Remarks With African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
April 21, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, good afternoon. It’s a real pleasure for me to welcome Chairperson Ping of the African Union here to the State Department. Chairperson Ping and his delegation have been engaged in a consultation with members of our team here in Washington across our government. And we’re especially pleased about that because Africa is a matter of great significance to the Obama Administration, and we have every intention to broaden and deepen our relationship not only bilaterally with countries but also with the African Union.

I want to thank the chairperson for his personal commitment and leadership on behalf of the imperative of democratic transformation and establishment within the countries of Africa, his commitment to accountability and transparency and good governance. We wish to work with the AU in order to provide support for the programs that he has championed.

In addition, we seek the African Union’s assistance in arriving at a political solution in Libya. UN Security Council Resolution 1973 expressed the international community’s concerns about the actions of the Libyan Government under Colonel Qadhafi. Three African nations that are members of the Security Council voted for the resolution. And I appreciate what the African Union has said, urging that there be a democratic process that can be inclusive and supportive of the needs of the Libyan people, and I look forward to meeting with you now and discussing steps that we can take together.

So again, we welcome you to Washington and the State Department.

MR. PING: Thank you, Madam Secretary of State. I would like just to say that I am delighted to be here today. I’ve been received by you. It’s a pleasure for me – an honor not only on my own own capacity, but on the capacity of the African Union Commission and the whole continent.

As you have said, we are now confronted with so many problems in the continent and we need to exchange views with the rest of our partners. And in this specific context, it is good to be here today with you and to exchange views on the situation in Libya as well.

In the same time, as you know, we have started to strengthen our cooperation, multilateral cooperation with U.S.A. And this is our second meeting of that type, and we can see the difference. We started last year, the difference there in term of quality of our exchange, also the quantity of the partners with whom we have interacted.

Thank you very much for your kind invitation, and thank you for receiving us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, sir. Again, welcome. Thank you all very much.

PRN: 2011/619