Monday, January 31, 2011

Tomorrow: On Hillary Clinton's Agenda

Seriously! Nine interviews (five about Egypt), a trip to Haiti, three Haitian presidential candidates, visits to a clinic and with the embassy staff yesterday (on a Sunday). The ambassadors called in today, and tomorrow she is convening cabinet secretaries. Mme. Secretary ROCKS! ♥

Secretary Clinton to Convene Cabinet Secretaries for the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons on February 1

Notice to the Press

Washington, DC
January 31, 2011

Secretary Clinton, Attorney General Holder, Secretaries Napolitano and Solis, and Ambassador CdeBaca to brief the press following Task Force Meeting

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host the annual meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at approximately 2:00 p.m. on February 1 at the Department of State. Cabinet-level officials will participate in the meeting, including the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretaries of Interior, Agriculture, Labor, Health & Human Services, and Homeland Security.

An open press camera spray will take place at the beginning of the Task Force meeting in the Thomas Jefferson Room at the Department of State.

At approximately 3:00 p.m., Secretary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will deliver brief remarks to the press on the U.S. Government’s new interagency initiatives to combat trafficking in persons, in the Press Briefing Room at the Department of State. Following remarks from the Secretaries, Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis CdeBaca will take questions from the press. This will occur in the Press Briefing Room (2209) at the Department of State.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 authorized the President to establish the President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF), a cabinet-level task force to coordinate federal efforts to combat human trafficking. The PITF is chaired by the Secretary of State and meets at least once a year.

The Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons coordinates the United States’ fight against contemporary forms of slavery. The office was created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. Ambassador-at-Large CdeBaca directs the Department of State’s anti-trafficking efforts in the Office of Democracy and Global Affairs, under the leadership of Under Secretary María Otero.

Secretary Clinton Calls Historic Meeting Of Ambassadors

Hillary Clinton calls historic meeting of ambassadors

By JENNIFER EPSTEIN & LAURA ROZEN | 1/31/11 6:23 AM EST Updated: 1/31/11 10:30 AM EST

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called top envoys from all U.S. embassies to gather in Washington on Monday for a wide-ranging foreign policy meeting.

Ambassadors from almost all 260 U.S. embassies, consulates and other posts in more than 180 countries are expected to convene at the State Department for what’s being billed as the first-ever meeting of its kind.

Read more:

Wow! Working weekend to history-making work week! Here are P.J. Crowley's comments from today's press briefing.

Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary
Daily Press Briefing
Washington, DC
January 31, 2011

All this week, we are hosting the 2011 Global Chiefs of Mission Conference here at the Department. It’s an historic gathering which provides the opportunity for our ambassadors to review the outcomes of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review and discuss strategies for implementation of this and other key initiatives in the context of current and future budget realities. For those of you who have read the QDDR from cover to cover – I’m sure everybody in this room has done so – it really talks about a changing role and the changing demands of our ambassadors at post as they – as the world becomes more complicated, our operations across government become more integrated, our ambassadors in running our missions are running, in fact, a whole-of-government operation and will be working through this week the implications of that.

But at the same time, we want to hear from ambassadors – they’re, in essence, our field generals at posts around the world – on what they see in terms of the challenges that the Department faces going forward. And there will be breakout sessions where we at the Department, here at Main State, will be listening to the ambassadors as they help us understand the challenges of preventing conflict in weak and struggling states, reforming security and justice around the world, countering violent extremism, building private-public partnerships, supporting commercial and economic diplomacy, strengthening public diplomacy, enhancing regional engagement, strengthening planning and budgeting, advancing human rights and democracy, and promoting sustainable development.

During the course of the week, the Secretary will have some significant interaction with our ambassadors on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, but we have others within the interagency coming in. The ambassadors will hear from Chairman Mike Mullen later in the week, hear from National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. They’ll go through our anticipated budget for 2012 and also what we’re currently hearing from the Hill in terms of our budget for 2011, so a wide-ranging discussion with them.

Secretary Clinton's Radio Interviews in Haiti

It had to be some kind of record for a day in the life of any secretary of State past or present. Winding up a morning of interviews on five major Sunday talk shows, Secretary Clinton boarded her plane, flew to Haiti, met to embassy staff and clinic workers, along with three presidential candidates and the sitting president of Haiti, and in the interim, did three more interviews on Haitian radio stations! That is (in case your math is fuzzy), a total of eight interviews in one day... nine if you count her on-the-record press briefing on the plane to part-Au-Prince (posted here yesterday).

Here are her radio interviews from Haiti.

Interview With Wendell Theodore of Radio Metropole

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador's Residence
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Mrs. Secretary of State, thank you for answering my questions. Several political parties and organizations have accused the U.S. Government of exerting unfair pressure on Haiti on government and electoral council to (inaudible) the OAS recommendations. And as a matter of fact, some visas have been revocated, and there will be also (inaudible) to cut aid to the country. What is your reaction to those accusations?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s regrettable that for political purposes anyone would make such accusations. I’m here to show solidarity with the Haitian people, to reaffirm our commitment to Haiti’s reconstruction and development, and to speak out for the right of Haitians to have their voices and their votes heard and respected.

I think the post-election crisis that must be resolved in order for Haiti to move forward is a decision that must be left to the Haitian people. But the Haitian Government asked the OAS, an independent group, to bring technical experts to Haiti to analyze the vote. And they made their recommendations, which we and the entire international community – Canada, Brazil, France, the United Nations, the European Union – everyone who looked at it agrees with the soundness of the OAS.

So I would hope that the efforts by the international community to help Haiti’s democracy develop and to help Haiti deal with the challenges of the earthquake and poverty would be viewed as an effort genuinely to give a better life to the people of Haiti.

With respect to the visa issue, I cannot comment on any individual visa. But I can say that when credible information is presented about a person’s connection with their home country or information about violence or fraud or other matters of concern, there are legal requirements that have to be followed in our country.

QUESTION: Secretary of State, you have met (inaudible) elections. What came out of the meeting? Can people expect a quick resolution (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I wanted to meet with the three leading candidates to hear for myself what they thought was the best way forward. Again, this is a decision that must be made by Haitians, not by the international community. But I do think it’s important that whatever decision is made reflect the will of the majority of Haitian voters. And we are hoping that that will be the decision.

QUESTION: President Preval has announced that he will not leave office on February 7 as it is prescribed by the constitution but will remain in office until May 14. In light of this, what is the U.S. position in regard to this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the United States is advised by Haitian experts that there are certain requirements in the constitution. But decisions, according to the law and constitution of Haiti, must be left up to Haitians to decide. What is important is that there be a peaceful, orderly transition from President Preval to whomever is the next president. The Haitian people deserve that. They need a new president to be chosen so that the work can continue.

QUESTION: How does the U.S. react to the return of Jean-Claude Duvalier, and your reaction to the possibility of Aristide’s return to Haiti?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we don’t know why President Duvalier came back. We know that the people of Haiti have outstanding grievances that may require action in the courts of law, but that is up to Haiti. We want to support what the Haitian Government and the people decide to do. And I don’t know what, if any, plans President Aristide has.

QUESTION: Last question?


QUESTION: Okay. At the highest level, three former U.S. presidents have engaged in reconstruction aid for Haiti. What has become of this commitment?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, the commitment is very strong. And I can speak for my husband; he is absolutely committed. The last time he was here, about two weeks ago, he announced projects that could employ 20,000 Haitians or more. But there needs to be a government and there needs to be stability in that government for a former president, for the international community, to really be a good partner, which is why we hope that there will be a resolution of the election soon.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much. It’s good to talk to you.

Interview With Rothchild Francois Jr. of RFM

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador's Residence
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Mrs. Clinton, I’m very glad to have you as a – to have an interview with you today it’s a very important day for Haiti. So what is the purpose of your mission in Haiti?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m here just a little over a year from the earthquake to express our continuing support for the Haitian people, for reconstruction and redevelopment, for humanitarian assistance, and to show solidarity with the Haitian people as we go forward into the future.

I’m also here to urge that the voices and the votes of the Haitian people be heard and respected. I know that Haiti is on the brink of moving forward in the electoral process, and we support the OAS recommendations. We would like to see Haiti resolve their election and install a new president so that we can begin the hard work that still lies ahead.

QUESTION: Mrs. Clinton, regarding the reconstruction, how do you see the situation in Haiti? We got, like, more than one million people still living in the tents. So how do you judge the situation one year later?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that there has been progress, but not nearly enough. We have an enormous amount of work to do together. And although everyone is working, I think we know that it’s not just rebuilding structures. We want to do better. We want to have a better education system and healthcare system. We want more economic opportunity.

My husband and I feel very personally committed to Haiti. President Obama is very committed to Haiti. So we want to take what has already been done and make it a model, not just for Haiti’s future but for the world.

For example, if I could give you just one statistic, in a year, more rubble has been removed from Haiti than was removed after the tsunami in Indonesia. It is hard when you’re living in the midst of a tent city, when your home has been destroyed and your children are still not regularly going to school, or when the job you had has not come back, to have any perspective. I understand that. So we are here to reassert our commitment. We are impatient; we are determined to work with the people of Haiti to accelerate the progress.

QUESTION: Regarding the political (inaudible) in Haiti right now, you just have a meeting with Michel Martelly, Mrs. Manigat and Jude Celestin. So what kind of message do you send to these leaders in Haiti?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Our message is very simple: We support the votes of the Haitian people and believe they should be respected. We support the OAS recommendations, which reflect the best analysis possible about the intentions of the Haitian people when they voted. But the decision is up to the government and people of Haiti. We would like to see the election go forward into a second round and a resolution so that there can be an orderly transfer of authority and a new president can get to work.


SECRETARY CLINTON: As soon as it can be done. I know that these matters take time. And I met with a group of civil society experts, including election experts, and they’re concerned about making sure that in the next round there are enough observers, there’s enough information for voters so they know where to go to cast their vote.

We will work to help that be accomplished, but the important task now is to set out the schedule and make sure that we hold a free and fair second round.

QUESTION: For the end, Mrs. Clinton, do you have a message for the Haitian population? It’s been waiting a long time for development, democracy, and (inaudible) in Haiti. So do you have a message for Haitian population?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I think that the people of Haiti have proven themselves over the course of your history as courageous, resilient, determined people against great odds. Do not give up. Democracy is worth investing in. It must deliver results for the people, and the United States will stand with you. We know how hard this is, and we admire your courage.

QUESTION: Once again, thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

Interview With Gerin Alexandre of Caraibes FM

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ambassador's Residence
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Mrs. Clinton, what was the purpose of your visit in Haiti?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I am here to express our continuing support for the Haitian people, to show solidarity on behalf of the many challenges that still confront Haiti, and to speak out to ensure that the voices and votes of the Haitian people are heard and respected.

QUESTION: But Mrs. Clinton, this visit come in a different situation with the post-electoral crisis in Haiti and you met with three of the principal candidates. What did you discuss?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I met with the three principal candidates to hear their point of view. The United States does not support or oppose any candidate. We support the Haitian people, and we want to see this post-election crisis resolved in a way that respects the votes of the Haitian people and moves toward a new president.

QUESTION: But (inaudible) U.S. Administration support the report of the OAS?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, we do. We support the report and recommendations of the OAS along with the international community. And I’ve just met with six leaders of the private sector and civil society in Haiti, who told me that they also did reports which are the same as the recommendations of the OAS. So there is support for the OAS and there is support within Haiti for the results of the OAS study.

QUESTION: It seems – it look like – we don’t understand, why do electoral (inaudible) publish the schedule for a second (inaudible) just two days before coming here?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t have any idea. I don’t know why they – they would have published it, but it’s been two months and there does need to be a decision about moving forward. And there is a date set for the election, which hopefully will be met so that the people can express their opinions by their votes.

QUESTION: Yes, you’re talking about respect for (inaudible). Next week, there will be very (inaudible) and reasonable (inaudible) to go as some politicians, some political (inaudible) as for that, what (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that is up to the Haitian people. As I understand the situation, there is a constitutional requirement for the date of February 7th. How that is interpreted and what the president and the people of Haiti decide is up to them. But it is important that the election go forward so there can be a new president. There is so much work to be done in Haiti, and the international community stands ready to help. But we have to get through this election system in order to know who will be Haiti’s president to be able to work with that person.

QUESTION: And (inaudible) American administration think about the return of Jean-Claude Duvalier?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t know why he came back, but he has no reason that he has provided. But the people of Haiti and your government have made it clear that he must answer to the problems of the time when he was president. And I think that is appropriate.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) must be made with two candidates, and you met three. Why?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we know that the top two candidates, according to the OAS report, have a great deal of support together. But we know that the third candidate is claiming that he should be the second candidate. So I did not want to in any way be accused of not meeting with all three. But we support the OAS recommendations and we would like to see them move forward, because we think that’s the best way to respect the votes of the Haitian people.

Ultimately, this is not a decision for the United States. This is a decision for Haiti. We are just, as your friend, urging that this decision be made in the most constitutional way that respects what the people of Haiti voted for.

QUESTION: My last question. Have you already met with (inaudible) Preval, Prime Minister Bellerive and (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I will be seeing them later this evening.

QUESTION: Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir. Nice to see you.


Public Schedule

Washington, DC
January 31, 2011


9:15 a.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries, at the Department of State.


3:30 p.m.
Secretary Clinton attends a meeting at the White House.

6:30 p.m.
Secretary Clinton meets with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen and Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, in Washington DC.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Secretary Clinton Visit to Partners in Health Cholera Treatment Center

Secretary Clinton Visit to Partners in Health Cholera Treatment Center

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

MR. SMITH: I’m Steven Smith from the U.S. Embassy. I’m the health sector coordinator here in Haiti, and it’s a real pleasure to welcome you here, Madam Secretary Clinton, Your Honor. And I have very good news for you. The cholera situation here in Haiti is improving. It’s been a very rough few months, but we’re seeing a decrease in the number of cases. And really, more importantly, we’re seeing a decrease in human fatality. That’s due to an awful lot of hard work, led by the Ministry of Health, supported by the U.S. Government and (inaudible) partners, like Partners in Health. There’s been a tremendous response (inaudible). So we’re very proud of what we’ve done here.

At the same time, cholera is not gone yet. We are looking at cholera being in Haiti for a long time. We are still seeing hundreds of cases (inaudible). We’re still very much engaged (inaudible) response, and we expect to be engaged in that response for an extended period of time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Is it true that cholera was not present before the earthquake?

MR. SMITH: Cholera has not been recognized in Haiti for at least (inaudible). It’s not something – the Haitian medical practitioners did not have experience with it, so we really had to start at the very beginning, which we did. We started building on the platform of what we already had in place. We’ve been working with PEPFAR here. We’ve been working to build capacity at the national lab and (inaudible). And we use those platforms to build a better rapid cholera response. For example, cholera showed up in here in October, and we found it quickly using the surveillance system we set up in response to the earthquake. And the national lab was able to identify cholera here in Haiti. We didn’t have to send the samples to Atlanta. And that’s because of our work with the government to build (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: And I want to hear from Partners in Health, too.

MS. DORSINVILLE: Yes. Welcome. I want to welcome you particularly on behalf of (inaudible) and all our partners here. We’ve been in two camps (inaudible) and four other camps (inaudible) continuing with healthcare, primary healthcare, women’s health, healthcare for the amputees. And so when the cholera outbreak came, we were prepared and we got the structures in place. And we’ve been working not only (inaudible) primary care, but also responding (inaudible) equipment (inaudible) and a lot of training of practitioners and community health workers.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Can you identify yourself?

MS. DORSINVILLE: Oh, I’m Nancy Dorsinville with Partners in Health.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’ve had a chance to meet Nancy before. I want to, first of all, express my great appreciation and admiration for everyone working to stem and then reverse the cholera epidemic that Haiti had to contend with since October. The United States Government is very committed to continuing our support for the work that is being done here. We have many ways of doing that, and certainly directly through our Embassy, USAID, PEPFAR, CDC, so many other American Government entities, and then also through our support for the Haitian Government and NGOs like Partners in Health.

But I am very impressed by what has been accomplished in a short period of time, and I want to reassure and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the needs of the Haitian people, the health needs and other needs that are present and in many ways exacerbated by the continuing efforts at reconstruction and redevelopment following the earthquake.

But I wanted to come and see for myself. It’s a good news story to the extent that the numbers are diminishing, but it’s by no means over. They are still admitting patients, as they did today. They are still treating people. And thankfully, we are better equipped to be able to save lives and limit the fatalities. But we have a long way to go, just as we have a long way to go in our ongoing work with Haiti. So I thank both of you.

Secretary Clinton Meets with Embassy Staff in Port-Au-Prince

Secretary Clinton Meets with Embassy Staff


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Toussaint Louverture International Airport
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: It's wonderful to see you all, and I want to start by thanking you. I know that just over one year ago many of you were here in the middle of organizing emergency relief, operations, conducting a very large evacuation. We may have passed the immediate emergency phase, but now we're in the middle of a long-term reconstruction effort on behalf of the Haitian people. And I am so grateful to all of you for everything you have done, for the leadership you have shown. I’ve thanked you before. I’ve thanked you through the ceremonies that we’ve held at the State Department. I know that many of you had grave concerns about your own families, about friends and others, and you did not know what the outcome of this terrible natural disaster would be, and you kept on working and showed the highest level of service to the people of Haiti. And I am grateful.

And then you’ve continued to work. We know there is so much to be done. We have an enormous task still ahead of us. But you have run programs that have provided short-term employment to more than 350 Haitians. You’ve not only worked to rebuild your own homes and families, but provided safe housing to more than 200,000 displaced Haitians. And I know that your work doesn't end when the official hours are over. Many of you keep working on so many efforts, volunteering with church groups or community groups, helping to rebuild a local school and so much more.

I want you to know that both President Obama and I are well aware of the commitment that you have shown, and I want you to know that we remain committed to you and committed to Haiti. We have a wonderful team, some of whom have been here the whole time, many of whom are new, of Americans through Foreign Service, Civil Service representatives of all of our government agencies. But the real backbone of this Embassy are the Haitians who work with us, who come to help deepen and broaden the relationship between the United States and Haiti and who are providing invaluable assistance.

I am here today with a very simple message: The United States, our government and our people, will stand with the Haitian people. We want to see the reconstruction continued. We want to see the voices and votes of the Haitian people acknowledged and recognized. We want to see you move forward into a future that really meets the promise that has so often been held out as the potential of Haiti.

So I thank you and I want to shake your hands and thank you personally, but I wanted this to be my first public stop to say thank you and to encourage you to keep working with us, because we’ve made some progress but not nearly enough. And we have a long way to go and it needs to be done right. It needs to be done in a way that keeps faith with the Haitian people and the enormous sacrifice and loss that you have suffered.

So thank you again, and God bless you and God bless Haiti. (Applause.)

Slideshow: Hillary Clinton in Haiti

The Secretary of State had a very long busy day today. She began by appearing on five Sunday morning talk shows then flew to Port-Au-Prince. In these photos we see her with Cheryl Mills, who accompanied her, the Ambassador to Haiti, Ken Merten, and Clinton Foundation CEO, Laura Graham. She visited a cholera clinic, and we see her sanitizing hands and feet (good since we do not want to see our Mme. Secretary getting sick). The placards were carried by a small group of protesters who met her at the airport. They clearly are not in agreement with the election results. She met with three candidates, Mirlande Manigat (the woman), Michel Martelly (the bald guy), and Jude Celestin (with the mustache). The last is the one who really has not qualified for the run-off election. In her press briefing she mentioned convincing him to remove his name from the ballot. It seems he was the candidate hand-picked by current President Preval whom she was also scheduled to meet. We also see her preparing for yet another interview on this very busy day, this one at an unidentified Haitian radio station. She still looks beautiful enough to be on TV during this grueling schedule! I was going to wait to post these until after we had some remarks about her day, but I decided to go ahead now. Later I will post any remarks and press releases that come through. I have not seen a picture of her with President Preval yet today, either. Perhaps there will be a joint statement. Check back later for additional posts. Meanwhile, enjoy these. The SOS looked spectacular today!

Secretary Clinton: Press Briefing En Route to Port-Au-Prince

On-the-Record Briefing of the Traveling Press


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
En Route to Port-au-Prince, Haiti
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: But just to ask you two quick things, one on Haiti -- the political crisis does not seem yet to be over. Jude (audible) has not actually formally withdrawn his candidacy. Therefore, under the letter of the law, he has to do so. What do you hope to achieve when you see him? Are you going to urge him to withdraw? What's your -- what do you hope to get out of this visit, to try to help resolve the political --

SECRETARY CLINTON: Talking about Haiti, now?

QUESTION: We're talking about Haiti.



SECRETARY CLINTON: I am looking forward to talking with the three (inaudible) candidates, as well as President Preval and civil society and the press in Haiti, because we have made it very clear we support the OAS recommendations, and we would like to see those acted on. And I am going to do my own assessment about the way forward. There are many complications that are legitimate concerns raised by various figures in Haiti, not just President Preval, but others, about what is the best compromise.

The international community has been very clear, and I am going to be carrying that message. But I will also be listening. And if there are ideas that we should follow up on, we will take those into account. But we want to see the OAS recommendations followed.

QUESTION: Preval's mandate expires February 7th.

SECRETARY CLINTON: February 7th, right. Well, we have to talk about -- see, that's one of the problems that we have to talk about.

QUESTION: Sure. Do you think a transitional government should come in? Do you think his mandate should be extended --

SECRETARY CLINTON: I will have more to say at the end of today than I have to say right now, because I don't want to prejudge what I am going to be discussing with the various people I meet with. But you put your finger on one of the problems is that the president's existing term expires on February 7th.

QUESTION: What’s your message to Preval?

SECRETARY CLINTON: It's the same message we have been delivering consistently, and not just the United States. I want to emphasize that this is an international message, that the -- we stood behind the OAS when they sent down independent technical experts to evaluate the outcome of the elections. I want to underscore that this was not an American initiative. There were no Americans involved. This was an OAS initiative under the inter-American democratic charter. And it's not only those of us in the hemisphere that are concerned, but the UN, the European Union, others. And we would like to see those recommendations enacted.

There are timing concerns, there are issues of a continuing government, how that can be structured, and that's what I am going to be discussing.

QUESTION: And would USAID be (inaudible), or is there any --

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, we are not talking about any of that. We have a deep commitment to the Haitian people. And that goes to humanitarian aid, it goes to governance and democracy programs. We will be going to a cholera treatment center that represents an excellent combination of American and international efforts to try to stem the cholera epidemic, and there has been success in limiting that.

So, we are focused on helping the Haitian people. And one of the ways we want to help them is by making sure that their political choices are respected.

QUESTION: Do you (inaudible) the circumstance (inaudible) suspend or reduce aid --

SECRETARY CLINTON: Not at this time, no.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: And what do you think about the pace of reconstruction?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think it's been steady, but not adequate to the task that we are confronting, for many reasons that we have analyzed, and have made clear we want to see it expedited, accelerated. And the number of countries and NGOs who are committed to doing that remains very high. But the problems are significant. Some of them are problems of logistics and obstacles, like what do you do with all the rubble? I mean it's a really big problem.

So, we are sorting all that through. But certainly my team, led by Cheryl Mills, the international team, are really focused on the steady, continuing efforts to bring about positive results from our reconstruction commitment.

QUESTION: Can we return to Egypt, really quick?


QUESTION: After the announcement of the vice presidency, what does that mean (inaudible)? Obviously there is not necessarily all the concrete steps you want to see of democratizing, but what's your message right now to Egypt (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have made very clear that the concrete steps for democratic and economic reform that President Mubarak mentioned in his speech have to be acted on. The United States has urged that the president appoint a vice president for decades. So, in fact, that has finally come about in the face of this crisis.

But there has to be a commitment by whoever is in the government that they will engage in a national dialogue with the people of Egypt, with the aim at taking actions that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people for more participation, for respect for human rights, for the universal human rights that they are entitled to, for economic reforms that will give more opportunity for people. And we want to see all of that happen.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) foreign policy (inaudible) this Administration?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that -- I don't label anything like that. I mean this is a very serious time for Egypt, and we are going to do all that we can to support an orderly transition to a situation in which the aspirations of the Egyptians are addressed. And there are many complexities about that, because obviously, Egypt has been our partner, and we have worked closely with Egypt to maintain peace in the region.

The Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement prevented a lot of violence, prevented a lot of loss of life over many years. And we greatly appreciate that. We do not want to see a change toward a regime that would actually continue to foment violence or chaos, either because it didn't exist or because it had a different view that it wished to impose on the Egyptian people. This is a very complex situation, and we want to be clear about what we expect. And I think that both President Obama and I have done so numerous times.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) two military men (inaudible) director of the intelligence service, is widely regarded as the face of the (inaudible), and then the head of the air force, former head of the air force, is the prime minister. Is this the change you seek?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Arshad, we have said what we expect to see at the end of the process. And we want to encourage steps to be taken that will move us in that direction. And we will keep urging that in public and in private.

QUESTION: Thank you.


There are many pictures coming in that tell the story of this day. Later, when that collection is complete, I will post them along with the remarks that, as she signals in this briefing, she will make as this visit wraps up. At the moment, I have only one picture of her with one of the candidates, so I want to wait until I have a complete collection for the day.

Hillary Clinton: Wheels Down in Haiti

Right now, I only have these few pictures, but I thought I would share them. That is our Ambassador to Haiti, Ken Merten walking with her, and we see her talking to and greeting U.S. Embassy staff. She looks exquisite. I like her in scarves. (Keatsian comment for the day.)

There are no press releases from the State Department yet, but a few news stories have come through.

Clinton Urges Haitian Leader to Resolve Election Crisis

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Haiti to act on recommendations of the Organization of American States to resolve an electoral crisis in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Read more>>>>

Clinton: US Has No Plans To Suspend Aid To Haiti

The United States has no plans to halt aid to earthquake-ravaged Haiti in spite of a crisis over who will be the nation's next leader but does insist that the president's chosen successor be dropped from the race, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday.

Read more>>>>

Secretary Clinton's Interview With David Gregory of NBC's Meet The Press

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Interview With David Gregory of NBC's Meet The Press

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Here with me now for the very latest on the crisis, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Madam Secretary, welcome back to Meet the Press.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, David.

QUESTION: I know our time with you is limited. Let me get right to it. On Monday, you said that the Egyptian Government was stable and was looking for ways to respond to the wishes of the people. Have you changed your view?

SECRETARY CLINTON: David, this is a very volatile situation, and I think that as we monitor it closely we continue to urge the Egyptian Government, as the United States has for 30 years, to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people and begin to take concrete steps to implement democratic and economic reform. At the same time, we recognize that we have to deal with the situation as it is, and we are heartened by what we hear from our contacts that, at least thus far, the army has been trying to bring a sense of order without violence. And we have to make a distinction, as they are attempting to do, between peaceful protestors whose aspirations need to be addressed, and then those who take advantage of such a situation for looting or other criminal activity.

And we have a very clear message: Long-term stability rests on responding to the legitimate needs of the Egyptian people, and that is what we want to see happen.

QUESTION: Are you calling the regime of Hosni Mubarak stable this morning?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not going to get into either/or choices. What we’re saying is that any efforts by this government to respond to the needs of their people, to take steps that will result in a peaceful, orderly transition to a democratic regime, is what is in the best interests of everyone, including the current government.

QUESTION: You’ve talked about the steps that are necessary for the regime to take in order to really respond to the wishes of the people, your spokesman, P.J. Crowley, put on Twitter yesterday that, “The Egyptian Government can’t reshuffle the deck and then stand pat. President Mubarak’s words pledging reform must be followed by action.”

Are you calling upon Egypt to call for free and fair elections, and will you ask Mubarak to say unequivocally that he will not run?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We have been urging free and fair election for many years. I mean, I do think it’s important to recognize that through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, America’s message has been consistent. We want to see free and fair elections, and we expect that that will be one of the outcomes of what is going on in Egypt right now. So we have been sending that message over and over again, publicly and privately, and we continue to do so.

QUESTION: But is the only way that Mubarak stays in power for now is if he calls immediately for free and fair elections and pledges that he will not run?

SECRETARY CLINTON: David, these issues are up to the Egyptian people, and they have to make these decisions. But our position is very clear. We have urged for 30 years that there be a vice president, and finally a vice president was announced just a day or two ago. So we have tried to, in our partnership with Egypt, to make the point over and over again about what will create a better pathway for the Egyptian people in terms of greater participation with political reforms and greater economic opportunity.

I spoke about this very clearly in Doha, it seems like a long time ago but just about two weeks ago, where I outlined that whatever was possible in the 20th century is no longer possible for regimes in the 21st century. The world is moving too fast. There is too much information. People’s aspirations and certainly the rise of middle classes throughout the world demand responsive, participatory government. And that is what we expect to see happen.

QUESTION: Well, I just want to pin you down on this, Secretary Clinton. Do you think that the Mubarak regime has taken the necessary steps to retain power?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I think that there are many, many steps that have to be taken. And it’s not a question of who retains power. That should not be the issue. It’s how are we going to respond to the legitimate needs and grievances expressed by the Egyptian people and chart a new path. Clearly, the path that has been followed has not been one that has created that democratic future, that economic opportunity that people in the peaceful protests are seeking.

So it’s our very strong advice, which we have delivered. President Obama spoke with President Mubarak, I’ve spoken with my counterpart, Secretary Gates has spoken with his. This is an ongoing conversation that American officials have had for 30 years. Now is the time to move toward a national dialogue, to take concrete steps, to create the political space for peaceful protest and for the creation of peaceful oppositions that want to help work toward a better future. That is what we want to see.

QUESTION: Should Mubarak lose power? Will the United States offer him sanctuary?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I believe strongly that we are only at the beginning of what is unfolding in Egypt. I’m not going to go into hypotheticals and speculation, other than to say that President Mubarak and his government have been an important partner to the United States. I mean, let’s not just focus on today. This is a government that made and kept a peace with Israel that was incredibly important, avoiding violence, turmoil, death in the region. But so much more has to be done, and that is what we are urging.

QUESTION: But you’d like to see him stay in power?

SECRETARY CLINTON: David, you cannot keep trying to put words in my mouth. I’ve never said that. I don’t intend to say that. I want the Egyptian people to have the chance to chart a new future. It needs to be an orderly, peaceful transition to real democracy, not faux democracy like the elections we saw in Iran two years ago, where you have one election 30 years ago and then the people just keep staying in power and become less and less responsive to their people. We want to see a real democracy that reflects the vibrancy of Egyptian society. And we believe that President Mubarak, his government, civil society, political activists, need to be part of a national dialogue to bring that about.

QUESTION: Before you go, are Americans in danger in Egypt?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We’re working closely with the Egyptian Government to ensure the safety of American citizens. We have authorized a voluntary departure. We’re reaching out to American citizens. As I’m speaking to you at this point, thankfully we do not have any reports of any American citizens killed or injured. We want to keep it that way. So we are just working triple-time here at the State Department to ensure the safety of our Americans.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you.


Secretary Clinton's Interview With Candy Crowley of CNN's State Of The Union

Interview With Candy Crowley of CNN's State Of The Union

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Joining me now from the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Madam Secretary, thank you for being here.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Candy.

QUESTION: It seems to me that when this started out, and we saw the signs and the protestors in the street, they were anti-Mubarak. Now, if you are watching, we are seeing signs that say, “U.S., Stop Backing Mubarak.” What side is the U.S. on, Mubarak, or the people in the streets?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there’s another choice: it’s the Egyptian people. We’re on the side, as we have been for more than 30 years, of a democratic Egypt that provides both political and economic rights to its people, that respects the universal rights of all Egyptians. And that is the message that every ambassador, whether Republican or Democratic president, everyone has conveyed for over 30 years.

What happens is truly up to the Egyptian people. And what the United States is doing is sending a very clear message – we wish to see everyone refrain from violence. The Army is now fulfilling security responsibilities. They are a respected institution in Egyptian society, and we know they have a delicate line to walk, because they want to protect peaceful protest, but they also don’t want to see any city descend into chaos with looting and criminal activity. And we are encouraging a very careful approach that respects the rights of people.

We are also very much behind the kind of concrete steps that need to be taken for economic and political reform. We have, over the past 30 years, supported civil society groups, we have supported women’s groups, we have tried to help build up a lot of the elements within Egyptian society that are going to be necessary when there is a national dialogue, as we are urging, to determine the path forward.

And clearly, Candy, this is a complex, very difficult situation. Egypt has been a partner of the United States over the last 30 years, has been instrumental in keeping the peace in the Middle East between Egypt and Israel, which is a critical accomplishment that has meant so much to so many people. So I think we have to keep on the message we’ve been on, convey that publicly and privately, as we are doing, and stand ready to help with the kind of transition that will lead to greater political and economic freedom.

QUESTION: The President’s remarks, in which he said much of what you just said, warning against huge crackdowns against peaceful protestors, saying we’ve got to see some concrete steps towards opening up political reform and advancing it, it’s been interpreted here by many, and some overseas, as a beginning to back away from President Mubarak. Do you argue with that translation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: We do not want to send any message about backing forward or backing back. What we’re trying to do is to help clear the air, so that those who remain in power, starting with President Mubarak, with his new vice president, with the new prime minister, will begin a process of reaching out, of creating a dialogue that will bring in peaceful activists and representatives of civil society to plan a way forward that will meet the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people.

There is no easy answer. And clearly, increasing chaos or even violence in the streets, prison breaks which we have had reports about, that is not the way to go. We want to see this peaceful uprising on the part of the Egyptian people to demand their rights, to be responded to in a very clear, unambiguous way by the government, and then a process of national dialogue that will lead to the changes that the Egyptian people seek and that they deserve.

Now, that will take time. It is unlikely to be done overnight without very grave consequences for everyone involved. So what we want to see is, as we have said over and over again, the concrete steps taken. It took 30 years to have a vice president appointed. We want to see both the existing and any new members of any government continue to put real life into what President Mubarak himself said, which were concrete steps toward democratic and economic reform.

QUESTION: If I could, the people that we are seeing – and certainly that you are seeing – don’t seem like the type that want to wait another 30 years for a full democracy. So –

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, of course not.

QUESTION: So, what I – when we look at these demonstrations, when we talk to some of the people involved in it, it does not seem that even if President Mubarak were to do everything you have now laid out, that he is at all acceptable. Do you think that President Mubarak can survive this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Again, Candy, this is going to be up to the Egyptian people. But let’s look at what we have. We have a calendar that already has elections for the next president scheduled. So there is an action-enforcing event that is already on the calendar. Can there be efforts made to really respond to the political desires of the people so that such an election is free and fair and credible?

There are many steps that can be taken by reaching out to those who have advocated a peaceful, orderly transition to greater democracy, where the Egyptian people themselves get to express their views.

QUESTION: But from what you’ve seen –

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s what we wish to see.

QUESTION: From what you have seen, will that be enough? If he takes those steps and says, “Hey, we have already got pre-scheduled elections coming up,” is that enough to keep him in power?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, no. Much has to be done. And we are not advocating any specific outcome. We are advocating that the government, the representatives of the civil society, the political opposition and activists begin a dialogue to chart a course. Egypt is a large, complex, very important country. I don’t think the Egyptian people want to see what is a very clear effort to obtain political and economic rights turn into any kind of new form of oppression or suppression or violence or letting loose criminal elements. That’s not what they’re in the streets protesting for.

So, how do we get from where they are today to where they would like to be? It needs to be done immediately, with a process that brings people to the table, and that the Egyptian people can see, “Oh, I know So-and-So. He represents a group that has been advocating for democracy for many years.” This is going to be a legitimate effort that is going to result in changes that will have responded to the needs and the voices of the people who have been protesting.

QUESTION: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a busy woman these days. We thank you for your time.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Candy.

Secretary Clinton's Interview With Christiane Amanpour of ABC's This Week

Video Link

Interview With Christiane Amanpour of ABC's This Week

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Perhaps no one is watching this situation more closely than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and she joins us this morning from the State Department. Has the United States Administration, whether yourself, whether the President or Secretary Gates, told the Egyptian Government specifically that any military crackdown will result in a cutoff of U.S. military assistance?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. Right now, we’re monitoring the actions of the Egyptian military and they are, as I’m sure your contacts are telling you, demonstrating restraint, working to try to differentiate between peaceful protestors, whom we all support, and potential looters and other criminal elements who are obviously a danger to the Egyptian people. We have sent a very clear message that we want to see restraint. We do not want to see violence by any security forces. And we continue to convey that message. There is no discussion as of this time about cutting off any aid. We always are looking and reviewing our aid.

But right now, we are trying to convey a message that is very clear – that we want to ensure there is no violence and no provocation that results in violence, and that we want to see these reforms and a process of national dialogue begun so that the people of Egypt can see their legitimate grievances addressed.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, do you believe that what President Mubarak has done already, which is to appoint a first-ever vice president and to shuffle the government – does that amount to enough reform? Is that all you’ve asked him to do?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, of course not. But there has been, for 30 years, a both public and private dialogue with the Egyptian Government – sometimes more public, sometimes more private, but all with the same message from Republican and Democratic administrations – that there needs to be reform. One of the items on that long list was appointing a vice president.

That has happened, but that is the beginning, the bare beginning of what needs to happen, which is a process that leads to the kind of concrete steps to achieve democratic and economic reform that we’ve been urging and that President Mubarak himself discussed in his speech the other day.

QUESTION: There are people still on the streets in great numbers. On Tuesday, you said that the U.S. Government’s assessment is that the Government of Egypt is stable. Do you believe that was a mistake or do you think today that the Government of Egypt is stable?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Christiane, I know that everybody wants a yes-or-no answer to what are very complicated issues. Obviously, this is a volatile situation. Egypt has been a partner of the United States for over three decades, has been a partner in achieving historic peace with Israel, a partner in trying to stabilize a region that is subject to a lot of challenges. And we have been consistent across those three decades in arguing that real stability only comes from the kind of democratic participation that gives people a chance to feel that they are being heard.

And by that, I mean real democracy, not a democracy for six months or a year and then evolving into essentially a military dictatorship, or a so-called democracy that then leads to what we saw in Iran. So we’ve been very clear about what is in Egypt’s long-term interests, and we continue to be clear. And that is what we want to see come from this very – this great outpouring of desire for the people of Egypt to have their universal human rights recognized. And that is what we hope will come.

QUESTION: A lot of the people here on the streets are telling us that they’re angry, they think the U.S. is hedging its bets.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I just want to reiterate what both President Obama and I have been saying. I said it in Doha, I’ve said it before, President Obama said it himself when he was in Cairo at the beginning of his Administration – we believe that democracy, human rights, economic reform are in the best interests of the Egyptian people. Any government that does not try to move in that direction cannot meet the legitimate needs of the people. And in the 21st century, it is highly vulnerable to what we have seen in the region and beyond. People are not going to stand by any longer and not be given the opportunity to fulfill their own God-given potential.

So what I’m hoping is that there can be a very difficult set of decisions made, that the government will be able to maintain a peaceful relationship with peaceful protestors, that where there is criminal activity, looting and the like, that can be handled in an appropriate way, respecting human rights. But then we can see a national dialogue begin where the Government of Egypt recognizes that it must – that it must take those concrete steps that many of us have been urging for democratic and economic reform.

I think that is the best way for Egypt to navigate through this without unforeseen consequences that could further undermine the legitimate aspirations of the Egyptian people.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for joining us.


Secretary Clinton's Interview With Bob Schieffer of CBS's Face the Nation

Interview With Bob Schieffer of CBS's Face The Nation

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: We’re just off the line with Liz Palmer, our person in Cairo, and during her report, F-16s, Egyptian air force warplanes, apparently were flying low over the demonstrators in the main part of Cairo. Do you know what this is about?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Bob, I don’t, and let me repeat again what President Obama and I have been saying, and that is to urge the Egyptian security forces to show restraint, to not respond in any way through violence or intimidation. That falls upon the peaceful protestors who are demanding that their grievances be heard. And obviously, our reports up until now have been that the Egyptian army had taken up positions, that they were showing such restraint. And we strongly urge that that continue.

What the people who are in Tahrir Square and elsewhere in Egypt are protesting for is the right to participate in their government, to have economic opportunity, for their human rights to be respected. We are very clearly asking both in public and private that the Egyptian authorities respond to that, that they start a process of national dialogue that will lead to a transition to such democracy, and what President Mubarak himself said the other day – that they would begin to take concrete steps for democratic and economic reform – we expect to see happen.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, do you think those things are possible if President Mubarak stays in office, or is he eventually going to have to leave?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m not going to speculate, Bob. What we are focused on now is a transition that will meet the needs of the Egyptian people and that will truly establish democracy, not just for one election and then no more elections after that, or not for radicals, extremists, violent elements to take over. We want to see the – what really was at the core of the protests, which were people saying, “Hey, we deserve a better life. We deserve more opportunity to be respected and responded to.” And that is what we’ve been conveying and that’s what we will continue to make very clear, and we stand ready to assist.

QUESTION: Do you – are you concerned that if President Mubarak does go, it may give an opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been the opposition to his government for so many years, could somehow come to power? I think most people agree they were not the start of this or the cause of these demonstrations. But where do you see – what role do you see them playing if Mr. – President Mubarak should go?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I’m not speculating about who goes or who stays. And I’m not prepared to comment on what kind of democratic process the Egyptian people can construct for themselves. But we obviously want to see people who are truly committed to democracy, not to imposing any ideology on Egyptians. And therefore, we would like to encourage that people who have been the voice of protest and been the voice of civil society be the ones at the table trying to design what would be an orderly transition to meet the democratic and economic needs of the people.

Bob, we’re all very conscious of the fact that Egypt is an incredibly important country, a large country with great influence in the region and meaning for the Arab world. And we want to see the outcome of what started as peaceful protests legitimately demanding redress for grievances to result in a true democracy. Not a phony one like we saw with Iranian elections, not to see a small group that doesn’t represent the full diversity of Egyptian society take over and try to impose their own religious or ideological beliefs. We want to see the full diversity and dynamism of Egyptian society represented.

QUESTION: Do you believe that his appointment of a new vice president – is that helpful?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s something that American Government representatives have been urging and requesting for 30 years. I talked – I’ve talked with former ambassadors over the last weeks who have said, “Boy, I remember when I went in in 1980-this or 1990-that.” So yes, it’s something we have said is absolutely imperative. It finally has happened. There are some new people taking responsibility in government. We hope that they can contribute to the kind of democratic and economic reforms that the people of Egypt deserve.

QUESTION: So far, though, it does not seem that anything that Mr. Mubarak has said or done up until this point has, in any way, tempered these demonstrations. I mean, things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think there are several things going on. But first and foremost, words alone are not enough. There have to be actions. There has to be a demonstrable commitment to the kind of reforms that we all know are needed and desired, but also too, there is now, unfortunately, in addition to the legitimate, peaceful protests that are going on, lots of reports of looting, prison breaks, and the like. So it makes the situation much more complicated than it even was before, because everyone wants to ensure that the right of assembly, the right of association, the right of free expression be protected, that there be no violence against the protests.

At the same time, people in the streets have to refrain from violence themselves. And I’ve heard many stories of Egyptians protecting their national museum, protecting their homes. And they’re protecting them from looters and from criminals. So this is an incredibly complex set of circumstances, and we are hoping and praying that the authorities will be able to respond to the legitimate requests for participation by the peaceful protestors. Let’s begin to see some meetings with representatives of the government and representatives of civil society. Let’s begin to see some steps taken that will lead toward free, fair, and credible elections in the future.

Those will begin to put some substance behind the words and give the protestors who are trying to see a future for Egypt that is responsive to their needs a reality that they can hang onto.

QUESTION: All right. Madam Secretary, thank you so much.


Secretary Clinton's Interview With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday

Interview With Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
January 30, 2011

QUESTION: Joining us now from the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary, President Obama on Friday called on Mubarak to recognize the rights of the Egyptian people. Are you satisfied with the steps that Mubarak has taken so far?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I don’t think anyone is satisfied, least of all the Egyptian the people, who have legitimate grievances and are seeking greater political freedom, a real path to democracy, and economic opportunity. And for 30 years, the United States, through Republican and Democratic administrations, has been urging the Mubarak government to take certain steps. In fact, we’ve been urging that a vice president be appointed for decades, and that finally has happened.

But there’s a long way to go, Chris, and our hope is that we do not see violence; we see a dialogue opening that reflects the full diversity of Egyptian civil society, that has the concrete steps for democratic and economic reform that President Mubarak himself said that he was going to pursue, and that we see the respect for human rights for Egyptian people and the kind of progress that will lead to a much more open, political, and economic set of opportunities for the Egyptian people.

QUESTION: Secretary, all of your answer has been couched in terms of President Mubarak. Does that mean that the Obama Administration still backs Mubarak as the legitimate president of Egypt?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we have been very clear that we want to see a transition to democracy, and we want to see the kind of steps taken that will bring that about. We also want to see an orderly transition. Right now, from everything we know, the army has taken up positions. They are responding very positively thus far to the peaceful protests. But at the same time, we have a lot of reports of looting and criminal activity that is not going to be particularly helpful to what we want to see happen, and that has to be dealt with.

So there are many, many steps along the journey that has been started by the Egyptian people themselves, and we wish to support that.

QUESTION: Secretary, you talk about an orderly transition. How concerned are you that if Mubarak were to be suddenly thrown from power that Islamic radicals could fill the void?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Chris, we want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void – that there be a well thought out plan that will bring about a democratic, participatory government. And I also believe strongly that this is in Egypt’s long-term interests, it’s in the interests of the partnership that the United States has with Egypt. So that is what we are attempting to promote and support, because clearly, what we don’t want is chaos. I don’t think the Egyptian people want that. They want their grievances to be addressed. We also don’t want to see some takeover that would lead not to democracy, but to oppression and the end of the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

So this is an intensely complex situation. It does not lend itself to quick yes-or-no, easy answers, but instead, I think the path that President Obama has charted, that we are pursuing, that calls for no violence, that supports the aspirations and human rights of the Egyptian people, that stands behind concrete steps toward democratic and economic reform is the right path for all of us to be on.

QUESTION: Secretary, on Tuesday, after the protests had already started in Cairo, you said this:

SECRETARY CLINTON: Our assessment is that the Egyptian Government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.

QUESTION: A number of protestors in the streets said based on that remark and other actions that the U.S. was acting on the side of the regime, not of the protestors. Was that statement by you a mistake?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Chris, we recognize the volatility of the situation, and we are trying to do exactly what I have just said – to promote orderly transition and change that will respond to the legitimate grievances of the Egyptian people, which is what the protests are all about. I don’t think anyone wants to see instability, chaos, increasing violence. That is not in anyone’s interest.

So what President Obama and I have been doing is sending a very clear message about where the United States stands. We want to see an orderly transition to a democratic government, to economic reforms – exactly what the protestors are seeking. At the same time, we want to recognize Egypt has been our partner. They’ve been our partner in a peace process that has kept the region from war for over 30 years, which has saved a lot of lives – Egyptian lives, Israeli lives, other lives.

We want to continue to make it absolutely a American priority that – what we’ve been saying for 30 years – is that real stability rests in democracy, participation, economic opportunity. How we get from where we are to where we know the Egyptian people want to be and deserve to be is what this is about now. So we are urging the Mubarak government, which is still in power; we are urging the military, which is a very respected institution in Egypt, to do what is necessary to facilitate that kind of orderly transition.

QUESTION: And briefly, Secretary, should Americans currently in Egypt leave the country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are following the conditions for American citizens extremely closely. This is one of my highest responsibilities, Chris. And we have authorized voluntary departure, which means that we will assist American citizens to leave Egypt. We have warned that there should not be any nonessential travel to Egypt. Thankfully, right now, there are no reports of Americans killed or injured. Again, I thank the Egyptian army for the support and security that they have provided. But we are watching it closely and we are assisting Americans who wish to leave.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, we want to thank you so much for talking with us today.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

Hillary Clinton: Wheels Up For Haiti

After appearing on five Sunday morning talk shows today, the Secretary of State was whisked off to Andrews Air Force Base where she boarded her plane for Haiti. She will meet with President Préval regarding the upcoming run-off election.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hillary Clinton About Egypt On Five Sunday Morning TV Talk Shows Tomorrow

Thank you, Hal Boedeker!

Hillary Clinton to discuss Egypt on five Sunday shows

ABC, CBS, CNN, Face the Nation, Fox News Channel, Meet the Press, NBC, State of the Union, This Week, WESH, WFTV, WKMG, WOFL — posted by halboedeker on January, 29 2011 11:28 AM

The crisis in Egypt has the Sunday morning programs revising their guest lineups.Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit five Sunday morning programs:

***”State of the Union starts at 9 a.m on CNN.

***”Fox News Sunday” starts at 9 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35.

***NBC’s “Meet the Press” begins at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2.

***CBS’ “Face the Nation” begins at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6.

***ABC’s “This Week” starts at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9.