Remarks With Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Itamaraty Palace
Brasilia, Brazil
April 16, 2012


SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Antonio. And it is a great pleasure, as always, to be back in Brazil, especially just one week after the very constructive meeting that was held between our two presidents. We have deepened and broadened our cooperation on so many issues, and our Global Partnership Dialogue is now bringing together our experts on both sides to discuss in depth what we can do to advance our cooperation on the economy, on education, on some of the key challenges such as cyber security that we are both dealing with.

And it is exciting for us to be in this partnership because we have a long history together. In the 19th century when Brazil won its independence, the U.S. was the first country to recognize Brazil. And in the 20th century, when a U.S. Secretary of State made the first ever official visit to a foreign country, it was to Brazil – Secretary Elihu Root, who came here in 1906. So we now – Antonio and I – decided that we have to have a 21st century partnership. It’s time for us to be really looking at the opportunities and challenges we face and how we can do better together.

A week ago, Antonio and I were together in Washington at a standing-room-only business meeting at the United States Chamber of Commerce. And earlier today, I was privileged to speak to a business group of Brazilian business leaders. We know that we’re making progress in bilateral trade and investment, creating jobs for both of our peoples, but there’s more to do. I will be sending an innovation delegation to Brazil later this year with some of our top entrepreneurs, educators, and tech leaders to meet with their Brazilian counterparts.

And this is – in addition to the very exciting partnerships which President Rousseff highlighted when she was in the United States, particularly with her visits to Harvard and MIT. Through the Science without Borders initiative, Brazil will send 100,000 students to study science and technology at foreign universities. Many of them will be welcomed in the United States. And we, in turn, under President Obama’s initiative, 100,000 Strong, want to send a hundred thousand U.S. students to Latin American universities. And of course, we expect many to come here to Brazil.

In the meeting this afternoon, we received an update on the U.S.-Brazil global partnership. We discussed Latin America, of course. We discussed Africa. We discussed some of the hotspot issues at the time, now of Iran, Syria, and so much else. But I think it’s important to emphasize that at the heart of this partnership are values. We are two of the largest democracies in the world, two of the most diverse countries in the world. We share a commitment to opportunity for all people. And tomorrow, President Rousseff and I will kick off the high-level meeting of the Open Government Partnership here in Brasilia, which she and President Obama launched eight months ago. This Open Government Partnership is intended to fight corruption, promote transparency, empower citizens to make the case that both Brazil and the United States believe so strongly that democracy delivers results for people.

So it’s exciting that we’re building these habits of cooperation between our governments, our private sectors, our universities, our civil societies, and our citizens. And I’m looking forward to the work ahead. We’ve set up a very busy agenda for ourselves, but we are committed to doing everything we can to help lay the foundation for this 21st century partnership.

Thank you, Antonio.

MODERATOR: (In Portuguese.)

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, thank you. (In Portuguese.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say that the United States absolutely admires Brazil’s growing leadership and its aspiration to join the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member. We believe that the long-term viability of the United Nations Security Council depends upon updating it to the 21st century to recognizing that it has to reflect the world that exists today, not the world that existed when it was formed. So for that reason, we are committed to serious, deliberate reform efforts in the UN, not only on the Security Council, but frankly, in a number of areas of UN process and functioning.

And in fact, I think we believe that the United States has shown a greater commitment to real UN reform than many of our counterparts on the Security Council. But we also have learned that until other countries are committed to UN reform, we’re not going to make the progress that we need, and I think it would be very hard to imagine a future UN Security Council that wouldn’t include a country like Brazil with all of its progress and the great model it represents of a democracy that is progressing and providing opportunity for its people.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary?


QUESTION: On Afghanistan, a number of U.S. officials have said that the Haqqani Network is behind the attacks in Kabul and elsewhere at the weekend. In your conversation with Foreign Minister Khar, what sense did she give you that the Pakistanis would be willing to go after the Haqqani Network and deepen counterterrorism involvement that has fallen by the wayside?

And if I may on North Korea – (laughter) – the traditional double-barreled questions. You spoke to Foreign Minister Yang on Friday, and I was wondering what sense you got from him that he’s willing to put enough pressure on the North Koreans not to go ahead with a nuclear test.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first with regard to Afghanistan, the United States strongly condemns yesterday’s cowardly attacks. Once again, we extend our condolences to the victims and their families. I spoke to Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Kabul yesterday, first to check to see how everyone was doing. Thankfully, despite the attacks, the Embassy and our personnel associated with it were safe.

We also were impressed by and I conveyed my appreciation to the Afghan National Security Forces for the effective response which they provided. Remember, they were in the lead on this. They were the ones who ended the sieges, captured the insurgents, and are in the process of compiling evidence about the nature and origin of this attack.

Now, I think it’s fair to say that despite how contemptible these attacks were, they were not successful. They were another failed effort by extremists to try to undermine the slow but steady progress that Afghanistan is making to stability. And as the transition to security leadership by the Afghans themselves continues, we know there will be more challenges, because it’s not in the interests of all of these adversaries to see Afghanistan be able to provide security for itself. So they will continue to test, they will continue to assassinate, they will continue to attack, and we are going to stand with the people and the Government of Afghanistan. We are going to continue to work with the Afghan National Security Forces along with our NATO-ISAF partners, and we believe and we have evidence of this that the insurgency is failing despite their ability to launch spectacular attacks from time to time.

The investigation over the origin of these attacks is ongoing, but there are already indications of Haqqani involvement. The Haqqani Network is a very determined foe of the stability, security, and peace of the Afghan people. So we’ll see what the full investigation shows, but it’s not premature to refer to the evidence that is being compiled.

When I spoke with the Pakistan foreign minister, Foreign Minister Khar, today, I certainly expressed my strong conviction that there has to be a concerted effort by the Pakistanis with the Afghans, with others of us, against extremists of all kinds, whether they threaten the Pakistani people, the Afghan people, or the American Embassy. And when I was in Pakistan last October, I made it very clear both publicly and privately that Pakistan had to work with us to squeeze the Haqqani Network. And I’m going to continue to make that point, to press it hard, and our consultations with the Pakistanis are proceeding. But the Haqqani Network is a threat to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the people of the region. So we’re going to take it very seriously.

With respect to North Korea, look, we are working to ensure that the new North Korean leadership hears unequivocally from the international community that their provocative behavior will not be rewarded. And the fact that the UN Security Council unanimously approved a presidential statement deploring the North Korea failed satellite launch underscores that it violated UN resolutions and that these actions constitute a threat to regional peace and security and that there will be consequences to this behavior. There unfortunately have to be consequences.

We very much, very much hope to see a different attitude from the Government of North Korea – not for the United States or Japan or South Korea first and foremost, but for their own people. And so as you may know, we were negotiating the potential of trying to assist them and had reached agreement with them to try to provide nutritional assistance since they cannot feed their own people. Unfortunately, they decided to launch this – or to attempt to launch this missile, which was clearly in violation of the UN Security Council. So the Security Council has directed the North Korean Sanctions Committee to designate more North Korean companies for asset freezes, to identify further sensitive nuclear and missile technologies that will be banned from sale to Pyongyang, among other measures. And we have all agreed – that includes China – that there will be further consequences if they pursue another provocative action.

So let me say this again: Here in Brasilia, a country that has demonstrated what good leadership, what a partnership between the people and the government can produce, the new, young leadership of North Korea has a very stark choice. They need to take a hard look at their policies, stop the provocative action, open to the rest of the world, work to educate their people, feed their people, put their people first ahead of their ambitions to be a nuclear power, and rejoin the international community. We would welcome that.

QUESTION: (In Portuguese.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me begin, and then perhaps the minister would also add some comments.

I did meet with Graca Foster this morning and came away very impressed with her personally and also with the commitment Petrobras has to maximizing the benefits for the Brazilian people of the extraordinary potential of the pre-salt deepwater reserves. And we discussed a long list of issues, because what Brazil is doing is complicated and demanding, expensive, and there are ways in which our government and our international oil companies, along with others from elsewhere in the world who have expertise and experience, technologies, innovative approaches, can partner with Petrobras under the conditions that are set by the Brazilian Government. She is a very knowledgeable person and extremely practical. She knows that a lot of what is going to be happening in deepwater drilling off the coast of Brazil will take a very high level of investment. And insofar as it is possible, the United States and our companies stand ready to participate.

We discussed Chevron. Obviously, we want to be a good partner to Petrobras and Brazil. There are problems in deepwater drilling. We suffered through them in our own Gulf of Mexico. So we know how challenging this path is, but we also know how important it is for Brazil to do this. And it was an excellent discussion. We had some of our experts with us. We’re setting up an ongoing dialogue to get very practical. I am not the person to talk to about wellheads, but there are a lot of people in our government and in our private sector who you could talk to about wellheads and different pressures and the like.

So I think she put it well. She said she wanted a very material agenda, that we would talk about what Petrobras’s needs were; and insofar as we had anything to offer, we would make that available. And it’s of course up to Petrobras and the Brazilian Government to decide the way forward.


QUESTION: (Inaudible) Argentina, Madam Secretary. (Inaudible) Argentina (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh. Well, I think that’s going to be a decision that will be rightly debated, and I’m not going to offer an opinion. I don’t know all the details. But I think competition and having an open market for energy and other commodities is a much preferable model. And the decisions that are taken by nations are ones that they have to justify and live with. But clearly, I think the model of openness, outreach, competition, market access are ones that have proven successful the world over.

MODERATOR: Reuters, last question.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, in Syria the violence is clearly still continuing. There are reports of four people killed in Homs, four in Idlib, two in Hama, all today. Given that the ceasefire seems to be unraveling before it’s even managed to take hold, you must be thinking about what to do if it does indeed fail to take hold. How do you plan to respond if it doesn’t?

And on Iran, the Iranian foreign minister said that if the P-5+1 were to start – start easing sanctions, it would be much easier to resolve the nuclear issue. Can you conceive of starting to ease sanctions before Iran ceases uranium enrichment, as is called for in so many UN Security Council resolutions?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Arshad, I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of the process in Syria, because the first tranche of UN monitors is beginning to deploy today. Clearly the burden is on the Assad regime to demonstrate their commitment to all aspects of Kofi Annan’s six-point plan. And we’re not interested in new promises; we’re not interested in new conditions or new excuses. We want action. I think the world wants action. That’s why the Security Council acted in a unified way to support Kofi Annan’s initiative.

Much of Syria is quieter, but I agree with you that the people of Homs continue to endure renewed shelling by the regime. So we know the ceasefire is not complete, but it appears as though the violence is down significantly. So rather than setting conditions on the monitors, what the Assad regime needs to do is to make clear that they’re going to silence their guns, withdraw their troops, and work toward fulfilling the six-point plan. That means, as it has always meant, pulling out of the towns and cities; allowing peaceful demonstrations like what we saw over the weekend, where thousands of Syrians came out to demonstrate peacefully; releasing political prisoners; and allowing a peaceful transition to begin.

So this week will be critical in evaluating the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2024. And we’re hoping for the best. We want to see a peaceful period for the people of Syria and we want to see a political process begin. But if violence is renewed, if the regime reverts to shelling its own people and causing a great deal of death and injury, then we’re going to have to get back to planning what our next step is. So we’re planning for a good outcome, positive results, and we’re talking with others on the Security Council and beyond about what would be next steps if that does not prove successful.

Switching to Iran, look; the initial discussions between the P-5+1 and Iran were serious and focused on the nuclear issue. The P-5+1 was unified in calling for Iran to demonstrate the peaceful intent of its nuclear program and to fully comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Iran agreed that the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty should serve as the framework for the discussions going forward, and we set the next round for Baghdad toward the end of May.

We want this to be a sustained effort. Between now and the next round, there will be experts meetings, there will planning, and we have to address the concerns of the international community. We’re going to take this one step at a time; but clearly, any process would have to have reciprocal expectations and actions, and there has to be evidence by Iran that they would be seriously moving toward removing a lot of their nuclear ambiguity that exists now, that they would be much more open and transparent, and that they would take steps to respond to the UN Security Council resolutions and the international community’s concerns.

So we are watching. You’ve heard me say before I believe in action for action. But I think in this case, the burden of action falls on the Iranians to demonstrate their seriousness. And we’re going to keep the sanctions in place and the pressure on Iran as they consider what they’ll bring to the table in Baghdad, and we’ll respond accordingly.


PRN: 2012/T62-05