Clinton’s Travel: reaction in Bangladesh, India and China

Press Statement

Victoria Nuland, Department Spokesperson,

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC: April 26, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to China, Bangladesh, and India departing Washington, D.C. on April 30.

In Beijing May 3-4, Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will join their Chinese co-chairs, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, for the fourth joint meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). As with earlier S&EDs, this year’s event will be a “whole of government” dialogue that brings together cabinet members and agency heads, as well as other officials and experts, from agencies across both of our governments. In addition, Secretary Clinton will co-chair with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong the third U.S.-China High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) taking place May 3-4 inBeijing. The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United States and China in the areas of culture, education, sports, science and technology, and women’s issues.

The Secretary will then travel to Bangladesh and India from May 5-8, making stops in Dhaka, Kolkata, andNew Delhi. In Dhaka, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior government of Bangladesh officials and civil society representatives to review robust U.S.-Bangladesh cooperation across the full range of political, economic, and security matters. In Kolkata, the Secretary looks forward to meeting state officials and other civil society organization representatives. In New Delhi she will meet with Indian government officials to review progress in the strategic partnership, looking forward to the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington, D.C.on June 13 and to be co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Indian Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna.

PRN: 2012/644

Hillary due in Dhaka May 5

The Daily Star, April 27, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will arrive in Bangladesh on May 5 between her trip toChinaandIndia.

US Embassy spokesperson Patricia Hill last night confirmed The Daily Star of the visit.

“In Dhaka, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives to review robust US-Bangladesh cooperation across the full range of political, economic, and security matters,” according to an announcement of the US State Department yesterday.

It said Hillary would visit Bangladesh and India on May 5-8 after important meetings in China on May 3-4.

This will be her first visit toBangladeshas the Secretary of State. She visited Bangladesh in 1995 when she was the US first lady.

She would be in Dhaka on May 5 and make stops later on in Kolkata and New Delhi “to review progress in the strategic partnership” with India, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland told the media in Washington DC yesterday.

A highly placed source at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday told The Daily Star, “Hillary will pay a brief visit and will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.”

Hillary is also expected to meet Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia.

US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan Mozena yesterday met Khaleda Zia and diplomatic sources believe that they might have discussed about Hillary’s visit and also to invite her to meet Hillary.

Sources said the United Statesis eager to go for a “strategic partnership dialogue” with Bangladesh, which would create a regular forum to discuss issues like counterterrorism, economy, food security, global climate change and energy.

The US government has also been upbeat about strengthening relations with Bangladesh due to its growing economy, strategic importance and the moderate Muslim majority country’s opposition to extremism.

Foreign ministry sources said even though signing of the much-talked about Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA) deal between the US and Bangladesh seemed tough, but it could happen during Hillary’s visit if the US wanted to.

They said apart from some minor issues both sides have agreed to sign the TICFA deal.

It could be signed during the visit of the US Secretary of State, but in that case “we have to quickly finish the procedures like inter-ministerial meeting, law ministry’s vetting, and cabinet approval,” said a senior official at the foreign ministry.

However, sources at the commerce ministry said there had been hectic preparation at the ministry to finalise the TICFA.

The US State Department said Hillary Clinton with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would lead a delegation to the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on May 3-4 in Beijing.

 

Hillary Clinton to visit Kolkata, to meet Mamata Banerjee

Indrani Bagchi, TNN | Apr 26, 2012, 10.36PM IST

NEW DELHI, ToI: In her last few months as US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton is on her way to India. Clinton will be flying in to Kolkata on May 7 after meeting Bangladesh leadership inDhaka. She will be in Delhi the next day to meet Manmohan Singh and SM Krishna and other leaders.

Clinton is keeping to her own tradition of visiting one new state in all her visits. In Kolkata, she is scheduled to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee and governor MK Narayanan, besides giving a speech. In her last visit here in July 2011, Clinton created ripples in Chennai when she suggested that India should play a leadership role in Asia-Pacific.

Clinton’s meetings in Delhi come weeks ahead of a planned visit by Krishna to Washington in June for the annual strategic dialogue. Sources said, her visit, planned on short notice, will be followed by a host of high-level visits from the US through May, before an equally high-level delegation heads out from here to the US in June.

But all eyes will be on Clinton’s meeting with the mercurial chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. Banerjee, who has threatened the Centre with dire consequences if the state’s bailout package, will be in New Delhi a day beforeClinton’s visit. Banerjee has also been named as one of the top 100 influential people by TIME magazine, an honour, her supporters say, she wears lightly.

Clinton’s speech in Chennai was very different from the regular transactional relationship that has become the India-US brief in the Barack Obama administration.

In many ways,Clinton’s vision of the US-India relationship as part of the larger evolution of Asia-Pacific was a throwback to a similar vision articulated by Condoleezza Rice in the Bush administration.

Writing in the Foreign Policy magazine in October, 2011, Clinton said, “the United States is making a strategic bet on India’s future – that India’s greater role on the world stage will enhance peace and security, that opening India’s markets to the world will pave the way to greater regional and global prosperity, that Indian advances in science and technology will improve lives and advance human knowledge everywhere, and that India’s vibrant, pluralistic democracy will produce measurable results and improvements for its citizens and inspire others to follow a similar path of openness and tolerance.

So the Obama administration has expanded our bilateral partnership; actively supported India’s Look East efforts, including through a new trilateral dialogue with India and Japan; and outlined a new vision for a more economically integrated and politically stable South and Central Asia, with India as a linchpin.”

That optimism has dried up in recent months as both nations, consumed with domestic problems, have effectively put the brakes on the relationship. While interactions remain at a very high level, the zing in the relationship is missing, with too many complaints lining up for attention on both sides. Indian officials say it’s not likely to change any time soon, unless India takes the lead. Given current political difficulties in India, that possibility too looks remote.

Hillary Clinton to visit China, Bangladesh, India

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-04-27 02:55

WASHINGTON- US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to China,Bangladesh and India early next month over bilateral relations with these Asian nations, the State Department said on Thursday.

While in Beijing on May 3-4, the top US envoy and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will join their Chinese co-chairs, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo, for the fourth round of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S& ED).

The S&ED was created in 2009 to help both nations manage their bilateral relations and promote communication.

“As with earlier S&EDs, this year’s event will be a ‘whole of government’ dialogue that brings together cabinet members and agency heads, as well as other officials and experts, from agencies across both of our governments,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

In addition, Clinton will co-chair with Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong the third US-China High-Level Consultation on People- to-People Exchange (CPE), an event to be held in parallel with the S&ED.

“The CPE aims to enhance and strengthen ties between the citizens of the United StatesandChinain the areas of culture, education, sports, science and technology, and women’s issues,” Nuland said.

During her stay in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, the secretary will meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives to review “robust” bilateral cooperation across a range of political, economic and security matters, the spokeswoman said.

In Calcutta, capital of India’s West Bengal state,Clintonlooks forward to meeting state officials and civil society organization representatives.

While in India’s capital of New Delhi, she will discuss with Indian government officials about the upcoming US-India Strategic Dialogue to be held in Washington on June 13, Nuland said.