Washington (CNN) - The State Department said Tuesday afternoon it had been critical of some news organizations, including al Jazeera and CNN, for their coverage of the U.S. relief efforts in Haiti.
Earlier in the day Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she deeply resented some of the news reports on U.S. assistance to Haiti.
"I have absolutely no argument with anyone lodging a legitimate criticism against our country. I think we can learn from that. And we are foolish if we keep our head in the sand and pretend that we can't," Clinton told a town-hall meeting at the State Department, marking her one-year anniversary on the job.
"On the other hand, I deeply resent those who attack our country, the generosity of our people, and the leadership of our president in trying to respond to historically disastrous conditions after the earthquake. So what we're asking for is that people view us fairly," Clinton said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senior U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke announced Friday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Pakistan "soon," but said details of the trip would be withheld for security reasons.
"So I am not going to talk about timing, details or who she [Clinton] is going to see.," Holbrooke said at a special briefing at the State Department. "Except to say she will see the leadership of the country, the leading members of the opposition, civic society, businessmen and as many people as she can in a limited period of time, with the limits of a very, very dramatic situation going on."
Clinton's visit comes as Pakistan is fighting a major military offensive against the Taliban - and reeling from a wave of terror attacks that have caused hundreds of deaths. The country also faces new tensions with the U.S.
Holbrooke, as other U.S. officials have done in recent weeks, again said that billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Pakistan places no conditions on the government or the military there. Pakistan politicians have accused the U.S. of meddling and micro managing.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Obama administration has made no decision on whether to remove Sudan from a list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday, a day after another administration official spoke in favor of its removal.
Sudan is hoping to improve diplomatic ties with the United States, which is now reviewing how best to deal with that government and the crisis in the nation's Darfur region, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million forced to fell their homes.
"We have made no decision to lift the listing on the terrorist list of Sudan," Clinton said at the State Department during a picture-taking session Friday. "As you know, there is a very intensive review going on within the administration concerning our policy toward Sudan, but no decisions have been made."
On Thursday, the Obama administration's special envoy to Sudan made headlines saying there is no evidence to keep Sudan on the terror-sponsor list. Envoy Scott Gration said at a Senate hearing called the terrorism designation "a political decision" and said it is hindering his work.
He said lifting sanctions against Sudan would allow heavy equipment and other assistance to flow more easily to people desperately in need.
The State Department denies there is any split on Sudan policy inside the administration.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The United States is rushing emergency aid to Pakistan - an initial $5 million - to help people uprooted by the fighting against extremists, according to the State Department.
The U.S. had urged the Pakistanis to launch the military action that in recent days has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their villages.
Meanwhile, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took a longer-term view Tuesday and discussed how the United States might triple aid to Pakistan over the next five years.
The State Department said Tuesday the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and officials of the U.S. Agency for International Development were evaluating the needs of civilians fleeing the Swat valley and surrounding regions in northwest Pakistan.
"We are of course very concerned about the well-being of civilians who are fleeing the fighting in the area," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said. "And we have personnel, USAID personnel, on the ground in Pakistan, not in the Swat valley, but in Pakistan, who are directing assistance to help them."
"We've provided a substantial amount of money through the International Organization for Migration," Kelly said at his daily briefing in Washington. "This is primarily to provide tents, provide shelter and emergency relief supplies, food and medicine to the affected populations."
Kelly said the $5 million was just an initial payment.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday said the State Department is working with both domestic and international agencies to combat swine flu.
She said the State Department is "urging caution" for Americans considering travel.
"We have put up on our Web site information urging caution for those who are planning to travel," Clinton said at a photo-taking session at the State Department Monday morning.
So far the State Department has not issued a specific travel warning for Mexico or elsewhere.
She said the State Department was coordinating "very closely" with other federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security.
"We are taking this very seriously and working also with the World Health Organization … to try to develop a strategy to prevent the spread of this form of swine flu. We do believe that our efforts are developed and prepared to confront this wherever it might occur inside our own country. And enhanced cooperation across boundaries will be very important," Clinton said.
And she said the U.S. had offered help and assistance to the government of Mexico to make sure they have the resources and the technical expertise they might need.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton carefully side-stepped questions today about whether the United States would drop its long-standing insistence that Iran halt its nuclear enrichment program before any talks with the United States.
"We have not dropped or added any conditions," Clinton said at a State Department picture-taking session. But she repeated that the U.S. wants dialogue and engagement with Iran.
She had just met with European Union official Javier Solana who formally had extended an invitation for Iran to join talks with the U.S. and its allies. Clinton said there had been no response to the invitation. But meanwhile inside Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to be signaling Washington that talks are possible and that he soon may respond.
"We are looking to have an engagement with Iran but we haven't seen anything that would amount to any kind of proposal at all," Clinton said. "We will continue to work with our allies to make it clear that Iran cannot continue to pursue nuclear weapons."
"We will stand behind the sanctions that have already been implemented and we will look for new ways to extend collective action vis a vis Iran's nuclear program. At the same time we have made it clear to the Iranians …that we are open to engagement with them," Clinton added.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week turns the spotlight on the poorest country in the Americas: Haiti.
She will attend a Donors' Conference on Haiti tomorrow in Washington to discuss how the world can come to Haiti's aid. That high-level gathering that will include United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and a variety of international organizations.
Clinton plans to visit Haiti Thursday, the State Department announced today. "While in Haiti Secretary Clinton will meet with President René Préval to discuss issues of common concern including stability, security and assistance," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Monday.
After visiting Haiti, and a stopover in next-door Dominican Republic, Clinton will join President Obama to attend the Summit of the Americas at the end of the week in Trinidad and Tobago.
Clinton-watchers are wondering if the Tuesday meeting in Washington will produce something that has become a recent rarity: a photo of both Clintons together. Secretary Clinton is expected at the gathering in the morning, and former President Clinton is giving the keynote speech after lunch at the conference.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Cuba purposely has made life difficult for U.S. diplomats serving in the U.S. Interest Section in Havana and has even poisoned family pets to hurt American morale, according to a State Department report released Friday.
The report dates back to 2007, but its release comes just days before the Obama administration is expected to ease some restrictions on Cuban-Americans sending money to Cuba and visiting family there.
And it is made public just days after a Congressional Black Caucus delegation returned from Cuba and provided glowing reports of how they were received by Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro.
The report was prepared by the State Department inspector general. It repeatedly mentions poor morale among U.S. diplomats serving in Cuba, saying the Cuban government "lets you know it's hostile."
Without full diplomatic relations with Cuba, and with a trade and travel embargo still in place, there is no U.S. Embassy. The Interests Section issues visas and performs other diplomatic services.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late Wednesday called for international cooperation to combat piracy like this week's attack on a U.S. ship and crew off the coast of Somalia.
"We are deeply concerned and we are following it very closely. Specifically we are now focused on this particular act of piracy and the seizure of the ship that carries 21 American citizens," Clinton said at the State Department. "More generally we think the world must come together and end the scourge of piracy."
The secretary of state, speaking at a photo op with the Foreign Minister of Morocco, referred back to problems with piracy that both countries had faced together back in the late 1700s. "I think Morocco was the very first country that recognized us, going back a long time. We worked to end piracy off the coast of Morocco all those years ago. And we are going to work together to end that kind of criminal activity anywhere on the high seas," Clinton said.