Secretary Clinton Speaks With Reporters En Route to Europe

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 5, 2009
European Union Flags Reflected in Windows of EU Council Building

Interactive Travel Map | Text the SecretaryEn route to Brussels, Secretary Clinton reflected on her travels in the Middle East and looked ahead to her visit to Europe. She responded to reporters' questions on Iran, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Secretary Clinton said:"I just wanted to make a couple of points as we head to Europe. I think that the message out of the last three days is that the United States is fully engaged and committed to play a vital role in an effort to achieve a comprehensive peace and two states, Israel and the Palestinians, living side by side in peace and security. We accomplished what we set out to achieve. We went to Sharm el-Sheikh and pledged over $900 million in humanitarian aid for both Gaza and the West Bank. We also consulted widely with Arab, Israeli, and Palestinian leaders on the way forward. We very strongly supported the Palestinian Authority as the only legitimate government for the Palestinians and the only partner for any negotiations. We also laid the groundwork for the comprehensive peace settlement that we’ll be working toward by sending two representatives to Syria.

And importantly for me, we tried to highlight why we’re doing all of this. The meeting with the women entrepreneurs in Israel, the meeting today with the young Palestinian students really illustrate both what we think is the real hope for the future, but also the necessity of the role that the United States intends to play. This is obviously my first trip back as Secretary of State, but I will be back often, and our special envoy will be back as soon as there is an Israeli government.

Looking ahead to Europe, this will be my first meeting with the NATO Council, and I’m looking to demonstrate that the United States intends to be an active participant within NATO and with our NATO partners. I will certainly be raising issues that are important to the United States such as our plan going forward for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the NATO-Russia relationship, some of the old problems and the new threats that we are going to confront together. I will end the week with a meeting in Geneva with Foreign Minister Lavrov, and then going on to Turkey for consultations with the leadership there.

There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m not only very committed but eager to see that work take off in a meaningful way. I think we laid the groundwork over the last three days."

You may read the full transcript of the Secretary's conversation here.

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