Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hillary Clinton's speech to the US Embassy in Kenya

Also on August 6th, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the U.S. Embassy employees in Nairobi, Kenya. Read her full remarks here. If anyone has video of this please give us a heads up!
"I have relayed messages in every meeting and interview that I have done since I’ve been here, and I can’t imagine any embassy that the President would be prouder of than this embassy here in Kenya. He cares deeply about this country and its future. He asked me to deliver a very tough message, which I did word-for-word to the leaders that I met with yesterday. But it is a message that is accompanied by the love he feels and the connection he feels to this country. And I can only hope that his dreams for Kenya and Kenyans’ dreams for themselves will be realized with our help, with our support, with our encouragement, and with exercising, perhaps, some tough-minded efforts and actions that can send the right message to those who are working so hard to realize the reforms that are needed.

I am grateful to each and every one of you for your sacrifice, and I know the sacrifice of your families. It is not easy, serving abroad in today’s climate. It is not easy, sometimes, being a locally engaged staff member for our mission. But what you’re doing is very important, and especially now with our new President’s commitment to making Africa a centerpiece – not an afterthought, but a centerpiece – of American foreign policy, your role and responsibility becomes even more important.

This has been a very important trip. It’s been an extremely demanding one, and I am grateful for the contributions that each and every one of you has made. But I have been to many embassies over the course now of about 16 years serving in the White House and the Senate and now in my new position, and I know that there is a custom that is looked forward to, to be followed called a wheels-up party. And I can’t think of a group that has earned a wheels-up party more than this one, Ambassador. So I can only hope that when you finally see the tail of my plane get up and off the tarmac, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief at a job well done, take a few minutes to celebrate this wonderful evidence of the close relationship that we have and the work ahead of us, and then, as you always do, get back to work to make the dreams that we hold for a better world see reality right here in Kenya.

Thank you all and God bless you."

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