the photo above, Clinton poses during the dedication of the new U.S. Embassy and the Robert C. Frasure Street in Sarajevo. Frasure was one of three Americans killed in an automobile accident near Sarajevo in 1995 while on their way to the besieged capital to attend peace talks. Next to Clinton are Frasure's wife Katharina and their daughters, Sarah and Virginia.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton flew into Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, yesterday, and today she has a many meetings in both that city and in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. In the photo below, she meets with Serbian President Boris Tadic to discuss the beginning of EU-sponsored talks between Serbia and Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia in 2008. (And for a bit more on what's been happening in Serbia lately, read the recent FP article "Battle in Belgrade," about this past Sunday's anti-gay rioting in the capital.)
The overall purpose of Clinton's visit to the Balkans, according to an Oct. 8 briefing by Assistant Secretary to State Philip Gordan, is to "underscore the continued commitment of the United States to supporting all the Balkan states as they build prosperous, peaceful, and democratic societies and move to take their rightful places as full members of the European and Euro-Atlantic community."
Tomorrow, Clinton will be in Kosovo, which based on the welcome billboard above, eagerly awaits America's top diplomat. (Kosovo also loves Bill Clinton, who as U.S. president backed the NATO air campaign that drove Serbian forces out of Kosovo in 1999. When he visited the Kosovar capital, Pristina, for the unveiling of a larger-than-life statue of himself last year, he was welcomed with a giant cake. And, he's already had his own billboard in Pristina.)
In Kosovo, Secretary Clinton will meet with the acting president, the prime minister, and the foreign minister. She'll also visit Gracanica, a Serb-majority municipality, and meet with community leaders there. Once she returns to Pristina, she will meet with leaders of women's groups as well as other civil society leaders.
Finally, on Thursday the 14th, Clinton will leave the Balkans and head to Brussels, where she'll meet with various EU officials and join U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates for a NATO ministerial meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of the various NATO countries. At the meeting, the ministers will discuss progress in the war in Afghanistan. On the evening of the 14th, Clinton will fly out of Europe and head back over the Atlantic to Washington.
Photos, top to bottom: ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images, MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
In honor of the 19th anniversary of Moldova's independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 27, 1991, Secretary Clinton made the following statement, praising the progress the country has made in "advancing transparent governance, human rights, and economic reform." Also, Clinton declared that the United States supports Moldova's "independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity," most likely an allusion to the whole Transnistria issue.
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Moldova on your country's 19th anniversary of independence this August 27.
The United States is committed to working with the Moldovan people as you continue building a prosperous and democratic nation. The Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact we signed earlier this year is a testament to the progress Moldova has made in advancing transparent governance, human rights, and economic reform. The United States supports Moldova's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and we look forward to helping Moldova advance along the path toward European integration.
I wish the Moldovan people a safe and festive celebration, and hope to continue strengthening and deepening the cooperation between our countries in the years ahead.
In the photo above, Clinton and Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat preside over the signing of a $262 million Millennium Challenge Corporation poverty-reduction grant for Moldova on Jan. 22 in Washington.
TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
In honor of the 19th anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 24, 1991, Secretary Clinton offers the following message to the people of Ukraine:
Congratulations, and happy Independence Day to all Ukrainians. This August 24th, you celebrate 19 years of independence for Ukraine, and you honor the democratic values that not only Ukrainians, but also Americans, share.
I had the privilege of visiting Ukraine in July. I met with your President, Foreign Minister, university students, so many others eager to share their ideas and talents with your country. It is a testament to the determination, persistence, and spirit of the Ukrainian people that your country has made such remarkable progress in a short time. The United States is proud to be your partner. We know you will continue working with the same energy and diligence to protect and strengthen your democratic institutions, advance civil society, promote transparent markets to lay the basis for a future of stability and prosperity.
In the coming year, our Strategic Partnership will enhance cooperation between our countries across a broad range of issues were we are already working -- trade, investment, economic growth, energy cooperation, political dialogue, the rule of law, regional security, and territorial integrity. We will also explore ways to expand our people-to-people exchanges.
The United States has stood by Ukraine and the people of Ukraine since Independence, and we will continue to support you as you work to achieve the full benefits of democracy and all of the blessings that go with it.
Here's the video of Clinton's message:
In the photo above, people yesterday carry a 75-meter-long Ukrainian flag during a National Flag Day celebration in Kiev.
Secretary Clinton honors the three Baltic countries -- Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania -- on the 70th anniversary of the Welles Declaration, made on July 23, 1940. On that date, acting U.S. Secretary of State Sumner Welles issued a statement condemning the Soviet Union's annexation of the three Baltic republics. (Maybe Clinton is trying to deliver a subtle message to Russia to not meddle too much in its "near abroad.")
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I join the governments and people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in marking the seventieth anniversary of the Welles Declaration this July 23, and reaffirm the strong bonds between our countries. Following the Soviet annexation of the three Baltic States in 1940, acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles declared that the United States would not recognize the incorporation of these states into the Soviet Union. More than 50 countries followed the United States in adopting this position. This milestone document supported the Baltic States as independent republics at a critical moment to ensure their international recognition and facilitate the continued operation of their diplomatic missions during 50 years of occupation.
The Welles Declaration is a testament to our longstanding support of the Baltic States and a tribute to each of our countries' commitment to the ideals of freedom and democracy. As Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania celebrate nearly 20 years of fully restored independence, we honor our Baltic friends as valued NATO allies, strong partners in Europe and on the international stage, and living proof of all that democracy and good governance can achieve.
(In the photo above, Clinton speaks in Tallinn, Estonia, on April 23 while attending a NATO foreign ministers meeting.)
RAIGO PAJULA/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton flies to Ukraine this morning, after paying her respects to the family of late Sen. Robert Byrd. While in the former Soviet republic, she'll work to reassure the country's leaders regarding their concerns over the "reset" in U.S.-Russia relations.
I wouldn't see it [reassurance] as the purpose of the trip. We don't think … that anybody should have any concerns about the new and better relationship with Russia.… But to the extent that anyone has concerns about our Russia policy, we're happy to discuss them and … it will be a good opportunity for the secretary to explain how we're thinking about the reset, how we're thinking about European security, regional security.
Maybe reassurance isn't the purpose of the trip and maybe nobody should be concerned about warmer U.S.-Russia ties (which don't seem to have taken much of a hit from the spy-ring case), but the reality is that many people are indeed concerned and thus Clinton will probably be doing a lot of reassuring.
What else will Clinton be doing in Ukraine? Gordon said at the briefing that Clinton will be focusing on the U.S.-Ukraine "strategic partnership" and that she'll be:
following up on President Obama's meeting with President [Viktor] Yanukovych at the Nuclear Security Summit, where Ukraine took the historic decision to get rid of all of its highly enriched uranium.… [T]hat decision is being implemented as we speak, and the secretary will have a chance to follow up on how that is proceeding.
Among other things, Clinton will also meet with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and hold a town-hall meeting at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.
(In the photo above, Clinton shakes hands with Ukraine's then-Foreign Minister Petro Poroshenko on Dec. 9, 2009, in Washington. Kostyantyn Gryshchenko is now the current foreign minister.)
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
In today's roundup of Clinton-related headlines:
Russian spy ring: A longtime friend and confidant of Hillary and Bill Clinton, Alan Patricof, was apparently targeted by Cynthia Murphy, a member of the alleged Russian spy ring.
Packing her bags: Clinton departs tomorrow for Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.
Bill earns millions: Bill Clinton earned $7.5 million last year from 36 paid speeches, according to Hillary Clinton's annual financial disclosure report, released June 28. Since leaving the presidency in 2001, he has earned $65 million from speeches.
Saudi Arabia: Clinton spent yesterday afternoon with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, seen in the photo below.
Twitter trouble: Two State Department employees whom Clinton had praised for their use of e-diplomacy went a little overboard with Twitter when in Syria.
Party for Clinton's "body woman": Clinton hosted a party for her top aide/"body woman" Huma Abedin and her fiancé, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), yesterday, if this New York Magazine post is right.
Space policy: Clinton remarked on Obama's national space policy on June 28.
U.S. State Dept./Flickr
In her June 24 remarks to the U.S.-Russia "Civil Society to Civil Society" (C2C) summit, which focused on collaboration between U.S. and Russian NGOs, Secretary Clinton had this to say about Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:
In one of my early discussions with Minister Lavrov, he said, 'Well, you know, we don't like it when you have so many NGOs coming to Russia.' And I said, 'Well, send Russian NGOs to the United States. We'll be happy to have them.' And I really mean that. I think the more exchange and the more cross-fertilization the better.
Clinton also highlighted the risks that Russian activists and journalist face:
[T]he United States remains deeply concerned about the safety of journalists and human rights activists in Russia. Among others, we remember the murdered American journalist Paul Klebnikov; the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in pretrial detention last year. We continue to urge that justice be delivered in these cases. We're committed to working with you to find ways to reduce threats and protect the lives of activists.
ROD LAMKEY JR/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton released her happy Fourth of July message to her fellow Americans quite early, on June 25. Turns out, she won't be in the country on America's Independence Day because she has important work to do in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus -- some of it related to advancing the freedoms and values Americans celebrate on July 4.
Clinton will be visiting Ukraine, Poland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia from July 1 to 5, the State Department announced Friday, June 25. In Ukraine, she'll meet President Viktor Yanukovych, who unlike his predecessor, does not support Ukraine joining NATO. In Poland, she'll celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Community of Democracies, a network of democracies dedicated to strengthening democratic norms worldwide.
In the Caucasus, Clinton will first visit Armenia and Azerbaijan, which have a long-running feud over Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said during June 25's press briefing that the United States has "invested a great deal of energy" in improving relations among Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey and that Clinton's visit is a "reflection of our commitment to work to resolve outstanding issues that have prevented normalized relations among those countries."
Clinton will conclude her trip in Georgia, which fought a war with Russia in August 2008 over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Crowley said of the visit to Georgia, "[T]he secretary's trip there will be a tangible manifestation of our ongoing commitment to Georgia's territorial integrity."
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
It has been a sad time in Poland with the death of the Polish president and much of the country's leadership in Saturday's plane crash. That day, Secretary Clinton offered condolences for the people of Poland, and among her remarks she said:
The Polish people have endured more than their share of sorrow, but they have always shown resilience and resolve in the face of adversity -- and I know they will pull together in solidarity to grieve this loss.
Above, Clinton signs the condolence book at the Polish Embassy in Washington yesterday as Polish Ambassador Robert Kupiecki looks on.
The Polish delegation that died in the crash had been on its way to Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, in which members of the Soviet secret police killed more than 20,000 captured Polish military officers. On Wednesday of last week, Clinton's remarks about the 70th anniversary included the following:
This meeting of the current generation of Polish and Russian leaders is a sign of a much better present and of the hope for an increasingly bright and peaceful future. We welcome the strengthening of the Russian-Polish relationship this mutual tribute symbolizes, and hope that it promises the continued growth of cooperation in Europe .
It's so sad that Saturday's meeting never happened.
Update, April 12, 2010, 12:10 p.m.: Clinton's remarks at the signing of the condolence book include:
So Mr. Ambassador, we Americans stand with you now and forever. Not only the many proud Polish Americans who grieve with you today, but every American who admires what Poland has built, admires what Poland stands for, admires the Polish people.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday morning Secretary Clinton had a phone conversation with her Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (seen above with Clinton in March 2009), and urged him to "push hard" on a new U.S.-Russia arms-reduction treaty so that it can be finished in the next couple of weeks, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said at yesterday's press briefing.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1), signed in 1991, expired Dec. 5, and Russia and the United States have been negotiating a new treaty, which is supposed to be close to completion. This new one should reduce operationally deployed nuclear warheads from 1,770 to 2,200 on each side to 1,500 to 1,675.
New treaty? Sounds like Clinton and team Obama are making headway in their efforts to "reset" relations with Russia.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
During a speech yesterday at the NATO Strategic Concept Seminar, Secretary Clinton said she wants "a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that … draws NATO and Russia closer together."
Russia is worried that NATO is creeping eastward and that the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia might join. Thus, Russian leaders probably weren't too happy when Clinton said, "We were glad to see the Alliance welcome Albania and Croatia last year. And there can be no question that NATO will continue to keep its doors open to new members."
Clinton also said that Russia has nothing to worry about. She declared: "Let me state this clearly and unambiguously: While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them."
She also said:
And we intend to use the NATO-Russia Council as a forum for frank discussions about areas where we disagree.… We will use it to challenge the assertion put forward in Russia's new military doctrine that NATO's enlargement and its global actions constitute a military danger to Russia."
On a more humorous note, when asked whether she could imagine Russia ever being a NATO member, she generated laughter from the audience when she replied, "Well, I can imagine it. I'm not sure the Russians can imagine it."
Below, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright greets Clinton as she steps to the stage to give her speech.
Photos: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday evening at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Secretary Clinton once again declared that the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall should serve as a "call to action" to "advance freedom" for the millions of people around the world who still face obstacles and lack opportunity. In her remarks, she said:
Two decades later, we remember. But it is also a call to action. There are still millions across our world who are separated -- maybe not by walls, maybe not by barbed wire, although that still exists -- but who are separated from loved ones, who are kept down and behind, unable to fulfill their own destinies. So as beneficiaries of this great bequest we inherited in 1989, those of us gathered here tonight, leaders and citizens alike, we must pledge ourselves to work together to advance freedom beyond its current frontiers so that people everywhere are afforded the opportunities to pursue their dreams and live up to their God-given potential.
Above: Clinton reviews an honor guard carrying torches at Bellevue Palace -- the home of the German president -- in Berlin.
Below: Clinton appears on the big screens that flanked the Brandenburg Gate yesterday. In front are some of the 1,000 giant dominoes that were toppled to symbolize the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Check out this cool video of the dominoes falling.)
Photos, top to bottom: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images, WOLFGANG RATTAY/AFP/Getty Images
It looks cold and rainy in Berlin right now, but Clinton is there in full force:
Clinton delivers a speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate during celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (left), French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, German President Horst Köhler, Berlin's Mayor Klaus Wowereit, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attend celebrations near the Brandenburg Gate for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Approximately 1,000 giant foam dominoes, painted by children and artists from around the world, are meant to symbolically represent the fall of communism across Eastern Europe and are the highlight of the celebrations.
Photos, top to bottom: WOLFGANG RATTAY/AFP/Getty Images, Hennig Schacht-Pool/Getty Images, MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images
Last night at a gala banquet in Berlin, Secretary Clinton received an Atlantic Council Freedom Award on behalf of the American people. Above, she holds the award while posing with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, an Atlantic Council board member who introduced Clinton.
In delivering the evening's keynote address, Clinton said the festivities surrounding the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall "should be a call to action, not just a commemoration of past actions. That call should spur us to continue our cooperation and to look for new ways that we can meet the challenges that freedom faces now."
She went on to say:
We need to form an even stronger partnership to bring down the walls of the 21st century and to confront those who hide behind them: the suicide bombers, those who murder and maim girls whose only wish is to go to school, leaders who choose their own fortunes over the fortunes of their people."
Very inspiring words indeed -- calling for people to use the spirit that animated the wall's fall to fight terrorism and authoritarian regimes. Hopefully it will move people to action, but Thomas Carothers, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is skeptical that Europeans will buy into the Bush-era "trope" of linking the Cold War and extremism. He told Agence France-Presse via e-mail:
Facing difficult pressures on Afghanistan, the Obama administration marked the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by revving up a rhetorical trope that President Bush favored. … Europeans and others never found it very convincing under Bush. … I suspect they won't like it much better now."
But between Clinton's star power and President Obama's hope-oriented charisma, the new U.S. administration has an inspiring and influential presence that Bush never had. Sometimes you just need the right messenger for your message.
Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton unveiled a statue of 19th-century American poet Walt Whitman at Moscow State University today. The statue -- from the D.C. mayor -- reciprocated a statue of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin that was presented to the U.S. capital from the Moscow mayor in 2000. The Pushkin statue stands on the campus of George Washington University, at 22nd and H streets NW.
Many people think Whitman was gay, and Russian gay-rights activists had called on Clinton to denounce anti-gay attitudes. Clinton did not mention gay rights in her brief remarks at the unveiling, but she has definitely done much to promote human rights and openness during her visit to Russia.
Photo: Valeriy Yevseyev, U.S. State Department
Secretary Clinton hasn't been shy about pushing for human rights and openness in Russia. Yesterday she met with human rights activists and opposition journalists in Spaso House, the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Russia. Today, she did an interview on Ekho Moskvy radio (great photos here) in which she continued to press for human rights.
During the interview (transcript here), she said:
I have no doubt in my mind that democracy is in Russia's best interests, that respecting human rights, an independent judiciary, a free media are in the interests of building a strong, stable political system that provides a platform for broadly shared prosperity. We will continue to say that and we will continue to support those who also stand for those values."
Referring to the killing of journalists in Russia, which she discussed at Spaso House, Clinton said:
I mentioned the killings of journalists, and I said that this is a matter of grave concern not just to the United States, but to the people of Russia, and not just to the activists, but to people who worry that unsolved killings are a very serious challenge to order and to the fair functioning of society, and that we did not believe that enough was being done to make sure that no one had impunity from prosecution who might have been involved in any such criminal acts."
It's great that Clinton spoke up for human rights and didn't let realpolitik get in the way, as some accuse her of doing in China in February.
Photo: Valeriy Yevseyev, U.S. State Deptartment
I just returned from the Brookings Institution, where I heard Secretary Clinton deliver a speech previewing the United States' priorities during next week's U.N. General Assembly session.
Before diving into her speech though, Clinton remarked on President Obama's announcement yesterday of changes in the U.S. missile defense program. She said the new system stemmed from a "lengthy and in-depth assessment" of the threats posed by Iran and is based on the United States' "best understanding of Iran's capability."
The new system will "deploy sooner," be "more comprehensive," and have a "better capacity to protect." Clinton said it will "deploy technology that's actually proven" to work and "does what missile defense is actually supposed to do." She added that criticisms of the new system are "not connected to the facts."
Then Clinton delved into her official remarks. Nonproliferation of nuclear weapons will be the main topic that the United States will address next week. Clinton will lead the U.S. delegation to a conference on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the first time that a U.S. secretary of state has attended such a conference.
Another key topic for the United States next week will be Iran. The issue isn't Iran's right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, she said. Rather, she firmly stressed, the problem is that for years Iran has not lived up to its responsibilities to demonstrate that its program is "exclusively for peaceful purposes."
Clinton said that the United States' past refusal to engage Iran had yielded no progress and added, "We remain ready to engage." (Whether Iran is ready to engage on talking nukes, however, is an entirely different story.)
Some other tidbits:
•Clinton said the United States and Iraq have entered a new, "more mature partnership."
•Clinton will be chairing a session on women, peace, and security at the U.N. General Assembly session. She said, "If women are free from violence and afforded their rights," they can be "change agents."
•On corruption, Clinton said it was a "security problem," not just a "good government concern."
•Finally, at the end, Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott asked Clinton about U.S. health-care reform. Clinton said, "We're going to be successful," but went on to say it "won't be pretty."
Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday, among other things, Secretary Clinton, as shown above, attended President Obama's speech on closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Sitting with her are U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), far left, and CIA Director Leon Panetta.)
Today, she moves on to accepting an award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes. One of the main issues the group appears to tackle is the highly sensitive "FYROM"/"Republic of Macedonia" name issue. Greece wants the "Republic of Macedonia" to instead be called the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (or "FYROM" for short). The U.S. State Department currently states on its background note for the country that the "official name" is "Republic of Macedonia." To people not familiar with the centuries of history behind the name dispute, it might sound like a trivial issue, but actually it's sensitive enough that it caused rioting last year and is affecting "FYROM"/"Republic of Macedonia"'s ability to enter NATO and the European Union.
The official schedule for today:
9:30 a.m. Receive Award from the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes in the Treaty Room.
11:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Karel De Gucht, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium.
Update: When asked about the name issue at the award presentation, Clinton said:
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Well, we have been very committed to that. I have spoken out about the need to resolve the name issue in a way that is acceptable to both parties. And Deputy Secretary [James] Steinberg was recently in the region making that case. We have picked up this issue with a lot of commitment early on in our administration. Obviously, this has to be resolved by the parties themselves, but we are urging that resolution. We think it is in everyone's best interest. As you said, it would open the way for movement toward another nation joining the European Union, which we think promotes stability in the region, so we are very committed to doing what the United States can to facilitate that.
As mentioned yesterday, Secretary Clinton is leading the U.S. delegation at a donors conference on Haiti today. She also has a couple of other meetings later in the day as well, including one with the Georgian foreign minister, whom FP interviewed in January.
Her official schedule:
7:45 a.m. Breakfast with Vice President Biden
9:00 a.m. Attend Haiti Donors Conference at the Inter-American Development Bank, Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center, 1330 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
3:45 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Grigol Vashadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
4:15 p.m. Meeting with State Councilor Liu Yandong [another woman, by the way] of the People’s Republic of China.
I couldn't find any Getty photos of Clinton in Haiti, but here's the most recent one I could find of her in the Caribbean. It was during the presidential primaries last year, when she campaigned in Puerto Rico.
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) waves to supporters from a truck as she drives through the streets May 31, 2008, in Cataño, Puerto Rico. Clinton is campaigning in Puerto Rico ahead of the caucus to be held on Sunday [June 1].
And while I was searching Getty Images for Hillary-in-the-Caribbean photos, I came upon this old romantic one from the archives:
U.S. President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton dance on the beach of Magens Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on Jan. 4, 1998, shortly after taking a swim. The president and his family concluded their vacation on the tropical island and are returning to Washington.
Photos, top to bottom: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
As some of you know, President Obama and Secretary Clinton received a "3 a.m. phone call" (OK, it was actually 4:30 a.m.) in Prague on Sunday morning after North Korea launched a missile. (An April 6 Congressional Quarterly article I accessed on Nexis confirms that both received the call.)
Now here's an interesting nugget from an Associated Press analysis piece, "Hillary Warned There'd Be Days Like This." The article states:
In all fairness, Obama was working the phones too, consulting his top aides, but it looks like when the 3 a.m. calls come ringing, Clinton is right there, too, doing 3 a.m. diplomacy.
Clinton, now Obama's top diplomat who no longer hawks the 3 a.m. campaign line, was traveling with the president. She worked the phones, and Obama issued the expected words of condemnation. Calls went out for the U.N. Security Council to convene.
Wow, Secretary Clinton's day is yet again packed with bilaterals:
11:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Ivailo Kalfin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria.
12:00 p.m. Remarks to Department of State Spring Interns, Stay-in-School, and Cooperative Education Program Students.
1:15 p.m. Lunch with Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
2:30 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Samuel Lewis Navarro, First Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama.
3:00 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Elias Murr, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Lebanon.
4:00 p.m. Bilateral with The Honorable Stephen Smith, M.P., Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia.
5:00 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Dr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco.
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