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

Date: 10/14/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton holds talks with Tatarsan President Mintimer Shaymiyev in Kazan, Russia © State Dept Image by Sultan IskhakovSECRETARY CLINTON: Mr. President, it is a great privilege for me and my official delegation to be able to visit you here today. We wanted to come to Kazan and Tatarstan for exactly the reasons you have just explained. You have created an example of how people can live together and pursue a common interest. And you have demonstrated through your leadership that being (inaudible) and listening to people and bringing them together to try to reach the right decision being is the most successful way to govern.

And as we have just seen here at the Kremlin with the beautiful new mosque and the renovated and restored Orthodox cathedral you respect the past while you keep your eyes firmly on the future. And we also saw an example of the partnership between Kazan and (inaudible), a great Russian company, a great American company, how we are working together to create more jobs and prosperity for our people. And I appreciate the outreach you are doing to the Islamic world and to Europe and other places to serve as a model and a bridge between the worlds of Islam and Christianity.

You said to me when we were on our walking tour that it just made sense for people to be able to follow their own religion in an atmosphere of tolerance, and for ethnic groups to live and work together, because then they can actually build a better future to do the work that must done day to day.

So as I travel around the world on these important missions that President Obama has given me, like the Armenia-Turkey mission, I may be calling on you, Mr. President, because I think that you would have a lot to contribute, not only to the future of Tatarstan and Russia, but to people who are looking for a more peaceful and positive future together.

A PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible) already said that.

A PARTICIPANT: (Inaudible.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President.

QUESTION: May I just ask a very quick question on this important subject? Mr. President, and for Madame Secretary, are you advising the Obama Administration not to make too many promises that it can’t deliver on? In other words, to make – in other words, to make this – to make fewer promises or more modest promises?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t know where that came from, Mr. President. Nobody --

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you (inaudible).

PRESIDENT SHAYMIYEV: (Via interpreter) I like the way the President of the United States started taking his first steps. He is (Inaudible). He is the president and (inaudible). It’s the time to show the will and the action (inaudible) and I believe that (inaudible). And I’d like to use this opportunity (inaudible) to congratulate Mr. Barack Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize award (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible) I have to add that the president was showing me a statue that has both symbols and the slogan that he has adopted for the presidency. And six years ago, he adopted the slogan, “Yes, we can.” So I’m going to tell President Obama that he owes it all to this president. (Laughter.) (Inaudible) our American press the statue of the slogan.

PRN: 2009/T13-20