WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Wednesday that Pakistan is in danger of falling into terrorist hands because of failed government policies, and called on Pakistani citizens and expatriates to voice more concern.
"I think that we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by continuing advances, now within hours of Islamabad, that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state, a nuclear-armed state," Clinton said in an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"I don't hear that kind of outrage and concern coming from enough people that would reverberate back within the highest echelons of the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan."
In her first congressional hearing since being confirmed, Clinton told the panel the chief goal of the Obama administration's strategy is to defeat al Qaeda and prevent it from returning to Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. nuclear experts prepared to leave North Korea as the United States vowed consequences on Pyongyang for kicking them out - along with U.N. nuclear inspectors - after the United Nations condemned North Korea's missile launch.
Four U.S. experts monitoring North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear plant were preparing to depart the country in the next several days after North Korea ordered them to leave, State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood said. A small team of experts has been rotating into the facility since November 2007.
Wood said the U.S. has talked with Pyongyang about the expulsion and insisted the North Koreans would face consequences for "kicking these personnel out."
"We'll have to see what those consequences are," he said. "We are going to continue to work with our partners, both on the Security Council and outside of the Security Council, to bring consequences upon the North for the actions that it's taken."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the international community Tuesday to commit dollars and manpower to help Haiti recover from a year of hurricanes and food riots.
"It is our task to open the door of opportunity for Haitians and send a message of what could occur," she told a group of more than 40 nations and international organizations gathered for a donor's conference for the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.
Clinton spoke a day before leaving for Haiti, after which she will travel to the Dominican Republic and then join President Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americans in Trinidad and Tobago.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was coy Monday about whether she would meet Iranian delegates at an international conference on Afghanistan, and she urged Tehran to play a positive role in helping stabilize its neighbor.
"I believe that there will be an opening by this conference that will enable all the countries, including Iran, to come forward," Clinton told reporters aboard her plane en route to The Hague for Tuesday's conference. "The fact that they accepted the invitation to come suggests that they believe there is a role for them to play, and we're looking forward to hearing more about that."
More than 80 countries and international organizations will be attending the conference, aimed at jump-starting political support for Afghanistan in the wake of the new U.S. strategy for the region, which President Obama announced last week. Clinton said she would be sharing the administration's policy review during the conference.
"We want to share the review in person with the friends and stakeholders in Afghanistan's future and encourage them to begin thinking hard about what each can do to support governance, security, economic assistance, regional cooperation, all of the necessary steps that we have to see fulfilled," she told reporters aboard her plane.
(CNN) - The practice of dealing with your enemy has a name; it's called realism. And for the Obama administration - in the Middle East and around the world - it rules the day.
Villains, axis of evil and isolation are out. "Constructive actors," axis of engagement and "let's make a deal" are in.
Syria's extended isolation isn't over because of some grand new attitude from Damascus, but in spite of it. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared to patiently wait out eight years of rhetoric, sanctions and closed doors, predicting Washington would eventually see Syria's strategic importance in the region and come knocking.
President Obama's foreign policy strategists knocked, after reaching the unhappy conclusion that the road to peace in the Middle East runs through Damascus and, ultimately, through Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, the former U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, traveled to Damascus as Gaza lay in ruins and Iran creeps toward having a nuclear weapon.
U.S. concerns about Syrian support for Hamas and Hezbollah remain, as does the desire for Syria to stop meddling in Lebanon and help stop jihadists from crossing its border into Iraq. But the "to-do" lists reminiscent of the Bush administration have been replaced by the Obama administration's new cooperative tone.
Instead of ordering Syria to kick Hamas leaders out of the country, it's "what can you do to help moderate Hamas?" And Washington is now asking Damascus to help tamper Iran's nuclear ambitions, even as it considers engaging Tehran directly.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The United States and Syria found a lot of "common ground" on which to cooperate in the Middle East, the State Department's top Middle East official said after talks in Damascus.
But envoy Jeffrey Feltman on Saturday warned to "keep expectations in check" as Washington and Damascus re-engage after several years of strained relations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dispatched Feltman, the assistant secretary of state, and Daniel Shapiro, the top Mideast official at the National Security Council, to the Syrian capital to explore Washington's relationship with Damascus.
In the highest-level visit since 2005, when then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage traveled to the country, Feltman and Shapiro met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem and his deputy and Bouthaina Shaaban, an adviser to President Bashar al-Assad, for more than three hours.
"We discussed a broad range of issues, regional, international and bilateral issues and how we can move forward in a variety of ways," Feltman told reporters on a conference call from Damascus. "We have areas where our interests overlap, we have areas where our interests differ."
Feltman provided few specifics but called the talks "constructive," and said "we found a lot of common ground."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the Obama administration is prepared to seek a permanent, stable peace with North Korea (GETTY IMAGES)
NEW YORK (CNN) - Calling North Korea's nuclear program "the most acute challenge to stability in northeast Asia," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that the Obama administration is prepared to seek a permanent, stable peace with North Korea as long as the North Korean regime pursues disarmament and does not engage in aggression against neighboring South Korea.
"If North Korea is genijnely prepared to completely and verifiably eliminate their nuclear weapons program, the Obama administraiton will be wiling to normalize bilateral relations, replace the pennsinula's longstanding armistatise agrements with a permanent peace treaty, and assist in meeting the energy and other ecnomic needs of the North Korean people," Clinton said in an address to the New York-based Asia Society before departing Sunday for Asia on her maiden overseas trip as secretary of state.
She is slated to travel to China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.
Clinton outlined a sweeping agenda of engagement with Asia, ranging from mutual economic recovery and trade to the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and reversing the trend of global warming.
Clinton said the United States wanted to move foward with the so-called Six Party Talks, working together with China, South Korea, Japan, Russia and North Korea to address North's nuclear program.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Foreign Relations Chairmain John Kerry will travel to Syria next week and meet with President Bashar Assad, his spokesman said Wednesday.
Frederick Jones told CNN that Kerry will be traveling to the Middle East, calling the senator's visit to Damascus "part of a continuing dialogue he's had with the Syrian government."
Kerry has maintined contacts with Syrian officials and recently met with the country's ambassador to the United States.
His trip comes as President Barack Obama considers engagement with Syria as well as Iran, an idea supported by Kerry.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Bucking tradition, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will bypass Europe and travel to Asia on her maiden voyage overseas, diplomats familiar with the planning said Tuesday.
Clinton is expected to visit China, Japan and South Korea on her first trip overseas. The diplomats said she may also add other stops, including one in Southeast Asia.
The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because Clinton's schedule was still being finalized. The State Department has not commented on her travel plans.
Making Asia Clinton's first overseas destination illustrates the Obama administration's desire for a broader partnership with China and its commitment to resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, as well as strengthening ties with Tokyo and Seoul, the diplomats said.
The White House said President Barack Obama told Chinese President Hu Jintao in a Friday phone call that he looked forward to "to early contacts and exchanges between senior officials of our two countries."