Interview With George Hook of "The Right Hook" Radio Show
Secretary of State
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I did not know that I am making history, George.
MR. HOOK: Very much history, Secretary.
SECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible.) As the Secretary of State, I have (inaudible) many times, but (inaudible).
MR. HOOK: Secretary, could I ask (inaudible) in particular for foreign affairs.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.
MR. HOOK: What do you see as the primary difference between this administration and the previous one?
SECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible.) But certainly I think it's fair to say the President Obama and I believe that we need to make more partners and friends in the world. We want to be working with countries like Ireland, as we do on a regular basis, to solve problems and meet common challenges.
And we know that the United States has a great deal to contribute, but we also have a great deal to learn. And we want to have that kind of relationship where other countries (inaudible), you know, their responsibilities, and work for a better future.
And Ireland punches above its weight. I mean, the work that Ireland does around the world in peacekeeping and aid and conflict resolution is a real model, and we want more of that.
MR. HOOK: Secretary Clinton, I am old enough to remember Harry Truman. And on the agenda of every American president has been the Middle East. How do you view the Middle East?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it's on the agenda of every American president, because it is such a difficult situation. And certainly here in 2009, we have a special responsibility to persuade the Israelis and the Palestinians that they need to seriously negotiate towards (inaudible). Israel (inaudible) that it rightly needs, and with the Palestinian people, their aspirations fulfilled for their own sovereign state, where they take responsibility for charting their own future.
MR. HOOK: We are, of course, in Ireland -- we tend to be a bit parochial about it. We're worried about our own (inaudible), just Ireland. And we are worried that President Obama's public (inaudible) about the environment (inaudible).
What do you say to Irish (inaudible) and the Irish people, who see America as crucial and -- to our future economic success?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I had a long conversation with (inaudible) these economic issues (inaudible), I've been with the foreign minister, (inaudible) earlier today.
I think several things. One, that Ireland has faced some very great economic challenges, with the drop in (inaudible) rates to a negative five percent in the last year. But Ireland has also taken some very courageous and necessary steps to be able to put your own house in order. But it's imperative that the American economy recover, that the American worker is productive, the American (inaudible) begins to feel confident again in spending, for the entire global economy to be lifted up.
So, we are all doing our part. We obviously believe that it's in everyone's interest for American businesses to be investing and creating jobs at home and abroad, in countries like Ireland. We are very much in favor of that. But, at the same time, we cannot permit what happened in the global economic arena to ever happen again. So there has to be some changes in behaviors and actions, and that's what we're really focusing on.
Do you think -- what are your views on this administration, and how you can help continue that peace process?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, this is a commitment of the American government that goes back to 1993, but it was also of importance to the prior administration. So it's bipartisan in that regard. And, certainly in this administration, we are very committed to continuing to support the peace process.
The Good Friday agreement, the St. Andrews agreement, we're on the brink of what we hope will be another significant milestone in the (inaudible) power to Northern Ireland, and let the people of the north make their own decisions, and accept the responsibility that comes with that. I feel very deeply that this is the right approach for Northern Ireland to take, and I am going to do everything I can to evidence in the north tonight and tomorrow the continuing commitment of the United States, both our government and our people.
You know, the parties, the communities that come (inaudible), they haven't been (inaudible). And we all need to be supporting them: the Irish government, the British government, the American government. But, most of all, the people themselves (inaudible) demand of their leaders the kind of results that are out there waiting (inaudible).
MR. HOOK: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, thank you for giving me this interview. More importantly, well done on a history-making visit by a Secretary of State. And you are welcome back here in any position at any time.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, George. It's a pleasure. I want you to tell our press, George, that I'm making history. I didn't know that.
MR. HOOK: Yes, this is the first ever dedicated visit by a Secretary of State of the United States of America to Ireland. We think Secretary of States have been here before on Presidential business, but never on a dedicated business. And in that regard, yet again, Mrs. Clinton has proved herself to be innovative in what she does.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, George.