So, that’s it, folks, Hillary Clinton has wrapped up her first visit to Brussels as US Secretary of State, and now she’s off to Geneva for a session of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
What struck me most about Clinton’s visit to Europe was, first, how eager the Europeans were to stress that Europe and the US are singing from the same songsheet on a whole range of issues, now that Barack Obama is in the White House; and, secondly, how Clinton did nothing to pour cold water on that notion. Read more
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just finished a question-and-answer session with a group of so-called “young Europeans” at the European Parliament in Brussels. Even though her performance lasted less than an hour, by the end she had them eating out of her hand and she received a standing ovation.
The best moment came when she caught sight of a semi-shaven man sporting an “I love Hillary” T-shirt. She said she simply had to take a question from him because of what he was wearing. The guy turned out to be an English-speaking gay rights activist from Moldova, and he wanted to know what the Obama administration would do for the world’s gays and lesbians. Putting on her best stateswoman-like face, Clinton replied: “Human rights is and always will be one of the pillars of our foreign policy. In particular, persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians is something we take very seriously.” Lots of applause followed. Read more