Travel Diary: Secretary Clinton Attends 'Friends of Syrian People' Meeting in Turkey

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 2, 2012

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Istanbul, Turkey March 31-April 1 to attend the second meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People." This meeting built upon steps that our friends, allies, and the Syrian opposition continue to take in an attempt to halt the slaughter of the Syrian people and pursue a transition to democracy in Syria. During a press availability in Istanbul, Secretary Clinton said, "Today, the international community sent a clear and unified message that we will increase pressure on the Assad regime in Syria and assistance to the opposition. ...We called for an immediate end to the killing in Syria, and we urged the Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan to set a timetable for next steps. The world will not waiver. Assad must go. And the Syrian people must be free to choose their own path forward."

Following a meeting with the Syrian National Council, Secretary Clinton said, "...People have been working very hard to try to figure out ways to help those inside Syria who are bearing the brunt of the brutality of the Assad regime. We are painfully aware of how brutal the actions by the regime have been. And the Syrian National Council has been working hard to organize different Syrians behind a unified approach because, until recently, it was hard to know how to help. There was not the kind of organized effort, and there was no place within Syria that the opposition controlled, which makes it very difficult to assist."

Secretary Clinton continued, "...I really believe that, with the announcements coming from the meeting today, there will be greater pressure on the regime, there will be more assistance of all kinds for the Syrian National Council, there will be more humanitarian assistance, that the people inside Syria should know they are not alone."

The United States is pursuing every avenue to get humanitarian relief into Syria and is engaged in focused diplomatic efforts to secure full and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to reach those in need. The United States announced an additional $12.2 million in humanitarian assistance to support the people of Syria, bringing the total amount of U.S. emergency aid to nearly $25 million. This assistance is supporting international and non-governmental humanitarian partners, including the World Food Program (WFP); the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and to non-governmental organizations (NGO).

While in Istanbul, Secretary Clinton also conducted bilateral meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other foreign leaders. Secretary Clinton said:

"... I want to thank Prime Minister Erdogan and the foreign minister, my friend, and the people of Turkey, not only for hosting us, but for being such strong stalwarts in the fight on behalf of the Syrian people. I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet both with the prime minister and the foreign minister. We not only discussed Syria; we discussed the full range of our other shared interests. And I commended Turkey's leadership throughout this crisis and its generosity to the Syrians who have fled across the border seeking refuge from the violence."

You can follow Secretary Clinton's travel on www.state.gov.

Comments

Comments

Charles F.
|
United Kingdom
April 2, 2012

Charles F. in the United Kingdom writes:

Why isn't Clinton working to free up Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Gaza instead of meddling in Syrian internal affairs?

kaunain s.
|
Pakistan
April 2, 2012

Kaunain S. in Pakistan writes:

Friends of Libya (NATO) met and decided to take control of Libian oil resources. They grabbed oil fields and France was the first to start seashore exploration. Some of the friends shared oil fields and some arab states squared score with Qaddafi. Libya once a peaceful nation has now been pushed into tribal wars killing each other in hundreds daily . U S is repeating muslim massacre country after country. Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting within, after being divided on sectarian or ethnic divide. Now U S is threatening Syria because it has always stood by Iran. Mercenaries have been facilitated to infiltrate into Syria to create pretext for invasion. Target is one but purpose of U S and other “friends” differ. U S wants friendly ruler so Israeli borders are secure where as arabs want their specific faith imposed on the Syrian population. They are serving the U S agenda which is to divide muslim umma and then annihilate them one after the other. No wonder hate for America among the muslim population is spreading like wild fire.

Iran attack would prove a disaster not only for M E rulers but the U S forces stationed in bases there too. I hope U S leaders learn from 8 years iran-iraq war where the entire western world and arabs were supporting Iraq in men and material but Iran remained rock which the enemies couldn’t crack.

palgye
|
South Korea
April 2, 2012

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Be resolved through an internal coup in Syria origin. Currently the 'Friends of Syrian People' to dominate the country, the country think that the ability to operate. Highly likely to be confusing I think personally - tribal killings in Libya, but accurate information on at least deep in the Libyan government control of the country feel the question -

Cabinet of Ministers of Syria, who oppose the present system and the 'Friends of Syrian People' by working together, as a coup to solve the problem,

Consumer market in the Middle East Libya and Iraq establish a democratic government, and has already proven its potential to think.

I do not think the problem is easily solved. Likely to have someone intervene and ...

Susan
|
Ohio, USA
April 2, 2012

Susan in Ohio writes:

Never will it end, but there will always be war and rumors of war, it all begins with disagreement and other things, it's great you're getting together to see that can be done, but it is a story that never ends,

I'm tired of seeing so many people die on television in countries like Syria ..

Very interesting blog ...

Greetings from minijuegos

get16
April 2, 2012

W.W. writes:

The world is engaged in the most difficult and trying struggle in its long history. All of the great epics which have torn the world for the last 2,000 years pale in comparison to the great ideological gulf which separates us from those who oppose us. It is our responsibility not merely to denounce our enemies and those who make themselves our enemies but to make this system work, to demonstrate what freedom can do, what those who are committed to freedom and the future can do

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 2, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Well said WW.

A wise man once said, "Past is prologe." and we better learn from mistakes as democracies to never let little Hitlers stay in power long enough to become genocidal maniacs.

Better to wage war to unseat them prior than to hope diplomacy "changes their behavior" by democracy's inherant wish to remain at peace, creating the conditions for the politicaly stupid to wage war on their terms. Whether that be against us, or against their own people.

Even the Russians would have to agree with this, as they lost 20 million people in WW2 because folks chose "peace at any price" and Hitler chose war.

Come on or about the 15th of April, if Assad does not comply with his agreements signed, diplomacy will for all intents and purposes become utterly exhausted.

At which point the leaders of many nations will be forced to make a choice they'd rather not have to make, but will because the circumstances simply demand that they do.

The risks of inaction will be too great, and the results of arming the Syrian opposition will not by iself do more than prolong the struggle taking place.

In order to save lives, humanitarian intervention will become the universally accepted policy towards the Assad regime.

That's the only effective way at that point to assure an effective political transition and process develops before Assad destroys Syria and avoids a civil war that lasts for years longer than it has already been in process today.

Change is inevitable, peacefu;l change is desirable, and democracy R us, sayeth the people.

For the US's part, we'll be lending the Syrian people our "unique capabilities" to ensure their struggle for freedom and a hope for democratic well being is realized, sooner rather than later.

As the Saudi king said a while back, if folks are only willing to provide humanitarian aid, they will only be fattening up the Syrian people for the slaughter. Or very similar words to that effect.

The diplomacy engaged by Sec. Clinton and team, along with the UK foreign office and many other Foreign ministers of like mindedness has all but eliminated any excuse for any UNSC veto to be made in resolution to this matter, and it is only self evidently unfortunate that so many have died before some nations have themselves come to this realization.

I would therefore suggest that when diplomacy with Assad becomes utterly exhausted, that everyone do their part in a cooperative effort as their nation's respective capabilities may be directed; to make this the quickest take-down of a dictator and his regime's military forces ever seen in modern history.

That way peace will be restored faster, and more lives wiull be saved in the long run.

Once this starts Assad's forces will realize their day of recconing has come and one can anticipate defections en-mass as most individually choose survival and the path of peace, rather than remain holding a weapon of war in their hands to be targeted. Establishing enforcable peace while a political transition takes place in the space created for this to happen. In the wake of all this, and the realization among nations that the world can no longer afford to allow dictators to establish themselves in power over a population ever again; I forsee a kind of "peer review mechanism" within the UNSC and UNGA whereby just as symptoms of mental illness can be ascertained and a therapy proscribed, "regime replacement therapy" will become the norm in addressing those found wanting by their peers.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck and swims like a duck, folks can go duck hunting at the will of the UNSC without having to debate the nature of ducks or incessantly trying to change the behavior of a duck at the cost of lives and livelyhoods through inaction.

As humanity, we have more problems on this planet than folks can shake a stick at and sometimes you just got to do more than simply shake it at totalitarianism.

All the resources dictators cause democracies to expend in national defense of their strategic interests may at such point as this "peer review" gains universal acceptance in implementation as the standard procedure in dealing with ethical infants; Such resources may then be put to other uses assuring the survival of the human species, rather than allowing the conditions for our species' extinction to remain a threat by continuing to build better and better weapons to achieve this with.

I don't know that nations have the political will as yet to be as hard-core as they need to be to end the suffering on this planet, but I do see a great realization taking shape among many nations of the world to that effect.
While US foreign policy seeks to restore peace by diplomatic means as the perferred methodology of implemented US policy, this growing realization among nations is due to the inherant limitations of diplomacy to be effective on those who choose to ignore it's purpose.

EJ

persons33
April 3, 2012

W.W. writes:

@ eric

It is greater, it's about the heavens

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 3, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

I think I'll just keep my focus on the far horizon, w/ a few stars to guide me, and keep on keeping on dealing with the mucky muck in front of me on this plane of existance, to get to where folks need to be- at peace, not this.

The heavens may do whatever they wish, it is of no Earthly concern to me.

If the Sun go nova tommorrow, there's not much I can do about that.

I'm just a practical man WW, and I just don't have the time to try and convince God he had screwed up this time royally...(chuckle).

EJ

finally74
April 3, 2012

W.W. writes:

@ Eric

Finally !

... time time time ...

(I ll try to convince everybody that there is oil on mars so that they leave us alone and leave earth)

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 3, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ WW,

Who is "they"?

"(I ll try to convince everybody that there is oil on mars so that they leave us alone and leave earth)"

You'll have better luck if you suggest Titan...got a lot of hydrocarbons on that moon...(chuckle)

Anyway, can we keep this conversation more or less Earth bound? Grounded in a semblance of reality? It's entertaining and all, but personally I think when you go out on a conceptual limb into the cosmos, I'm not sure anyone @ state has a clue what your talking about, and frankly neither do I at this point...LOL!

All the same, when you do ground your thoughts in real time on the ground reality, you tend to make a lot of sense, which I appreciate.

The Sec. of State gave a number of interviews (which can be found under "remarks" on State's main page)

And I'll include an excerpt here and a note to her in the hopes she reads it, because in some off hand way, given the number of times I've used the phrase "ethical infant" to describe various world teaders engaged in political stupidity at the expense of people, her remarks indicate that there may be a certain commonality involved in our thinking...(chuckle).

Interview With Reena Ninan of ABC

(excerpt)

QUESTION: What are the chances in 2013 we see Hillary Clinton go from Secretary of State to grandma?

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Laughter.) Well, that’s really not up to me, but I would like to have that title. I will certainly tell you that’s a title I would be proud to have.

QUESTION: I think this might be your best role yet. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think I’d be pretty good, but I won’t know till I try.

QUESTION: From chasing after world leaders, getting them all on the same page, to diaper duty? Is that --

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, my goodness. Well, you’re making it seem like there are certain characteristics – (laughter) – in common with both enterprises, but I am looking forward to a return to private life.

---

@ Madam Secretary,

As one parent to another, if the diplomacy involved in trying to "change the behavior" of ethical infants on the world stage isn't like trying to change their diapers...while their having a tantrum...I personally can't think of a more accurate metaphor....LOL!

Nothing implied here at all, being that it's pretty self evident they've soiled themselves.

As the stench of ethical infants is pretty noxious to humanity's sensibilities.

It's a dirty job Madam Secretary, but somebody's got to do it.

Keep up the good work, and personally I know you are looking forward to a more regular lifestyle, but there just isn't anyone that does your job the way you do, and you might consider staying on as Sec. of State simply because there are a lot of ethical infants who still need potty training.

Keep up the good work,

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 4, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

BBC news item;

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Syria's opposition will never defeat the country's armed forces even if it is "armed to the teeth".

Mr Lavrov warned that there would be "slaughter for many years" if Western and Arab states intervened militarily and supplied weapons to rebel groups.

--end excerpt

Folks may read my assesment of April 2 here, and compare, but I would be remis not to remind Mr. Lavrov that the chances of Assad's forces defeating the opposition are next ti nill as well, and he may simply draw upon Russian resistance to Nazi occupation as his example from history.

What he does here in fact is make a strong case for international humanitarian intervention in directly removing Assad from power and eliminating his capabilities to make war on the Syrian people if Assad does not comply with the 6 point plan Annan has got him to agree to.

Someone @ State please pass these thoughts on to him with my very best regards, and hopes they make the realization I spoke of in my assesment sooner, rather then later.

See, they key is to disarm everyone...by force if neccessary, and you don't want to be arming folks only to have to disarm them later to create the space for a political process to be truly viable in the aftermath of Assad's downfall.

Russia should take it upon themselves right now to serve notice to Assad that they will be a part of any coalition of the willing that would be formed to use military force to create the peace from scratch in Syria, and secure Assad's WMD's.

EJ

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
April 25, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

BBC -- April 25th News Item;

France says the Security Council should consider the use of force in Syria if a UN-backed peace plan fails to stop violence in the country.

"We cannot allow the [Damascus] regime to defy us," French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said.

Violence has continued despite a plan by international envoy Kofi Annan calling on Damascus to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from cities.

Mr Juppe said 300 UN monitors should be deployed in Syria within two weeks.

If the peace plan fails, he added, "we would have to move to a new stage with a Chapter Seven resolution (which allows for action that could be backed by force) to stop this tragedy".

---end

(excerpt from assesment previously posted)

A wise man once said, "Past is prologe." and we better learn from mistakes as democracies to never let little Hitlers stay in power long enough to become genocidal maniacs.

Better to wage war to unseat them prior than to hope diplomacy "changes their behavior" by democracy's inherant wish to remain at peace, creating the conditions for the politicaly stupid to wage war on their terms. Whether that be against us, or against their own people.

Even the Russians would have to agree with this, as they lost 20 million people in WW2 because folks chose "peace at any price" and Hitler chose war.

Come on or about the 15th of April, if Assad does not comply with his agreements signed, diplomacy will for all intents and purposes become utterly exhausted.

At which point the leaders of many nations will be forced to make a choice they'd rather not have to make, but will because the circumstances simply demand that they do.

---end excerpt

I hate being right most of the time for a reason.

EJ

.

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