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  HOME | Ecuador (Click here for more)

Clinton in Ecuador Discusses Iran Sanctions, Military Bases & Taxes (VIDEO)

QUITO -- SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, and I want to begin by thanking the president and his cabinet and officials for a very gracious and warm welcome. Mr. President, I greatly enjoyed our meeting and I am looking forward to continuing our discussions on a range of issues. And it is such a pleasure for me to be here in Ecuador. This is a treat for me since I am here for the first time, and it is especially exciting to be in this city, one of the first world cultural heritage sites ever recognized by UNESCO.

The United States values our long relationship with Ecuador. We have a very important relationship that includes trade, investment, security for our people, a mutual commitment to the environment. And I want to commend President Correa for his leadership in UNASUR, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile and the devastation in Haiti.

The people of the United States, Ecuador, and our neighbors share many common aspirations. And today, the president and I discussed how we can work together to achieve those.

Now, like any two countries, we will not always agree. But we are committed to a partnership of open dialogue and cooperation that is rooted in mutual respect and mutual interest and for the benefit of both of our peoples. Iím very much looking forward to delivering a speech that lays out in more detail our commitment to development and the ways in which the United States is already working and wishes to work with Ecuador and other of our neighbors in the region.

We believe long-term, sustainable prosperity that is inclusive and broad-based is the right of every person and that all people should have the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.

So again, Mr. President, thank you for this opportunity both to meet with you and I look forward to continuing our discussion.


MODERATOR: (In Spanish.)

QUESTION: Itís a lovely room, isnít it? Madam Secretary, the Obama Administration reached out to Iran on the theory that the effort would build support if the pressure track was eventually needed. But in the vote planned for tomorrow, it looks like youíll end up with two, maybe even three no votes. And no resolution passed during the Bush Administration ever had any no votes. You obviously think the case against Iran is strong, so what do you think accounts for the failure to win unanimous support for this resolution?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Glenn, Iím not going to comment on something that hasnít occurred yet. The vote is scheduled for tomorrow. But I think it is fair that these are the most significant sanctions that Iran has ever faced. And the amount of unity that has been engendered by the international community is very significant. So we will wait to comment on the vote after the vote occurs.

MODERATOR: (In Spanish.)

QUESTION: (In Spanish.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as you might expect, the president and I discussed this along with many other issues. The United States has provided and will continue to provide information concerning the use of bases that are not U.S. bases but Colombian bases. I think everyone recognizes that Colombia has waged a long and difficult struggle against the combined forces of the FARC insurgency and the well-organized drug trafficking gangs. And the United States has been proud to help Colombia.

But clearly, we respect the territorial integrity of all countries in the region and we certainly are committed to sharing information and working in a mutually beneficial way with the neighbors of Colombia to resolve any questions. I think it is also important that we look for more opportunities to partner with all of our friends in the region because we want to be sure that the threat posed by the drug trafficking gangs and the continuing FARC presence is not a threat to anyone, not just to Colombia.

So I want to put your mind at ease that these Ė this agreement between the United States and Colombia is solely intended to assist Colombia in its continuing efforts against its internal threats. And as I mentioned to President Correa, we would be very interested in a dialogue about how we could better work together to create more understanding and transparency and mutual efforts against these common threats.


MODERATOR: (In Spanish.)

QUESTION: The Obama Administration has been reaching out to countries all over the world, but in Latin America it often seems that things are going in the wrong direction, particularly with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and sometimes even Ecuador.

Mr. President, Iím wondering if you could tell us what your analysis is of whatís holding the Obama Administrationís hopes for better ties with Latin America back. What are they doing wrong? What should they be doing better? And whatís your advice for Secretary Clinton?

And Madam Secretary, whatís your message to leaders like President Chavez of Venezuela who often seem to derive a lot of their popularity from their anti-American rhetoric?

Thank you.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think itís very clear from what the president just said that a country like Ecuador which is facing many challenges that it is attempting to overcome has to be judged on its results, on whether or not it produces positive outcomes for the people of Ecuador within the framework of democracy that the Ecuadorian people expect.

And from our perspective, we have reached out and feel very much as though we are forging a new set of relationships. Itís the 21st century. Itís 2010. Weíre not turning the clock back. Weíre not expecting countries that have their own internal agendas in order to accomplish their own economic and social goals to be exactly as we are. If we ever did expect that, it is certainly no longer the case.

And I think the goals that Ecuador and its government have set are goals that the United States agrees with. As I said in my opening remarks, I donít know any two countries that are going to agree on anything. But we have to have a relationship that is mature enough and strong enough, which we do. Some of our oldest allies in the world in Europe, we donít agree with everything that they do.

So I think itís a difficult question to answer because we just donít see it as the premise of the question suggested. We see a dynamic and vibrant hemisphere and we see leaders in Latin America that are trying, sometimes against great odds, to remedy past wrongs. In my speech later today, I talk about an issue the president raised, namely tax evasion. When you have 50 percent tax evasion in many of the countries in Latin America, it is hard to get the revenues that are needed in order to provide the services that the vast majority of people deserve to have.

So these are very difficult problems and the United States wants to be a partner in working with Ecuador and other countries to try to solve them.

Click HERE to Watch VIDEO of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Speaking on Opportunity in the Americas in Quito, Ecuador


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