October 16th, 2009
06:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton: Karzai runoff win likely but he must deliver

Hillary Clinton lauds the president's patience and persistence while deciding about troop strength.
Hillary Clinton lauds the president's patience and persistence while deciding about troop strength.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – With a runoff presidential election in Afghanistan appearing likely, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN Friday that she expects the current president, Hamid Karzai, will win.

"It is likely that they will find that President Karzai got very close to the 50-plus-1" in August's balloting, she said in an exclusive CNN interview, referring to the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff. "... I think one can conclude that the likelihood of him winning a second round is probably pretty high."

Clinton said the timing of President Barack Obama's decision on whether to commit more troops to the fight in Afghanistan will not hinge on the election results. "I think the president is expecting to make a decision on his own timetable," she said, "when he is absolutely comfortable with what he believes is in the best interest of the United States."

Karzai faces allegations of corruption and vote fraud in the election, but the secretary of state sidestepped a question of whether he is a "reliable" partner for the United States and the international community. Administration officials have said that without a reliable partner, a counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan would not succeed.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hamid Karzai • Hillary Clinton
October 12th, 2009
06:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton to meet Medvedev for wide-ranging talks

MOSCOW (CNN) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to his private residence in suburban Barvikha for a discussion Tuesday of a broad range of issues in what one senior State Department official called a "relaxed setting."

Issues on the agenda for the two-hour meeting include the next steps on Iran, the Mideast conflict, cooperation on Afghanistan, possible joint work on a missile defense system, Russia's "neighborhood" and climate change.

Clinton also will meet with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, following up on many of the same issues, as well as getting progress reports on the new bilateral presidential commission they jointly chair. The commission, created by presidents Medvedev and Barack Obama during Obama's July visit to Moscow, has 16 working groups dealing with a number of aspects of the relationship, from arms control to health care.

A key issue during Clinton's two-day visit to Russia will be arms control and reaching an accord to replace the 1991 Start II arms control agreement, which expires in December.

Also at the top of the agenda are Iran and international efforts to induce Tehran to end its nuclear program. A senior administration official, briefing reporters on background because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the
talks, said Clinton will speak with Medvedev and Lavrov "about what specific forms of pressure Russia would be prepared to join the U.S. and other nations in."
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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Russia
October 8th, 2009
07:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton trip comes in midst of Afghan debates

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embarks Friday on a six-day trip to Europe and Russia that comes at a crucial time in the Obama administration's decision-making on a strategy for Afghanistan.

She will depart one day after the inaugural flight of the "lethal transit" agreement, signed in July by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, which allows transport of military personnel and equipment across Russia to support the U.S.-NATO mission in Afghanistan.

On the trip, the secretary will confer with key allies about Obama's emerging strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan, said Phil Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Meetings are planned with the French foreign minister, the British foreign secretary and prime minister, the Russian foreign minister and Medvedev. She also will discuss the next steps on Iran and North Korea and international efforts to have the two countries end their nuclear programs.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hillary Clinton • State Department
July 27th, 2009
09:05 AM ET
5 years ago

U.S. and China launch 'new dialogue'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Top U.S. and Chinese officials are launching an expanded discussion of the crucial relationship between their two countries Monday, holding the first meeting of a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" in Washington.

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo will address the opening session of the two-day meeting.

In an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner said the purpose of the dialogue is to "develop a new framework for U.S.-China relations."

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Filed under: China • Obama administration
July 17th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton again rips into vetting process

 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday tore into the Obama administration's 'vetting' process
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday tore into the Obama administration's 'vetting' process

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Behind the scenes they're tearing out their hair.

Nominees for top positions in the Obama administration say they are put on seemingly endless hold for months during the "vetting" process, forced to provide minute details of their financial, personal and professional lives going back years. Many have to hire lawyers and accountants – paid for with their own money – to compile the information. Some nominees have simply given up in frustration.

Now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it's affecting U.S. diplomatic relations.

"It's hard to explain in my position to our foreign counterparts that we don't have positions filled that would be the natural interlocutors or their counterparts in other countries," she said Thursday.

It's the third time this week the secretary has lambasted the process. Monday, she called it "frustrating beyond words," telling staff at the U.S. Agency for International Development who still don't have a new administrator, the process is a "nightmare."

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
July 16th, 2009
06:55 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton again rips into vetting process

 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday tore into the Obama administration's 'vetting' process
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday tore into the Obama administration's 'vetting' process

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Behind the scenes they're tearing out their hair.

Nominees for top positions in the Obama administration say they are put on seemingly endless hold for months during the "vetting" process, forced to provide minute details of their financial, personal and professional lives going back years. Many have to hire lawyers and accountants – paid for with their own money – to compile the information. Some nominees have simply given up in frustration.

Now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says it's affecting U.S. diplomatic relations.

"It's hard to explain in my position to our foreign counterparts that we don't have positions filled that would be the natural interlocutors or their counterparts in other countries," she said Thursday.

It's the third time this week the secretary has lambasted the process. Monday, she called it "frustrating beyond words," telling staff at the U.S. Agency for International Development who still don't have a new administrator, the process is a "nightmare."

FULL POST


Filed under: Extra • Hillary Clinton • Obama administration
July 16th, 2009
06:19 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton: 'I broke my elbow, not my larynx'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The cast on her elbow is finally off, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wasted no time Thursday swinging back at media reports that she is being sidelined by the White House in shaping U.S. foreign policy.

At a question-and-answer session at the State Department, Clinton drew a laugh with her quip that "I broke my elbow, not my larynx." She told reporters she is consistently involved both in shaping and implementing policy.

Clinton is beginning a week-long trip to India and Thailand.

She broke her elbow last month, requiring several weeks in a cast as well as hours of physical therapy, and forcing her to cancel two international trips and curtail her public schedule.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
July 14th, 2009
09:23 AM ET
3 years ago

Clinton: Vetting process for administration jobs 'a nightmare'

Secretary of State Clinton spoke out Monday about the Obama administration's rigorous vetting process.
Secretary of State Clinton spoke out Monday about the Obama administration's rigorous vetting process.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed a rare flash of frustration Monday - calling the vetting process for Obama administration nominees "ridiculous" and "a nightmare."

At a question-and-answer session with staff from the U.S. Agency for International Development, a woman asked her when the agency would be getting a new administrator and "why it's taking so long."

"Let me say it's not for lack of trying," Clinton replied. "The process - the clearance and vetting process - is a nightmare," she told the staff. "It takes far longer than any of us would want to see. It is frustrating beyond words."

The secretary said she "pushed very hard last week, when I knew I was coming here, to get permission from the White House to be able to tell you that help is on the way and somebody will be nominated shortly." But, she said, "the message came back, 'We're not ready.'"

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July 13th, 2009
07:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton: Vetting process for administration jobs 'a nightmare'

Secretary of State Clinton spoke out Monday about the Obama administration's rigorous vetting process.
Secretary of State Clinton spoke out Monday about the Obama administration's rigorous vetting process.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton showed a rare flash of frustration Monday - calling the vetting process for Obama administration nominees "ridiculous" and "a nightmare."

At a question-and-answer session with staff from the U.S. Agency for International Development, a woman asked her when the agency would be getting a new administrator and "why it's taking so long."

"Let me say it's not for lack of trying," Clinton replied. "The process - the clearance and vetting process - is a nightmare," she told the staff. "It takes far longer than any of us would want to see. It is frustrating beyond words."

The secretary said she "pushed very hard last week, when I knew I was coming here, to get permission from the White House to be able to tell you that help is on the way and somebody will be nominated shortly." But, she said, "the message came back, 'We're not ready.'"

"Anyone who has gone through it or looked at this process will tell you that every administration it gets worse," she added.

"Some very good people just didn't want to be vetted," she explained. "You have to hire lawyers, you have to hire accountants. I mean, it is ridiculous!"
FULL POST


Filed under: Extra • Hillary Clinton • Obama administration • Popular Posts
July 6th, 2009
09:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Joint statement on framework for new arms control expected

Obama arrived in Moscow Monday.
Obama arrived in Moscow Monday.

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) - Russian and U.S. nuclear negotiators have completed a joint statement on the framework for a new arms control agreement to replace the 1991 START I agreement which expires December 5.

A U.S. source close to the American side tells CNN that Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev will discuss the joint statement at their Monday meetings in Moscow and are expected to announce and sign it at their joint press conference Monday afternoon.

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Filed under: Russia
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