Interactive Travel Map | Text the Secretary AnswersToday, Secretary Clinton met with Irish Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Brian Cowen at Farmleigh House in Dublin. The Secretary said:"Taoiseach, thank you so much. And it’s wonderful to be back here in Dublin. I wish to congratulate your government on the resounding vote in the Lisbon treaty referendum, and also to thank you for the kind words about President Obama. I know our commitment to working with like-minded friends, such as Ireland, means that we’ll be seeing a lot of each other and consulting often about what more we can do to provide the conditions for peace, security, and prosperity.
I just came, of course, from a day yesterday in Geneva where the hard work of diplomacy and multilateral engagement was on display to try to work on another difficult conflict, but I think that’s what diplomacy and international relations calls for today. But there is no greater joy than to come back to Ireland to be in Dublin today. I said to Brian, I wish we could just sort of take a day off, wander around this beautiful park and enjoy some of the hospitality that I have experienced before. Bill and I feel such a special connection to Ireland and, of course, we are not alone – millions of Americans feel the same.
But it’s not only ties of family and culture and history and heritage. It is because we have built a strong partnership. Our diplomats and our aid workers collaborate together to resolve conflicts, fight hunger, poverty and disease, our businesses invest in trade to create new jobs and wider prosperity, education, innovation, and productivity have made Ireland a great place to do business, and Americans have leapt at the opportunity. At the end of last year, U.S. foreign direct investment in Ireland ran into the tens of billions of dollars per year.
Now, we know that we’ve had some challenging economic times. That has been apparent, both here in Ireland, the United States, and really around the globe. As we grapple with this global economic downturn, we are aware of the difficulties that people are suffering, people who are losing jobs, people who are unable to pursue their dreams. But Ireland has moved aggressively to stabilize its financial markets, to jumpstart its economy. And we will continue to work with our Irish friends because they understand that we live in an interconnected and interdependent world. It has been a hallmark of Ireland’s history. The Irish may have gone into the world as exiles and immigrants, but they also (inaudible) poets and speechmakers as entrepreneurs and innovators, and we see that still today.
I want to thank the Government of Ireland for your pledge to commit 20 percent of your foreign assistance by 2012 to eradicating hunger around the world, with the aim of cutting that number of hungry in half by 2015. As a people whose history is scarred by famine, the Irish understand that this is an extraordinary global challenge that requires a commitment of that measure.
I was very pleased that Minister Power participated in our hunger summit at the UN during the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Ireland, truly does, punch above its weight on the big issues of the day from climate change to nonproliferation. Irish peacekeepers have saved lives and provided crucial stability in troubled lands from Kosovo to Liberia to East Timor. And we are grateful for their service and their sacrifice.
Here in Phoenix Park, whose name symbolizes renewal, I am absolutely in accord with former President Kennedy, that Irish future is as promising as your past is proud. And it is a future that we will share together. I will leave here to go to Belfast to continue work that our countries have done together, that I have been very committed to for a number of years, in which the people of the north, as well as the entire island, have made so much progress on together.
So thank you again, for welcoming me here."