Secretary of State Clinton is Wheels Down in Tunisia *updated*
I’ll update when more information becomes available.
Here’s a little info.:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, visiting Tunisia on Thursday for the first time since protesters toppled their longtime autocratic ruler, urged the country’s interim leadership to enact the economic and political reforms demanded by the public.
“We need a plan for economic development, for jobs,” she said. “The Tunisian people deserve that.”
During a visit to a Tunisian Red Crescent training center, Clinton said, “The revolution created so many hopes, and now we have to translate those hopes into results.”
Tunisian Red Crescent, which has received donations from the United States, has taken the lead in helping refugees from its war-torn neighbor Libya.
“We know you are stretched and you have really stepped up and performed in a humanitarian way with such professionalism,” Clinton told Red Crescent workers. “Yet we also know that Tunisia has its own needs right now and we want to be sure that we help you meet both the humanitarian needs on the border and the humanitarian needs inside Tunisia.”
She donated the first of two U.S. ambulances to the training center.
Clinton is also meeting Thursday with Tunisian civic leaders, students and rights activists to encourage them to keep up pressure for change as she wraps up a Mideast tour that took her to Egypt with a similar message earlier this week. Her trip underscores U.S. concern that gains made since the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt may be lost to impatience or to the rise of new extremist or authoritarian leaders.
Secretary Clinton’s remarks at the Tunisian Red Crescent Training Center:
SECRETARY CLINTON: (In progress) impressed the world is by Tunisia’s remarkable humanitarian response to the crisis on your border, and that the United States is very proud to be your partner, to help with this center, to help with the ambulance and the training for the Red Crescent.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we want to be supportive of these efforts (inaudible). We’re proud to be your partner, and thank you for the compliments for our ambassador, our Embassy, but this really comes from the American people.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I want to see the center, too. But you have handled this unexpected crisis extraordinarily well.
SECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible) we have a lot of information to be collected, and we also have models from different countries around the world. But I think the idea of working with the Red (inaudible) is unique. So I’m going to follow up on that. (Laughter.) Yeah, good. (Laughter.) Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m going to be discussing that with the president, the prime minister, the foreign minister, the new government, and also with other Tunisians who understand that we need a plan for economic development, for jobs; the Tunisian people deserve that. There’s going to be a donors’ conference that will be held in some months. I’m going to be sending a delegation from the United States. So we want to know what Tunisia wants. We don’t want to come in and say here’s what the United States believes. We want to hear from Tunisians, and then we want to work on plans, just as I was talking to the doctor – a plan for health. We want to help do what we can to have a plan for jobs. And I think that is so important. The revolution created so many hopes, and now we have to translate those hopes into results, and that comes through economic reform and political reform.
QUESTION: Thank you.