"Viva Mexico!" Secretary Clinton says in her bicentennial message to the United States' southern neighbor, which today celebrates the 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain on Sept. 16, 1810. Times have been tough lately in Mexico, with drug violence and flooding (as shown in a recent FP slide show), but that hasn't kept Mexicans from celebrating. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Mexico City in festivities. (In the file photo above from last year -- Sept. 15, 2009 -- Mexican President Felipe Calderón waves the flag to start off that year's Independence Day celebrations. I don't yet have access to good photos from this year's festivities.)
The video of Clinton's message, with Spanish subtitles, is below, followed by a transcript. (Also, not to be forgotten, Papua New Guinea also celebrates its Independence Day today -- 35 years! Clinton's message for the Pacific country is posted at the very bottom.)
Happy Bicentennial, Mexico. This September 16th, we honor the heroes of Mexico who first declared their independence from the Spanish Crown 200 years ago, and to all those who rose up to defend Mexico's ideals of democracy, liberty, and justice during the revolution 100 years later. Thanks to their sacrifice, Mexico today is a strong, modern country with a thriving economy, and one of the world's most admired cultures.Our nations are connected by the busiest border in the world, by a rich economic partnership, by a vibrant exchange of cultures, and by the millions of Mexican Americans who have contributed so much to our own nation. Our common history and our common future gives us the courage and the foundation to build an even stronger base for our work together.
Mexico and the United States share so much. With confidence in our democratic institutions, our shared values, and our unwavering friendship, we will continue working together to confront the challenges in the 21st century, and to build prosperity and peace for all of our people.
As we celebrate 200 years of your independence, we look forward to a long future of friendship and close cooperation. Viva Mexico!
Clinton's message for Papua New Guinea:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the citizens of Papua New Guinea on your 35th Independence Day this September 16. The United States and Papua New Guinea work closely together on many issues of mutual interest, from fostering economic growth and advancing opportunities for women and girls, to combating climate change and protecting the environment. We are committed to deepening our partnership with Papua New Guinea both bilaterally and through our involvement in regional institutions including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Post-Forum Dialogue. Today, we join in celebrating your history and reaffirm the bonds of friendship and cooperation between our nations. I wish all citizens of Papua New Guinea a safe and happy celebration, and continued peace and prosperity in the coming year.
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday Secretary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden hosted a lunch for Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Mexican first lady Margarita Zavala. In introducing them for a toast, as seen above, Clinton said of the United States and Mexico:
We know our futures are intertwined, that we will succeed or fail as one, and that the well-being, security, and prosperity of each of our peoples will be shaped by what we do together.
Clinton also had a moment of bipartisan hugging when she embraced Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), as seen below.
Photos: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton speaks next to Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Patricia Espinosa during a news conference in Mexico City today. Clinton and a U.S. delegation visited Mexico to discuss joint efforts to tackle the outrageous violence perpetrated by Mexico's powerful drug cartels.
Update, March 23: Here's a transcript of Clinton's remarks and a video the news conference.
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
A quick list of all things Hillary Clinton:
•ISRAEL: On Friday, Secretary Clinton made a stern call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the East Jerusalem housing-project* announcement made during Vice President Joe Biden's visit last week. Clinton also told CNN's Jill Dougherty that Israel's announcement was "insulting" to the United States. (See video below.) Clinton also spoke with NBC's Andrea Mitchell about the same topic (with transcript here and video excerpt here).
•RUSSIA/NUKES: Clinton is headed to Russia this week, where she'll meet with President Dmitry Medvedev to discuss negotiations that have been going on for the new START arms-reduction treaty.
•HUMAN RIGHTS: Remember how I mentioned that the United States isn't on the list of country's in the State Department's annual "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices"? Well, it turns out that Clinton announced that the State Department will be preparing a human rights report on the United States itself.
•HAITI: This morning, Clinton (as seen above) hosted an appreciation event for employees, diplomats, and volunteers from the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for their work after January's devastating earthquake. (Right before than, Clinton attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for employee showers at the State Department's Harry S. Truman Building.)
•WOMEN: CNN's Jill Dougherty asks, "How can Clinton help women?"
•MEXICO: Clinton offered her "deepest sympathies" to the family and friends of the three people connected to the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, who were murdered over the weekend.
•PAKISTAN/TERRORISM: Clinton extended her "deepest sympathy" for those affected by the multiple bombings in Lahore, Pakistan, on Friday.
*Update, March 23: The phrase "East Jerusalem housing-project announcement" corrects the original phrase, "settlements announcement."
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Hillary's official Friday schedule is once again light, but that doesn't mean she isn't busy. On March 31 she'll be in The Hague in the Netherlands to attend a conference about Afghanistan. The big question: Will she actually be meeting with Iranian officials there for a genuine discussion, or will she be like Condoleezza Rice and merely exchange "pleasantries" with them? Perhaps it's a question she's working to answer this weekend.
Meanwhile, here's the text of President Obama's announcement this morning on Afghanistan and Pakistan. It mentions a new "Contact Group" that will include Iran.
9:25 a.m. Press announcement with the president
As promised, here is a photo summary of Secretary Clinton's visit so far to Mexico:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at the presidential hangar in Mexico City on March 25.
Clinton shakes hands with Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister Patricia Espinosa after a press conference in Mexico City on March 25. Clinton was in Mexico for a two-day visit.
At the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on March 25, Clinton listens intently to Telmo Jiménez during a meeting with indigenous students who got scholarships to the United States.
At the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on March 25, Clinton poses for photographers with Mexican indigenous students who were given scholarships to the United States.
Clinton listens to explanations from the rector of the Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe, Diego Monroy, during a visit to the basilica in Mexico City on March 26.
Clinton listens to the federal Public Security Secretary Genaro García Luna during a visit to the command center of the Mexican Federal Police in Mexico City on March 26.
Photos, top to bottom: ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images, LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images, ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images, ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images, ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images, LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images
As indicated by her official schedule, Secretary Clinton is spending a second day in Mexico:
ON FOREIGN TRAVEL
I will have photos posted later today. I have some other FP tasks to complete that have a noon deadline.
Secretary Clinton's official schedule for today:
ON FOREIGN TRAVEL
Clinton is on a two-day visit to Mexico, where will use her diplomatic skills to discuss free trade and Mexico's drug violence. (To read about how the violence might be affecting some people's travel plans, check out the recent FP photo essay: Spring Break Gone Wrong?)
I searched Getty for a Mexico-related Hillary image, and of the very few I could find, the one below stood out. I'm sure there'll be a ton of new images over the next two days, and I'll post the best ones.
U.S. President Bill Clinton walks with Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, followed by first ladies Hillary Clinton and Nilda Patricia Zedillo, to greet guests during a state dinner at the White House on Oct. 11, 1995, in Washington.
Photo: JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton will begin her day with the president of the Pacific island country of Palau, which -- if you've been paying attention to the FP quizzes --is one of seven countries that uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency and is one of 24 countries that does not have a standing army.
She wraps up her day with a Mexico-themed dinner. As you may be aware, the State Department recently issued a travel alert for U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico. The drug-related violence there is spinning out of control. It might even have some American college students thinking twice about their spring break plans, as described in my most recent FP photo essay, "Spring Break Gone Wrong?"
11 a.m. Courtesy call by His Excellency Johnson Toribiong, president of the Republic of Palau
11:30 a.m. Remarks and Q&A at Women's History Month celebration
2:30 p.m. Attend the president's bilateral with His Excellency Yang Jiechi, minister of foreign affairs of the People's Republic of China, at the White House
5:15 p.m. Meeting with President Obama at the White House
6 p.m. Policy dinner: Mexico
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