Interview With Hakima Darhmouch of RTL-TVI

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Brussels, Belgium
March 6, 2009

QUESTION: Good morning, Madame Secretary. Thank you for being here today and to grant us an exclusive interview for RTL. So this is your first visit here in Brussels as Secretary of State. You come here as – also as a friend. I mean Americans and Europeans are still all good friends?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, very good friends. I really came here to renew that friendship and to bring a message on behalf of President Obama that we are looking forward to strengthening our ties and broadening our relationship to work on a lot of important issues together.

QUESTION: So it’s your first visit here in Europe to the head of the United States foreign affairs since a few weeks. How do you feel in this job?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I feel very lucky that I get to represent the Obama Administration and the United States at a time when there are so many challenges, but also opportunities for us. It was exciting; I just met with hundreds of young people from all over Europe who are here at the European Parliament. Just to look out and see the excitement that they have about being part of a European experience that brings together all of Europe, that looks for ways of working together –that’s how I feel about the United States. The opportunities that we have together I think are even greater than either of us can do alone.

QUESTION: You know, we were here in Belgium, in Europe and very interested by the U.S. elections and as the Americans, the world is full hope. How can you live such – with such – under pressure?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Because you have to do the best you can every day. We can’t foretell the future. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, let alone in a year or two. But I think that each person can wake up every day and decide to either be a positive force in the world or a negative force. We can either try to help each other or turn our backs on each other.

I want the United States, and I want as Secretary of State, to illustrate that the United States cares about what happens in Brussels. We care about the rest of the world. We want to find more partners and fewer adversaries. We want to find common ground. There’s a great receptivity to that that I have seen just in the day that I’ve been here.

QUESTION: Let’s talk about the economic crisis.


QUESTION: Can the U.S. – the United States and Europe work together to face the crisis, the economic crisis?

SECRETARY CLINTON: The United States and Europe are working together. Of course there will be the big G-20 meeting in London in a few weeks. Prime Minister Gordon Brown was meeting with President Obama to talk about the agenda. Europe and the United States are at the forefront of trying to solve this problem and get our economy growing again, get people back to work, and have a sense that we’re in this together and we’re making progress toward prosperity again.

QUESTION: And about foreign affairs, do you think that the United States and European Union can work together to work on the peace process in Middle East?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Absolutely. I was in the Middle East. I was in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. I was in Jerusalem and Israel. I was in Ramallah in the West Bank. I met with Arab leaders, Israeli leaders, Palestinian leaders, and made clear that the United States is committed to the peace effort and to a two-state solution.

I brought with me the special envoy that President Obama and I have appointed, former Senator George Mitchell. He’s already been to the region. He’s already consulted very widely here in Europe as well as in the Middle East. He will be going back as soon as there is an Israeli government so that we can get to work.

QUESTION: And regarding the struggle against terrorism, will you still talk about an axis of evil? How you will work on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Terrorism, as you know, here in Europe is a threat everywhere and we have to work together. We have to share intelligence. We have to have our law enforcement cooperate together. We have to have a different method so that the people who are in the families or the communities of the terrorists will not support them, will try to prevent them from taking this violent action that costs innocent lives. We are very committed to working with Europe against terrorism.

QUESTION: So let’s talk about you as a woman – (laughter) – and on Sunday, which will be the Women’s World Day. Do you realize that you are – an example for a million women in the world?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m very honored. I believe so strongly that girls and women should be given the same rights as boys and men, and that societies which don’t support women are losing half of their talent and holding themselves back.

I’ve worked in this field for a very long time, and as Secretary of State I will continue to speak out and work toward the full and equal rights of women.

QUESTION: Do you think that the world’s revolutions will be lead by woman – by women?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think every day women are making decisions in their homes, in their neighborhoods, in their communities, their countries that change attitudes and help us be better than we are. It starts in individual lives, inside our hearts, and then governments have to do more to support the opportunities so that every child, boy or girl, has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.

I know your story, and it’s a great example of the opportunities that should be available everywhere.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) thank you. A short question. You were here since 48 hours. Did you taste our Belgian chocolates?


QUESTION: And how was it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: They’re the best. They are so delicious that I was given samples from some of the leading chocolatiers in Belgium. And oh, I have to ration how many times I come to Belgium, because I love chocolate and I can’t eat too much of it.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madame Secretary, for (inaudible) interview. It was a great pleasure to have you here as a guest for RTL-TV. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you for having me.

PRN: 2009/T2-16