DipNote: The Week in Review

October 3, 2011
Secretary Clinton Shakes Hands With Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton participated in an interview with Sharif Amer of Al-Hayat TV, which was broadcast on October 1 in Cairo, Egypt. Secretary Clinton and Mr. Amer discussed Egypt's democratic transition and recent events in the region. She said, "...We are very impressed and encouraged by what we see happening in Egypt. We know this is a difficult transition period and, in the great span of Egyptian history, one of the most important moments of your history. And I think it's essential that all of us look at how much has been accomplished in the last eight months and the fact that elections are scheduled, that there is a path forward for this very vibrant, new democratic change is very encouraging and we think it's on the right track."

Secretary Clinton held bilateral meetings last week with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr, Nigerian Foreign Minister Ashiru, and Portuguese Foreign Minister Portas. In each meeting, Secretary Clinton and her counterparts discussed a wide variety of bilateral and global issues. During her joint press conference with Nigerian Foreign Minister Ashiru, Secretary Clinton addressed the assault on U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and the Embassy staff in Syria on September 29. She said, "…We condemn this unwarranted attack in the strongest possible terms. Ambassador Ford and his aides were conducting normal Embassy business, and this attempt to intimidate our diplomats through violence is wholly unjustified."

On September 30, Secretary Clinton released a statement on Iran's continuing human rights violations. She said, "The United States is deeply concerned by reports of the Iranian government's continued repression of its people. Despite statements from Iran's Supreme Leader and President claiming support for the rights and freedoms of Iranian citizens and people in the region, the government continues its crackdown on all forms of dissent, belief, and assembly. We are particularly concerned by reports that Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is facing execution on charges of apostasy for refusing to recant his faith. This comes amid a harsh onslaught against followers of diverse faiths, including Zoroastrians, Sufis, and Baha'is."

Secretary Clinton also traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas, where she discussed renewing America's global leadership for the Frank and Kula Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture Series. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton spoke of the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. She said, "…Today we are all safer, but we recognize that the threat remains, that al-Qaida does maintain the ability to plan and carry out attacks, and that our vigilance is required. So we will, along with our partners and allies, continue to ratchet up the pressure, continue pursuing a comprehensive strategic approach to counterterrorism, and work to deny al-Qaida and its affiliates safe haven anywhere in the world."

Preventing proliferation and securing vulnerable nuclear materials remains a priority of the United States. Secretary Clinton signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine on Nuclear Security Cooperation on September 26. Meanwhile, Andreea Paulopol, a Physical Scientist in the Office of Verification and Transparency Technologies, shared her experiences as a UN Disarmament Fellow, where she is learning how the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and to the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) are integrating new measures and improved verification and compliance capabilities.

Ambassador Kurt Tong shared his experiences from the Third Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting and Related Meetings (SOM 3) in San Francisco, where officials have been making progress on three themes of the host year: strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade, encouraging environmentally sustainable growth, and promoting regulatory cooperation and convergence throughout the region. In other economic news, Ambassador David Adelman traveled to the United States for the "Five-Cities-Five-Days" National Export Initiative (NEI) Outreach tour, where he met with U.S. companies in America's heartland to talk about exporting to Singapore and Asia. Similarly, U.S. Chiefs of Mission to Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Panama, and Peru visited seven U.S. cities in two groups as part of a five-day tour to promote U.S. exports to Latin America.

In other news, Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz discussed the challenges ahead in addressing humanitarian crises around the world at the U.S. Institute of Peace, while anticorruption experts from G-20 member countries met in Paris to assess progress on the fight against global corruption.

On a somber note, Secretary Clinton released a statement on the passing of Dr. Wangari Maathai. She said, "…From early on, Dr. Maathai was a tireless advocate for the environment, for women and for all those in the developing world who are unable to realize their potential."

The State Department is committed to advancing the rights of women and girls as a central focus of U.S. diplomacy and development. In Islamabad, the U.S. Embassy is promoting IT skills for Pakistani women. In Kabul, 17 Afghan women became the thirteenth class of policewomen to graduate an international narcotics and law enforcement program. With each graduating class, the number of trained, skilled policewomen grows, setting an example for the next generation of Afghan women. Furthermore, U.S. Embassy New Delhi hosted its third annual "Women in Science" workshop as part of its efforts to encourage women and girls to pursue careers in science and technical fields.

Last week marked the 11th anniversary of World Heart Day, created to educate people around the globe about the dangers of cardiovascular disease. Krysten Carrera highlighted how the United States is committed to the fight against cardiovascular disease through global and domestic initiatives. Also noteworthy, participants in the International Visitor Leadership Program joined Peace Corps alumnae to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

As the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series marks its 150th anniversary, the Office of the Historian launched an Oral History Program that will document the history of U.S. foreign relations and bring a historical perspective to current policy making.

In the week ahead, Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson will hold a conversation with Sam Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction, on the crisis in the Horn of Africa on Tuesday, October 4. Be sure to join the discussion by submitting your questions on DipNote. You can also follow the White House Tweetup for the arrival ceremony of the Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-bak October 13 on Twitter with the hashtag #WHTweetup.

To all members of the Jewish community who celebrated Rosh Hashanah this week, I would like to echo President Obama's message and wish you "a sweet year full of health, happiness, and peace."



Simona M.
October 4, 2011

Simona M. in Serbia writes:

BRAVO!!!&YOU; miss me in everyday reality as ordinary dear human close friend onesly-very respect You!&I like Your fresh sexy looking Lady in Red!All the BEST!

Adri D.
October 3, 2011

Adri D. in Indonesia writes:

Hope you guys have another good one this week
God Bless

Utah, USA
October 3, 2011

Jonny in Utah writes:

Thanks for another fab week in review. The convenience of being able to catch up with State in one posting is great. I have to say I'm tired of the Iranian government acting like they care about human rights. The only way they can stay in office is to be against human rights.

West Virginia, USA
October 3, 2011

Dr. G in West Virginia writes:

L'shana tova to you too, Hillary

October 3, 2011

M. writes:

today I with pleasure saw hear and felt the hand of Mrs. Secretary on Amanda Knox at the beginning of her speech concerning about the loss of her friend Meredith ;)

Be afraid of Justice fear it do not seek hope but pray for the gift of faith therefore faith on the guy behind the judge.

Ladygaga / BarakObamatt: Voters in a social media world only with Twitter ladygaga has world wide around 14millions follower it s a great vehicle of informations and about a million voters only in the us - that s the reason of the Idea.

October 3, 2011

M. writes:

why I feel like WE are making history ?

great job Mrs. Secretary

October 5, 2011

W.W. writes:

you see :) faith in the guy behind the judge why M. ?

New Mexico, USA
October 4, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

As the perverse status quo of Syria's nightmare under Assad continues unabated, it's good to have a witness, but I think it's taking one hell of a toll on the man, if this interview is any evidence;


Ya gotta wonder whether the international community will finally have seen too much to ignore without physicly intervening to put a stop to the slaughter(at Syrian protestor request and dire predicament)before the good Ambassador has seen too much and says "I've had enough, can't do this no more."

Everybody's got their limits, Assad knows none.

Time we hobbled his caboose.

(kicking the legs out from under him and letting him fall hard will amount to the same thing)

How much of this does the world want to witness anyway?

Folks be writing some pretty shameful history here if ya'all let this continue.

Regardless of what happens in the UNSC.

If no one can be bothered to drop a large rock on Assad's head, I guess he'll be reveling in his bloody entertainment for quite some time with a captive audience of silent aquiecence, from every cowardly leader on this planet who shirks their common duty to humanity.

There does come a point where in encoraging people to remain peaceful in the face of being killed by one's government, that one risks being accused of leading lambs to the slaughter, and it might be the truth.

The people are being driven to become violent out of pure survival instinct and it's not something diplomacy can control until the perpetrator of the crimes committed upon the people is stopped in his tracks.

He's been told to step aside, "get out of the way", (or get out of town...if you will) and now it's time to either bust him, or bury him.

Put him on trial in the Haugue, or let him find a hidy hole until hell catches up with him.

Then we can witness some peace.

Thanks for letting me vent like this Dipnote bloggers, they used to have this thing..."let's win this one for the gipper" ...I think we should do that for Amb. Ford in this case.

Unilaterally if we must, and against all objections..."you're either with us, or get the hell out of the way."

That'll ring a few bells and toot a few whisles and cause a few Mullahs in Iran many sleepless nights wondering if they're next, I'll betcha!

And we can do the Syrian people proud in the process. I think they know they are at the point where they need all the help they can get...as of yesterday.


Virginia, USA
October 4, 2011

Jen in Virginia writes:

Wow, another busy week for U.S. Diplomacy. Keep up the good work Secretary Clinton and team!


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