Friday, March 06, 2009

Middle East and Europe Trip: The Youth of Europe

According to a variety of news reports today, Hillary Clinton "positively glowed this morning" at a Q&A session with an audience full of young Europeans eager to hear how she and Barack Obama will change the world.

The day started off with breakfast with the Belgian foreign minister and a pilgrimage to the European Council but still managed to find some time for the youngins.

She was received rapturously. People cheered. She waved. They clapped, they craned their necks for a better glimpse, and they gave her a standing ovation and she was totally in her element. Simply glowing is the best way to put it.

"Europe is a miracle," she told the crowd of around 1,000. "A complex compromise of different interests."

Apart from talking about a range of issues including Russia and Africa, climate change and financial crisis, HIV/Aids and gay rights. She wowed the Europeans with a performance that showed fluency and grasp of detail.

One young guy in the crowd was wearing an "I Love Hillary" T-shirt and that caught her attention! He is a gay rights activist from Moldova and his question got a lot of attention. He asked: "How do you see the foreign policy of the United States changing in the coming years in the field of human rights and in particular sexual rights and gay and lesbian rights?"

Her answer: "Human rights is and always will be one of the pillars of our foreign policy. And in particular, the persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians is something that we take very seriously. It is terribly unfortunate that right now in unfortunately many places in the world violence against gays and lesbians, certainly discrimination and prejudice are not just occurring but condoned and protected. And we would hope that over the next few years we could have some influence in trying to change those attitudes..."

Watch the video clip below!

The event was also streamed live to 31 countries, I a looking for a link to the full talk. Hopefully the State Department will post it soon!

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