Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hillary Clinton's Day in South Africa

On Friday, August 7th, Secretary Clinton was in South Africa with a full schedule ahead of her.

She began the day at about 9:30am meeting with Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Pretoria, South Africa. They spoke to the press after their meeting. Read the full text of their remarks here!

During the press conference following their meeting, Secretary Clinton urged government officials in Pretoria to press for reform in neighboring Zimbabwe. She said the chaos just across the northern border in Zimbabwe was a crisis for South Africa.

> Nkoana-Mashabane said at the press conference that South Africa and the United States would work together to help Zimbabweans. She cited the recent easing of restrictions on foreign media that has allowed CNN and the BBC to resume broadcasting from Zimbabwe as a sign of progress. Comparing Zimbabwe’s coalition to an arranged marriage, she said, “Over time you get used to it and feel that it’s better than no marriage.”

Clinton also said she wanted South Africa’s perspective on how to “strengthen the reform movement inside Zimbabwe and alleviate the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Clinton and Nkoana-Mashabane spoke of a new era in U.S.-South African relations, with the launching of bilateral committees dedicated to improving economic and political cooperation.

She then held a bilateral meeting with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanththe in Pretoria, South Africa.

Afterwards, there was a very special meeting with former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. Their meeting was of course behind closed doors and it was followed by a tour of Mandela’s private archives. These are her remarks following their meeting released by the State Department:

"I had a chance to see Madiba today. But I also got to see the archives and some of the archival material that is being displayed for the first time. And I saw with my own eyes the very careful recordkeeping that Madiba did do during his life which will be a treasure trove of information, of memories, of lessons and guidance that generations to come will be able to learn from. And to be there and to see the pictures of him as a young man and to know so much about his life, it of course inspires in me not only an even greater admiration for his publc work, but an even greater affection for the man. This was such a challenge that he bore and bore with such grace. And as he has often said, he kept improving on himself, which I think is a lesson for us all. And you can see that in the recordings of his days. What he was doing. What he was thinking. The discipline that he brought to a life filled with so many great achievements, not only for him personally but for South Africa and the world."
This is clearly a very special meeting for the two of them. Reports stated that Hillary clasped hands with Mandela for some photos and when the shutters stopped clicking, she joked she didn’t want to release his hands. Mandela responded with a smile and a thumbs up. How freaking adorable.

The day then went on to a meeting before South African business leaders in Johannesburg. The Secretary delivered remarks saying, "And the economic success of Africa today, as well as our future hopes, hinges in great extent on the economic success of South Africa. It is both a responsibility and an opportunity for all of you to lead the economic work in this country."

She also met with South African Minister of Health Otsoaledi in Pretoria, South Africa and toured Cullinan Clinic. She spoke at the clinic saying,

"it is a great honor to be here at this clinic. This clinic represents a partnership and collaboration between the people and government of the United States and the people and government of South Africa. We are proud to support the work that is done here through PEPFAR and USAID.

I also appreciated the conversation that I just had with the minister. It was very specific and very frank about how we can work better together. We have the challenge that everyone is aware of. We have to make up for some lost time, but we are looking forward. And I am very pleased that we have some people here who are willing to talk about their experience at the clinic, because the minister and I can talk and our distinguished guests can talk, but what’s important is what this clinic mean in the lives of the people in this area and what it represents for what can be done for people across South Africa."

Also while in Pretoria, the Secretary met with Embassy personnel and their families.

The day ended with a dinner in honor of National Women’s Day Hosted by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, in Pretoria, South Africa.

Read her remarks given at the dinner here.
"It is a special pleasure for me to be back in South Africa at this time of such excitement, anticipation, and commitment. I appreciate greatly all of the good wishes and very encouraging words that many of you during the day, and certainly before, have said about our new President and his administration.

And, of course, I bring you his greetings, his absolute commitment to elevating our relationship between our two countries to a new level of breadth and depth and strength, and his belief, which I certainly share, that South Africa's leadership, not only in this region, and not only on this continent, but globally, is so necessary for the 21st century.

It is exciting also to hear about the plans that this new government has. I have had just a brief time today to learn more, both from the minister and from the business community, from my wonderful visit with (inaudible), and of course, talking about our joint efforts against HIV/AIDS.

I am delighted that the minister and I have agreed that she and I will chair a new bilateral strategic dialogue that will involve our government holistically, looking for very clear direction as to how we can solve problems together. And it's especially appropriate in this month dedicated to recognizing and honoring women, that two women ministers would, on behalf of each of our countries, make this commitment."

CNN's report on Hillary Clinton in South Africa:

Reuters news report on Hillary Clinton in South Africa:

4 comments:

stacy said...

Are Secretary Clinton and Nkoana-Mashabane fun together or what? And what exactly is going on with Hillary's elbow in picture #8?

This has been a truly amazing trip for Hillary.

Anonymous said...

Sarah:
where are you? I've came every day to be informed about Hillary's daily activities and I haven't see you, pictures or comments.We miss you! Stacy, I don't see anything special with Hillary's elbow; I think that she's just very careful to not expose it to any risk.I love watching Hillay having fun, too!
Veyry.

AJHalliwell said...

Indeed! I understand if you're busy this is a lower priority, but I miss the updates too! I have been eager to see your commentary on the translation-failure-debacle. Or "Channel-gate." (jk, gawd I hope that doesn't stick o.o)

Hope all is well.

Sarah said...

Hello All! I am BACK!! I am working on getting ALLL caught up on my Hillary Blogging. So be prepared for lots of upcoming posts full of great photos and videos as usual.

Next time, I will be sure to give a heads up when I am not going to be able to blog for a bit (especially during such an important time!). Or maybe when I am going to be out of town, I can have a fellow Hillary blogger fill in for me! Anyone interested???

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