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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Lisbon: NATO Summit *updated with schedule*

November 19, 2010

Secretary Clinton arrived in Lisbon last night and President Obama arrived early this morning:

President Barack Obama and NATO’s 27 other leaders open a two-day summit Friday on keeping the Cold War alliance relevant — but the meeting is being overshadowed by the escalating war in Afghanistan, where the alliance is struggling to contain Taliban militants.

NATO officials say they expect unanimous support from the allies for Obama’s plans for a new, expanded missile defense system in Europe that would be based on an existing shield meant to defend military units from attack. The U.S. already has a missile defense system based mainly in North America, and it is planning one for its European allies.

But Obama will face tough questions from U.S. allies on his exit strategy in Afghanistan. He will also meet with leaders of the European Union on Saturday to defend his preference for stimulus spending at a time when many European nations are enacting economic austerity measures.

The leaders are expected on Saturday to endorse a plan by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, to start handing over responsibility for security in some areas of Afghanistan to government forces in 2011. The plan is to end the alliance’s combat role by 2014 if conditions on the ground allow, but to retain significant forces in the country after that to train and advise the Afghan army and police.

The alliance’s target is in line with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s goal of having his forces take the main responsibility for security by 2014, Obama said in an interview published Friday in El Pais, Spain’s leading newspaper.

Obama also told the paper he expected the allies will pledge additional trainers for Afghan security forces.

“This effort is going to take time and our commitment to Afghanistan and the Afghan people is for the long-term,” Obama said. “We cannot turn our backs on the Afghan people.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the high cost that European nations are paying for their participation in the war in Afghanistan, and urged them to stay the course despite dire economic difficulties for many countries that have translated into wage cuts, lost jobs and massive government budget reductions.

“Though we are very supportive of the difficult decisions that will have to be made concerning the economy, just as back home President Obama is making difficult decisions concerning our own economy, we believe that the mission we are pursuing in Afghanistan must continue,” Clinton told reporters…

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles as she arrives at Lisbon airport on November 17, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles during a meeting at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon November 19, 2010. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with Portugal's Foreign Minister Luis Amado before a meeting at Necessidades Palace in Lisbon November 19, 2010.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton during an EU-US energy Council in Lisbon on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010

UPDATE:Just got this:

Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Lisbon, Portugal (EST + 5 hours).

8:15 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado, in Lisbon, Portugal.

9:30 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in a meeting of U.S.-EU Energy Council, in Lisbon, Portugal.

11:25 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in Lisbon, Portugal.

PM LOCAL Secretary Clinton joins President Obama for meetings and events, in Lisbon, Portugal.

7:45 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a Working Dinner for NATO Foreign Ministers, in Lisbon, Portugal.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. HillaryFan permalink
    November 19, 2010 10:04 am

    Thanks for the update! She must be so tired from all this travel. Hopefully she can squeeze in an extra day off around Thanksgiving for a very long weekend.

    OT: Are the GOP being total jerks about the START treaty or what? Obama better toughen up and realize that the GOP will not work with him on anything and he better have a plan for that. If he were smart he would throw some bones to his base because no matter how far to the right he goes, the looney tunes on the right are going to call him a socialist. They did that with Clinton, they’ll do that with him.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      November 19, 2010 10:22 am

      The GOP doesn’t want to give him anything remoting resembling a victory even if they actually support the initiative. Why give him the victory now when they can wait a few months and claim they had something to do with it? Their main platform now is to defeat him in 2012.
      This is no longer the policy of NO. It’s the policy of Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face.

  2. PCFS permalink
    November 19, 2010 10:15 am

    She is going to be on Meet The Press this Sunday morning. I do not know how she can keep up with such a busy week and now she will appear on Meet The Press. I hope she gets a long weekend off for Thanksgiving. God Speed Madame Secretary.

    • November 19, 2010 10:20 am

      Cool- thanks for the info! I’ll post that to let people know.

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