Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Kazan State University, Kazan, Russia
October 14, 2009

Date: 10/14/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton speaks to students and community leaders at Kazan State University. © State Dept Image by Sultan Iskhakov SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me say how pleased I am to be here at this university which has such a very fine reputation and is viewed and is viewed not only as a very excellent university in Russia, but increasingly has a reputation beyond Russia.

I wanted to come here because I see what’s happening in Kazan as a model for what could happen in other places in the world. The level of religious tolerance and interfaith connection, the economic progress and stability is very impressive. But it also speaks to how we transfer these kinds of lessons to other places. And what I can hope we could in the time that we have available is to hear from all of you about your experiences. I think the ambassador can help me on this, but I think that this university and this area here in Tatarstan may be one of the biggest areas for foreign exchange students and exchange programs between the United States and anywhere.

A PARTICIPANT: Yes, that’s true.

SECRETARY CLINTON: So we have many students going back and forth. I want more Americans to come here, just as we have more people from Tatarstan going to the United States. I was speaking with some of the officials about the transfer of teacher training and other kinds of programs that we would be happy to facilitate. President Obama has made a very strong outreach to the Islamic world because we want more understanding to enable people to work with each other, to live with other and have more tolerance. And one thing that we’re going to be doing is hosting a summit on entrepreneurship in the Muslim world, and we, of course, want people from this university to participate.

So there’s a lot to learn from what you have accomplished here in Kazan, and I have many members of the American press with me as well as well as, of course, members of the press – the local press here. And I – because they too would be interested in some of your observations, I hope you feel free to express them because every place has challenges. No place on earth is perfect. That doesn't exist. But we want to learn from each other, and part of our approach in the Obama Administration is to reach out to form more partnerships with not just governments but people-to-people partnerships that we think are going to provide a strong foundation for our future cooperation.

So with that, let me be seated and hear from some of you.

PRN: 2009/T13-21