Remarks With Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
June 5, 2009

Date: 06/05/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton shakes hands with Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado after signing the U.S.-Portugal Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties. © State Department photo by Michael Gross SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good – I guess it’s good afternoon now. Well, I am very pleased to be here with someone who has a long and very important list of contributions not only in his own country, but with respect to the very strong Euro-Atlantic partnership that we both support so vividly.

The foreign minister and I discussed a wide range of issues. Today, we are going to be signing an agreement that takes another crucial step toward putting into effect our treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance. These treaties give police and prosecutors in both nations the tools that they need to bring criminals to justice. They form part of an important network of similar agreements that the United States has reached with countries of the European Union.

The United States values our friendship with Portugal. We see the people and Government of Portugal as strong partners on an array of vital issues. And we will continue to look for ways that we can cooperate together. We welcome Portugal’s contribution to supporting the people of Afghanistan by helping to build the Afghan Government’s capacity to provide for security and other basic needs. We share the objective of helping people everywhere in places like Afghanistan, but beyond to ensure that violent extremists do not hold sway.

And we will continue to work together to achieve peace in another region, particularly the Middle East. We are pressing forward to turn rhetoric into results and to establish a comprehensive and durable peace between Israel and its neighbors, focused on creating two states for two people.

Having said that, we know we have a lot of work ahead of us. We have to cooperate on economic matters, particularly during this global economic crisis. And there are just so many important issues that the foreign minister and I discussed that we will continue to work on. But I particularly welcome him here today and thank him for the strong partnership that he and his government have provided.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMADO: Thank you very much. I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to discuss with you some of the most important issues that we have in our agendas, and the opportunity also to express my strong commitment and the strong commitment of the Portuguese Government to strengthen our bilateral relations with the United States. We are old and very loyal allies on the bilateral. We will have the opportunity to get another step forward in our deep cooperation. And in the context of the European Union and NATO, we have been trying to contribute to the strengthening of our transatlantic relations.

In the new face of the world politics, so demanding with so many challenges, and I strongly believe, as you do, that if the United States and Europeans are able to reinvent this relationship in the perspective of the challenges that we face together, we will be able to give peace and stability to the world. If we are not able and if we fail, it will be the beginning of the failure of the international system; such a responsibility we have in the stability of the world today.

So we have an important discussion, and I have the possibility at the European Union level to continue some of the issues that we discussed together, trying to create conditions so that the European Union can become a much more important interlocutor of the U.S. policies. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Minister Amado.

FOREIGN MINISTER AMADO: Madame Secretary, thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.


(The document was signed.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. I look forward to meeting with you again soon. Thank you. Thank you all.

QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, on North Korea, can we ask you a quick question? An update, if you would, on the situation with the journalists? And also, is the U.S. open to using a special representatives? And then finally, if this all ends positively, how will this affect the overall tense relationship?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Jill, we’re going to have a press avail later, and I promise you that you will be able to ask and I will answer those three questions. Thank you.

PRN: 2009/549