Thursday, May 28, 2009

Secretary Hillary Clinton met with Visiting Egyptian Democracy Activists at the State Department

Today Secretary Hillary Clinton met with Visiting Egyptian Democracy Activists at the State Department. They stood briefly before the press, while Hillary gave an address and took a few questions.

After shaking each and every young Egyptian activits' hands and taking a group photo, she welcomed them all to the State Department, and a few to the U.S. for the first time:

"This is a group of young men and women from Egypt who are committed to improving the lives of the Egyptian people, providing more economic opportunity, greater growth in democracy, respect for human rights. They come from a variety of backgrounds. Each of them brings a special experience, an expertise to their interests and their efforts.

I am excited about going to Egypt next week with President Obama for his speech. I’ve enjoyed the opportunities that I have had to work with my Egyptian counterparts on how we’re going to deepen and broaden our relationship between our two countries. But the most important part of that relationship is between the American and Egyptian people. And I think that a number of our visitors have made their first trip to the United States with this trip. So it’s wonderful to have you here and to be part of this."

After her brief introduction, the Secretary gladly took a few questions before meeting privately with the activists.

One question asked how her dinner was last night with President Abbas and if she felt progree was being made. She response was extremely insightful and well spoken.

"We had a very productive dinner last night with President Abbas and other officials from the Palestinian Authority. We discussed a full range of concerns. Senator Mitchell reported on his recent discussions with Israeli officials as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit.

We believe strongly in the two-state solution, and we are committed to doing all that we can to work with Israelis and Palestinians and others, like Egypt, to try to push that forward. We have laid out some ideas that we’ve shared with both the Israelis and the Palestinians. And as you know, President Abbas will be meeting with President Obama this afternoon in the Oval Office.

This is a difficult, complex undertaking. But we are committed to it, and we think it’s in the best interest of both Palestinians and Israelis. We think this effort to obtain a two-state solution is the best way for Israel to have the peace and security that they are seeking and deserve, and we think it is the best way for Palestinians to have a sense of empowerment and authority over their own lives and to give them the chance to raise their families and to have the kind of future that the children of the Palestinians deserve. So we see this as very much in not only our interests and the interests of the region, but of Israel and the Palestinians as well."

Read the full text here or watch below:


Jackie said...

She looks so good in bright colors. I love how the group looks at her, with so much awe and respect.

Sarah said...

i know i am loving the turquoise. did you read the interview in NY Times with Bill... apparently Hillary loves turquoise too! hehe

the great thing about this group from today is that you can tell they all respect and admire her, but she respects them too. she wants to hear their opinions and ideas just as much as they do hers.

Stacy said...

Sarah- one thing I keep reading in the news is how foreign heads of state respond very positively to the fact that Hillary actually *listens* to what they have to say, even if their are differences of opinion. The Palestinian PM, Mahmoud Abbas was the latest leader to make this observation and it was clear he had the utmost respect for Hillary.

These heads of state also say that a willingness to listen and tolerance for opposing views was not the case with the Bush admin at all. It just goes to show you how "smart" diplomacy can actually make us safer post-9/11 by rehabilitating the US' image, particularly in parts of the world where we are looked upon (sometimes correctly) as the bully in the schoolyard.

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