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Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Clinton hopes ‘lame-duck’ Congress will pass nuclear treaty

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 10:56 am

Clinton to discuss women, energy windfall in PNG

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 5:12 am

Clinton weighs into disputes as Japan-China row roils summit

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

HANOI, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday joined an Asia-Pacific summit where she weighed into the issue of maritime disputes, which have triggered a serious rift between China and Japan.

Hopes that Asia’s big powers would begin to heal their two-month feud, centred on resource-rich East China Sea islands, dominated the talks in Vietnam’s capital where the row erupted again on Friday.

ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan (L), US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (2nd L), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (2nd R) and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key talk before a family photo on the sidelines of the 17th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. AFP

On a day of conflicting messages Japan initially said their foreign ministers had made a promising start with an agreement to improve ties, but China then angrily accused its rival of making false statements.

Hopes for a formal meeting between Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao evaporated, but the pair held brief discussions on the East Asia Summit sidelines Saturday, Japan said.

“They will continue making efforts on promoting a strategic, mutually beneficial relationship,” Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama told reporters.

“They also said that they will have an opportunity to talk longer in future,” he said. “They shared an understanding that it was disappointing the bilateral summit did not take place this time.”

Japan and China have been feuding since the September 8 arrest of a Chinese trawler captain after a collision with Japanese coastguard vessels near the disputed East China Sea island chain.

China had on Friday also hit out at Clinton’s remarks this week that the islands, known as the Diaoyus in China and Senkakus in Japan, fall within the scope of the US-Japan security alliance.

“The Chinese government and people will never accept any word or deed that includes the Diaoyu Islands within the scope of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said.

However, Clinton told the summit Saturday that maritime rows should be settled by international law, in defiance of China’s call to handle them directly with its neighbours.

“The United States has a national interest in the freedom of navigation and unimpeded lawful commerce,” she said, repeating a US stand in the presence of China’s premier Wen.

“And when disputes arise over maritime territory, we are committed to resolving them peacefully based on customary international law.”

But she also sounded a softer note, saying she was encouraged by China’s steps to enter into discussions with the Southeast Asian bloc about a legally enforceable code of conduct on South China Sea disputes where some have claims.

Clinton also said she had “assurances” from her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on China’s policy toward exports of rare earth minerals, which Beijing has been accused of restricting.

The East Asia Summit is a forum for dialogue on strategic, political and economic issues involving the 10-member Southeast Asian bloc as well as Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

The meeting was also expected to tackle the issue of “currency wars” and the resulting heavy capital inflows that risk destabilising emerging Asian economies.

The Asian Development Bank chief warned in Hanoi on Saturday that emerging economies must carefully manage the inflow of hot money, and avoid remedies that could create further problems.

“Authorities are watching asset prices and exchange rates carefully, with several beginning to use well-targeted capital controls to limit speculation,” said Haruhiko Kuroda.

“Care must be taken, however, not to create distortions.”

The United States and Russia were to be formally invited to join the 16 members of the East Asia Summit at its annual gathering, in what analysts say is a blow to Chinese attempts to diminish US influence in the region.

US membership is seen as part of its strategic return to Southeast Asia to balance China’s growing influence in the region, where Beijing’s more aggressive stance in recent times has unnerved its smaller neighbours.

Source: SGGP

Chelsea Clinton marries in “royal wedding”

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

 Bill and Hillary Clinton’s only daughter has married her long-time boyfriend in the picturesque New York village of Rhinebeck in what was dubbed America’s royal wedding.

Chelsea Clinton — the only child of the former U.S. president and the U.S. secretary of state — wed Marc Mezvinsky on Saturday at Astor Courts, an historic 50-acre (20-hectare) estate about 100 miles north of New York City.

“Today, we watched with great pride and overwhelming emotion as Chelsea and Marc wed in a beautiful ceremony at Astor Courts, surrounded by family and their close friends,” Bill and Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

“We could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate the beginning of their life together, and we are so happy to welcome Marc into our family,” the statement said.

 In this photo provided by Genevieve de Manio Photography, Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky are seen during their wedding, Saturday, July 31, 2010 in Rhinebeck, N.Y

Photos showed the bride and groom walking down a broad outdoor aisle between rows of guests. Chelsea wore a strapless white gown with a fitted bodice and full skirt with platinum-colored beading at the waist and a long white veil.

The groom wore a simple black tuxedo going down the aisle and in a photo with the Clinton family, and a white prayer shawl and yarmulke in separate photos with Chelsea under a flowering tree and amid wedding guests.

In the one photo in which she appeared, Hillary Clinton wore a magenta gown. Bill Clinton, who is pictured walking Chelsea down the aisle, wore a simple black tux with a white boutonniere in his lapel.


Apart from the parents of the bride, the only other high profile guests seen in Rhinebeck were Bill Clinton’s former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen and fashion designer Vera Wang.

Also spotted was real estate scion and movie producer billionaire Steve Bing.

Chelsea Clinton, 30, and Mezvinsky, 32, have known each other since they were teenagers. He is an investment banker, whose parents Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and Edward Mezvinsky were once Democratic U.S. House of Representatives members.

Chelsea Clinton, who worked at a New York hedge fund and has more recently studied health policy at Columbia University, has kept a low profile since her father left the White House in January 2001, although she campaigned for her mother during her failed run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Signs and pictures congratulating the newlyweds hang in many shop windows in Rhinebeck, which has been swarmed by media around the world for an event that experts estimate to have cost between $3 million and $5 million.

Airspace above Rhinebeck was closed for 12 hours on Saturday for the wedding and media were kept well away from the entrance to Astor Courts. Security in the area was comparable to that surrounding state visits.

The guest list was reported to be between 400 and 500, but did not include President Barack Obama.

“Hillary and Bill properly want to keep this as a thing for Chelsea and her soon-to-be husband,” Obama said on “The View” talk show Thursday. “It would be tough enough to have one president at a wedding. You don’t want two presidents.”

Source: SGGP

‘Overwhelming emotion’ as Chelsea Clinton marries

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm

RHINEBECK, New York (AFP) – Chelsea Clinton married her longtime boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky at a heavily guarded wedding on a luxury country estate outside New York.

Former president Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of their “great pride and overwhelming emotion” after their only child and the Wall Street banker tied the knot in rural Rhinebeck on Saturday.

Chelsea Clinton is pictured during her marriage ceremony with Marc Mezvinsky in Rhinebeck, New York (AFP)

The nuptials, taking place on the picturesque Astor Courts estate in balmy summer weather, ended weeks of increasingly fevered speculation in response to a news blackout imposed by the Clintons.

“We could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate the beginning of their life together, and we are so happy to welcome Marc into our family,” Chelsea’s parents — one of America’s most powerful couples — said in a statement after the ceremony.

Intrigue about the wedding reached a climax Saturday as journalists and celebrity watchers flooded Rhinebeck in hopes of spotting stars among the approximately 500 guests.

They were reported to have included former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, top designer Vera Wang and Hollywood actor Ted Danson, although confirmations were still elusive.

Source: SGGP

Obama to invite SEAsia leaders for summit in US: Clinton

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

HANOI, July 23, 2010 (AFP) – President Barack Obama will invite Southeast Asian leaders to a summit in Washington later this year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.

“President Obama plans to invite ASEAN leaders to a second US-ASEAN leaders’ meeting in the United States this coming autumn,” Clinton said in remarks to the 27-member ASEAN Regional Forum security dialogue.

Vietnamese deputy prime minister Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem (Front L) stands next to US secretary of state Hillary Clinton (front R) as she greets other delegates during a group photo at the 17th ASEAN Regional forum July 23, 2010 in Hanoi. AFP

The Washington talks will follow the inaugural meeting that Obama held last year in Singapore with his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

His administration has sought to pay more attention to a region that felt neglected by former president George W. Bush’s government, which was preoccupied with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“A key element of our strategy is to strengthen regional and global institutions,” Clinton said.

“We see ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum as important pieces of a strong, effective architecture for security and prosperity in Asia. So we seek both to support these institutions and work more closely with them,” Clinton explained, according to her prepared remarks.

At talks in Hanoi this week, ASEAN foreign ministers agreed to invite the US and Russia to join a key regional dialogue known as the East Asia Summit.

Diplomats said their inclusion would help to “counterbalance” the dominance of rising regional power China.

Clinton said Obama will not be able to join this year’s East Asia Summit in October but she will attend, with a view towards Obama’s participation next year.

Clinton said the US looks forward “to engaging with the East Asia Summit as it seeks to become a foundational security and political institution for Asia in this century.”

In another sign of US engagement with the region, Clinton said US Defense Secretary Robert Gates will join a regional defence ministers’ meeting to be held in Vietnam in October.

Southeast Asia, a region of nearly 600 million people, is America’s sixth-largest export market and hosts more US business investment than China, Clinton said on Thursday.

Source: SGGP

Clinton, Gates in South Korea to show support

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:24 pm

The US diplomatic and military chiefs paid an unprecedented joint visit Wednesday to the border with North Korea in a show of support for South Korea after a deadly naval attack blamed on Pyongyang.

Watched through the window by a curious North Korean soldier, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates entered a meeting room straddling the borderline and briefly set foot on the North’s side of the room.

Clinton and Gates are leading a high-powered US delegation to the South as a gesture of solidarity following the sinking of a warship in March that killed 46 sailors.

South Korea, its US ally and other countries, citing findings of a multinational investigation, accuse the North of torpedoing the Cheonan warship near the disputed sea border — a charge it denies.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Seoul Air Base on July 21, 2010.

The incident has sharply raised tensions on the peninsula. Gates and his South Korean counterpart Kim Tae-Young Tuesday announced a major joint naval exercise starting this Sunday as a deterrent to the North.

The South’s defence ministry said it would be the first in a series of about 10 joint naval drills in coming months.

Clinton and Gates, visiting the border truce village of Panmunjom in heavy rain, talked to US and South Korean soldiers posted there.

Unlike the rest of the heavily fortified Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) bisecting the peninsula, the border at Panmunjom between communist North and capitalist South is marked only by a low line.

“It struck me that although there may be a thin line, these two places are worlds apart,” Clinton told reporters.

“The Republic of Korea (South Korea) has made extraordinary progress. In contrast, North Korea has not only stagnated in isolation, the people of the North have suffered for so many years.”

It was Clinton’s first visit to the DMZ area, which her husband — then-president Bill Clinton — described during a 1993 visit as “the scariest place on earth”.

“We continue to send a message to the North that there is another way,” she said, referring to US pledges of major aid if Pyongyang scraps its nuclear weapons programme.

“Until they change direction the US stands firmly on behalf of the people and government” of South Korea.

Gates also noted that the South continues to grow and prosper.

“The North, by contrast, stagnates in isolation and deprivation. And as we saw with the sinking of the Cheonan, it continues its history of unpredictable and at times provocative behaviour.”

He said the Panmunjom visit was intended to show appreciation to US and South Korean troops maintaining the armistice that ended the 1950-53 war, “but also to send a strong signal to the North, to the region and to the world that our commitment to South Korea’s security is steadfast”.

The top US military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, also voiced concern at Pyongyang’s perceived unpredictability during a visit to US troops at Camp Red Cloud, around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the DMZ.

The DMZ, whose approaches are guarded by minefields and razor wire, has bisected the peninsula since the war. The US has stationed troops in the South ever since the conflict, and currently has 28,500 there.

“We are all concerned, all the neighbours, concerned about what happens in Pyongyang, and where this leadership goes. He’s a pretty unpredictable guy,” Mullen said, referring to leader Kim Jong-Il.

“The last thing in the world that I want to see happen, that anybody wants to see happen, is to have conflict break out.”

The man nominated to head the US spy community told US senators in Washington Tuesday that he fears a possible “dangerous new period” of direct attacks by the North on its southern neighbour.

James Clapper was making a written response to questions by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Clinton and Gates later visited the War Memorial in Seoul to pay tribute to the war dead and the sailors killed in the Cheonan.

They were to hold “two plus two” talks Wednesday afternoon with South Korean counterparts, and issue a joint statement expected to touch on ways to strengthen the alliance and deal with North Korea.

Source: SGGP

Clinton announces new sanctions against NKorea

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Wednesday that Washington will impose new sanctions on  North Korea in a bid to stem the regime’s illicit atomic ambitions.

Clinton, speaking at a joint news conference in Seoul after holding unprecedented security talks with U.S. and South Korean defense and military officials, said the sanctions were part of measures designed to rein in the regime’s nuclear activities by stamping out illegal moneymaking ventures used to fund the program.

“These measures are not directed at the people of North Korea, who have suffered too long due to the misguided priorities of their government,” Clinton said. “They are directed at the destabilizing, illicit, and provocative policies pursued by that government.”

U.S. Army Col. Kurt Taylor, right, briefs U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, 2nd right, at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, north of Seoul, South Korea Wednesday, July 21, 2010, in Seoul, South Korea.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed stiff sanctions on North Korea in recent years to punish the regime for defying the world body by testing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and illegally selling arms and weapons.

With few allies and diminishing sources of aid, impoverished North Korea is believed to be turning to illicit ventures to raise much-needed cash. Pyongyang also walked away last year from a disarmament-for-aid pact with five other nations that had provided the country with fuel oil and other concessions.

Clinton, making a high-profile trip to South Korea with Defense Secretary Robert Gates just four months after the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, urged North Korea to turn away from its path toward continued isolation.

“From the beginning of the Obama Administration, we have made clear that there is a path open to the DPRK to achieve the security and international respect it seeks,” she said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“North Korea can cease its provocative behavior, halt its threats and belligerence towards its neighbors, take irreversible steps to fulfill its denuclearization commitments and comply with international law,” Clinton said.

Source: SGGP

Clinton seeks more from Pakistan in terror fight

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 11:26 am

ISLAMABAD, July 19, 2010 (AFP) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday announced major aid projects for Pakistan as she sought tougher action from Islamabad to combat militants ahead of a key donor meeting in Afghanistan.

Clinton is bidding to build on a shaky alliance with Pakistan, whose mountainous western border shields Taliban militants fighting the insurgency next door, as well as groups responsible for attacks in the United States.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) discusses with Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holebrooke (R) in Islamabad, on July 18, 2010. AFP

The aid, focused on water and energy needs, is part of US efforts to deepen engagement with the Asian nuclear power and overcome rife anti-Americanism after years of perceived neglect of bilateral relations.

Washington believes Pakistan is integral to any result in the Afghan war and has long voiced concern that Pakistan’s powerbrokers were supporting Taliban insurgents, despite crackdowns by the military in some border areas.

Clinton met Pakistan’s prime minister and president on Sunday and in a media interview acknowledged greater joint efforts on terrorism, but called for “additional measures” from Islamabad to combat militants on its soil.

“There are still additional steps that we are asking and expecting the Pakistanis to take,” she told the BBC.

“… there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that should an attack against the United States be traced to be Pakistani it would have a very devastating impact on our relationship,” she added.

A Pakistani-American arrested over the botched car bombing in New York’s Times Square in May allegedly received explosives training from experts linked to the Pakistani militant group the Tehrik-e-Taliban.

The group operates from the tribal zones of Pakistan, considered by Washington to be the global headquarters of the Pakistani Taliban and their allies in Al-Qaeda, as well as a base camp for the Afghan Taliban.

Clinton confirmed that Washington planned to formally designate Pakistan’s Haqqani network a foreign terrorist organisation.

The network, which is battling coalition troops in Afghanistan and is thought to have close links with Pakistan’s intelligence services, is one of the toughest foes faced by foreign forces in Afghanistan.

A senior US official speaking on condition of anonymity said closer ties with Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Ashfaq Kayani were helping in the struggle against the militant Haqqani network.

“The amount of engagement we have with General Kayani… is unprecedented. We feel that we’re making some slow but steady forward movement (on Haqqani),” the official said.

Clinton was due to meet Kayani for closed-door discussions later Monday before travelling to Kabul for a key international conference focused on charting a course for the war-torn country’s future involving less dependency on its Western backers.

Pakistan and the United States had been allies throughout the Cold War years as both played a key role in arming Islamist insurgents who ousted Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989.

Ties then cooled until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

On Monday, Clinton hailed progress in relations.

“We have moved beyond a stand-off where we are engaged in a most important dialogue… I’m pleased and impressed to see the leadership of Pakistan tackling some hard problems,” she said.

Pakistan has been hard hit by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence, with attacks killing more than 3,500 people across the country since government troops besieged a radical mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in the eastern city of Sargodha Sunday evening, wounding at least 12 people, officials said.

Opening Monday talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Clinton said she hoped the aid projects would “lay the foundations for an enduring partnership” with Pakistan.

They include two energy dams, various drinking water and irrigation projects, as well as the building of health centres and schemes to improve agriculture and private sector income.

They are part of a five-year 7.5-billion-dollar funding approved by the US Congress last year.

Clinton also lauded a new transit trade deal signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan on Sunday that officials said could boost cross-border trade from an annual 1.5 billion dollars to five billion.

Source: SGGP

Clinton vows support for Georgia, slams Russian “occupation”

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reassured Georgia on Monday with a pledge of continued support and criticised Russia’s “occupation” of two breakaway Georgian regions.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Georgian Women Leaders Association members at the Georgian National Library in Tbilisi on Monday, July 5, 2010

On her first visit to the ex-Soviet country as secretary of state, Clinton told a group of women leaders that Washington would also keep pushing for further democratic reforms in Georgia.

“We continue to object to and criticise actions by Russia which we believe are wrong and on the top of the list is the invasion and occupation of Georgia,” Clinton said shortly after arriving in the capital Tbilisi as part of a regional tour.

“The United States supports the Georgian people, we support Georgian democracy,” she said.

Clinton was due to meet later with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who will be looking for reassurances Washington has not abandoned support for his country amid a “reset” in relations with Moscow.

Tbilisi is hoping Clinton will take a hard line on Russia’s military presence in the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and that she will reiterate US support for Georgia’s hopes of joining the NATO military alliance.

Clinton urged further reforms in Georgia, saying a vibrant democracy and economy were key for it to regain control of the rebel territories.

“The more vibrant, effective a democracy and economy Georgia becomes, a greater contrast there will be between South Ossetia and Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia,” she said.

Clinton was on the final stop of a tour of eastern European and Caucasus region countries that has also taken her to Ukraine, Poland, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

She is also due to meet opposition leaders in Georgia, who have accused Saakashvili of stepping back from democratic reforms after coming to power in the country’s 2003 pro-Western Rose Revolution.

Saakashvili enjoyed extremely close ties with former US president George W. Bush, who famously declared the country a “beacon of liberty” in a 2005 speech to thousands of cheering Georgians in central Tbilisi.

Georgia has even named a main road from the airport after Bush.

Relations have cooled under President Barack Obama, however, after Saakashvili’s international reputation was damaged by a 2007 crackdown on opposition protesters and by his handling of Georgia’s 2008 war with Russia.

Georgia has downplayed the cooling in relations and contributed nearly 1,000 troops to fight alongside US forces in Afghanistan in a bid to build closer ties with the new administration.

US officials have repeatedly voiced support for Georgia’s territorial integrity after the 2008 war, which saw Russian forces pour into the country to repel a Georgian military assault on Moscow-backed South Ossetia.

Russia after the war recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, a move that has been followed by only a handful of countries. Russia has since established permanent military bases and deployed hundreds of troops and border guards in the regions.

During a visit to Tbilisi a year ago, US Vice President Joe Biden said Washington continued to back Georgia’s territorial integrity and its bid to join NATO but also called for progress on democratic reforms.


Source: SGGP