At this point, the New START arms-control treaty with Russia has been endorsed by:
By now it should be a no-brainer that the U.S. Senate should ratify this important treaty, but some senators still need convincing.
Thus, today in a Washington Post op-ed, Secretary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are calling on the U.S. Senate to ratify New START. The duo write that the treaty will allow U.S. inspectors to resume inspecting Russian nuclear forces, including 18 short-notice inspections per year, after a break in inspections since the previous START Treaty -- negotiated by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush -- expired in December 2009. New START will also put into effect a verification regime under which the United States and Russia will reduce their arsenals to 1,550 strategic warheads each.
Clinton and Gates write that the treaty will promote key U.S. national security objectives, including: "Reducing the number of deployed nuclear weapons while retaining a safe and effective deterrent; providing direct insight into Russia's nuclear arsenal; and creating a more stable, predictable and cooperative relationship between the world's two leading nuclear powers."
The two secretaries stress that the New START treaty will neither limit the United States in deploying missile defenses nor constrain its modernization of nuclear forces. It also won't restrict U.S. deployment of conventional weapons, "including strike systems that could potentially hit a target anywhere on the globe in less than an hour."
This isn't a Democrat vs. Republican issue. Clinton and Gates point out that every U.S. president since the start of the Cold War has favored verifiable arms-control agreements and that the Senate has wholeheartedly approved these deals. In 1992 in a 93-6 vote, it approved the START Treaty, negotiated under Reagan and the first Bush. In 2003 in a 95-0 vote, it approved the Moscow Treaty, negotiated by George W. Bush.
The Senate needs to push New START through so U.S. inspectors can get back to inspecting those Russian missile silos and the United States can continue advancing its national security.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton said yesterday that the United States is "steadfast" in its commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and called on Russia to end its occupation of Georgia. In a news conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi she said:
The United States is steadfast in its commitment to Georgia's
sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States does not
recognize spheres of influence.
"Spheres of influence" refers to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's belief that Russia ought to have special influence in the former Soviet republics.
Clinton called on Russia to end the occupation, saying:
We continue to call for Russia to abide by the August 2008 cease-fire
commitment signed by President Saakashvili and President Medvedev,
including ending the occupation and withdrawing Russian troops from
South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their pre-conflict positions.
During Clinton's visit, she and Saakashvili appeared to get along quite well. The two took a stroll together, as seen below, and in the oldest section of Tbilisi, as soon above, they stopped at a cafe to toast with Georgian wine -- a Teliani Valley satrapezo.
(For some reason, the photo of the two strolling isn't showing up, but you can check it out by clicking here.)
Photos: IRAKLI GEDENIDZE/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 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 and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were on the phone yesterday discussing the situation in Kyrgyzstan, where fighting between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks has resulted in an estimated 2,000 deaths and almost 400,000 ethnic Uzbeks fleeing to or across the border with Uzbekistan. The country still plans to hold a June 27 referendum on a new constitution, despite a state of emergency in some regions.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a statement yesterday:
[Clinton and Lavrov] agreed that the issue of the upcoming referendum is the sovereign decision of Kyrgyzstan to make and agreed to encourage the authorities of Kyrgyzstan to conduct it according to international standards with the monitoring support of OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] and others. The ministers also discussed coordination of U.S. and Russian humanitarian assistance and other support to Kyrgyzstan to help its authorities restore security, stability, and reconciliation among all citizens of Kyrgyzstan.
(In the photo above, Kyrgyz refugees sit under their tent on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border on June 19.)
VICTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday, Secretary Clinton helped make the world a safer place by signing the Plutonium Disposition Protocol with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, as seen in these photos. Under the agreement, the United States and Russia will dispose of enough weapons-grade plutonium to make nearly 17,000 nuclear weapons.
At the signing Clinton said:
Under the agreement we are about to sign, the United States and Russia will each irreversibly and transparently dispose of no less than 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium. Together, that is enough material for nearly 17,000 nuclear weapons. And we will put in place the framework and infrastructure needed to dispose of even more plutonium from defense programs in the future.
The agreement provides for monitoring and inspections that will ensure that this material will never again be used for weapons or any other military purpose. By using civil nuclear reactors to dispose of the plutonium, we gain an added benefit -- to produce electricity for our people, even as we remove a potential serious danger.
Photos by Brendan Hoffman/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
This morning, Secretary Clinton spoke at a White House news conference about the new U.S.-Russia nuclear-arms reduction treaty that President Obama just concluded with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (which involved much hard work and diplomacy from Clinton herself).
As FP's The Cable reports, Senate Republicans might not be too gung-ho about ratifying the treaty due to concerns about how it might hurt U.S. missile defense efforts. Regarding Clinton's take on the issue, The Cable reports:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton diplomatically avoided a direct question about missile defense at this morning's briefing.
"We're focused on ratification, we're going to engage deeply and broadly with all members of the Senate," she said. "We're confident we'll be able to make the case for ratification."
She also pointed out that almost all previous arms reductions treaty garnered overwhelming support in the Senate. "There should be very broad, bipartisan support," Clinton said.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/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
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
•Secretary Clinton will be in Germany next month to attend a "freedom party" to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Giant dominoes will tumble to symbolize the fall.
•Clinton met with Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, above, this afternoon in Washington.
•A Washington Post editorial commends Clinton for promoting democracy in Russia.
•Clinton pens an op-ed on world hunger and food security.
•Clinton unveiled the Sudan policy review with Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Scott Gration, the special envoy for Sudan.
•In London, The Times reports that Clinton was snubbed by Putin when she was in Russia last week to push sanctions against Iran.
•Clinton got a "mixed bag" of diplomatic results in Russia last week, writes FP Shadow Government blogger David J. Kramer.
Photo: JIM WATSON/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
Secretary Clinton discussed Iran with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow today. As one senior U.S. official put it, Clinton wanted to know "what specific forms of pressure Russia would be prepared" to join the United States in if Iran didn't keep its promises about not developing nuclear weapons.
Lavrov proved tough, though, and didn't pledge tougher sanctions against Iran, stating at a news conference afterward that sanctions would be counterproductive at this point. "All forces should be aimed at supporting talks," he said.
Clinton doesn't support tougher sanctions at this time either, saying at the news conference, "But we are not at that point yet. That is not a conclusion we have reached. And we want to be very clear that it is our preference that Iran works with the international community … to fulfill its obligation on inspections."
Clinton said that overall her discussion with Lavrov was "very comprehensive and productive." "I feel very good about the so-called reset," she said.
Photo: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
Later today, Clinton heads to Europe, where she'll visit the following places and do the following things:
Zurich, Switzerland: She will attend the signing of two protocols between Turkey and Armenia that pave the way toward normalization of their relations.
London: Clinton will meet with senior British officials to discuss important issues such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Dublin, Ireland: She will reaffirm the United States' commitment to Ireland during meetings with senior Irish officials.
Belfast, Northern Ireland: Clinton will emphasize the United States' support for political progress and economic recovery in the area.
Moscow: As part of her efforts to reset relations with Russia, she'll meet with President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss a successor agreement to START, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. They'll also discuss Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East, and North Korea.
Kazan, Russia: Clinton will visit Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, to talk with local officials and religious leaders about promoting tolerance and interfaith dialogue. The city has a large Muslim population, and yesterday, in this clumsy exchange, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Kazan "really shows that the Russian Federation is a multiethnic country."
Bon voyage, Secretary Clinton!
Photo: BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton had another busy day in New York. Above, she listens attentively during a bilateral meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (in purple tie) at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
A couple of amusing tidbits about Clinton in the news:
•In the just-published book, Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage, author Christopher Andersen claims that Michelle Obama was crucial in Barack Obama's decision not to select Clinton as his running mate during last year's presidential election. Michelle reportedly told Barack, "Do you really want Bill and Hillary just down the hall from you in the White House? … Could you live with that?"
•In the soon-to-be-published book The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch discusses how late Russian President Boris Yeltsin was found drunk and in search of a pizza on Pennsylvania Avenue during a 1995 visit to Washington. Yeltsin's former head of security says the alleged incident is a lie and blamed it on Clinton: "I think this book was written with the participation of Hillary Clinton who never had much sympathy for Yeltsin."
Photo: Olivier Doulier-Pool/Getty Images
•Secretary Clinton was interviewed by David Gregory for the full hour of Meet the Press yesterday, and she did an outstanding job. She answered each question clearly, intelligently, and -- of course -- diplomatically. For example, when asked whether she would be betraying the democracy movement in Iran by engaging and negotiating with the regime it aims to overthrow, Clinton responded:
We have negotiated with many governments who we did not believe represented the will of their people. Look at all the negotiations that went on with the Soviet Union. Look at the breakthrough and subsequent negotiations with communist China. That's what you do in diplomacy. You don't get to choose the people; that's up to the internal dynamics within a society. But clearly, we would hope better for the Iranian people. … Yet, we also know that whoever is in charge in Iran is going to be making decisions that will affect the security of the region and the world."
•Clinton also engaged in a bit of damage control after Vice President Joe Biden's eyebrow-raising comments that Russia was a country with a "withering economy" and was "clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable." Clinton told Gregory, "We view Russia as a great power." She added:
What we're seeing here is the beginning of the resetting of that relationship, which I have been deeply involved in. I will be co-chairing a presidential commission along with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. We'll be following up on what our two presidents said in Moscow. And the Russians know that, you know, we have continuing questions about some of their policies, and they have continuing questions about some of ours."
•Clinton, above, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are leading the U.S. delegation at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue today and tommorow in Washington. Clinton opened the talks by saying that China and the United States "are laying brick by brick the foundation of a stronger relationship" and that it is time to transition from "a multipolar world to a multipartner world."
•Clinton will be visiting Nigeria Aug. 10 to 12. She'll also be visiting four other African countries -- Kenya (the birthplace of President Obama's father), and tentatively Angola, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- Dow Jones Newswires reports.
Photos, from top to bottom: Meet the Press, Alex Wong/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be heading a commission to facilitate cooperation between their respective countries. (Sounds like Russia is too important of a topic for Clinton to delegate to an envoy.)
Yesterday at the Moscow summit between U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Obama said:
Too often, the United States and Russia only communicate on a narrow range of issues or let old habits within our bureaucracy stand in the way of our progress. … And that's why this commission will include working groups on development and the economy, energy and the environment, nuclear energy and security, arms control and international security, defense, foreign policy and counterterrorism, preventing and handling emergencies, civil society, science and technology, space, health, education and culture."
Clinton couldn't attend the summit due to her fractured elbow, but she will travel to Russia as head of the commission.
Despite the awkwardness with the reset button blooper earlier this year (seen above on March 6), Lavrov seems to get along well with Clinton. "Lavrov, plainly gets on a good deal better with Hillary Clinton than he did with Condoleezza Rice," writes a commentator in The Independent in Britain.
Hopefully they'll get along well enough to make progress on the multitude of issues Obama listed.
Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Unfortunately, due to her broken elbow, Secretary Clinton won't be traveling to Russia next week with President Obama. Last week she was unable to go to Greece and Italy as planned. Her late-July trip to India still seems to be in place, though.
This fractured elbow must be quite painful -- and more serious than originally thought. On the day after Clinton's fall, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley told reporters, "[M]y impression is it was a fairly simple, straightforward fracture."
On Tuesday, however, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters, "She had a very serious break in her elbow. … She's energetic, she's fully engaged, but we need to make sure that she heals and then can get back to a full schedule where she can come in every day."
Since her June 17 fall, Clinton has worked from home a lot and has had six days with no public appointments on her schedule. Yesterday, though, was an exception. Shaking with her left hand, she met with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, as seen above. Additionally, at yesterday's swearing-in ceremony for U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Daniel Rooney (owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers), she joked, "I came off the injured reserve list in order to officiate at this ceremony."
Please send healing thoughts in the direction of Clinton's right elbow!
Photo: TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
After yesterday's trilateral, Secretary Clinton is back to bilaterals today, as her schedule below shows. She meets again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (let's hope there's no reset button involved this time).
10:30 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Rangin Dadfar Spanta, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
10:45 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Makhdoom Shah Mehmood [Qureshi], Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
11:00 a.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Miroslav Lajcak, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic
12:00 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
1:15 p.m. Working Lunch for His Excellency Sergey Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
3:45 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Franco Frattini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic
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
While the U.S. has no official star presence at the Davos World Economic Forum this week, it certainly has an unofficial star there. Bill Clinton spoke there yesterday, ribbing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin about his free-market credentials from the stage and later meeting him for private discussions behind closed doors.
Bill Clinton's tête-à-tête with Putin follows the announcement by the Russian government that Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet in advance of the April G-20 Summit, when Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will have their own face-to-face. One assumes (or, at least hopes) that Bill Clinton got some marching orders from his wife before sitting down with Putin at this rather delicate moment for U.S.-Russian relations.
Madam Secretary is an obsessive blog about all things Hillary Clinton. From her policies to her pantsuits, Madam Secretary delivers up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and gossip about America's top diplomat.