Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Pakistan *updated with DAILY SCHEDULE*
Well, we knew she was going to Pakistan soon, but not exactly when- for security reasons.
From the NYT:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Pakistan on Friday in what officials described as an effort to measure Pakistan’s commitment to fighting Islamic extremism after the killing of Osama bin Laden badly strained relations with the United States. It did not appear to go well.
The atmosphere of her initial meetings — visibly frosty — underscored the tensions between the two countries, which have threatened to lurch into open confrontation since Navy Seals found and killed Bin Laden on May 2 in a military garrison town only 35 miles from here. Mrs. Clinton, the highest ranking American official to visit Pakistan, was joined by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, who arrived separately as part of a carefully orchestrated diplomatic encounter.
In contrast to the usual diplomatic pleasantries, however, Mrs. Clinton and Admiral Mullen appeared awkward and unsmiling at a meeting in the presidential palace with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and the chief of the Army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
Otherwise the officials did not appear together or make a joint statement, and Mr. Zardari’s office limited access of journalists traveling with Mrs. Clinton even to the photo opportunity and did not allow it to be recorded.
In brief remarks directed at Mr. Zardari, Mrs. Clinton said the Obama administration recognized “the sacrifice that is made every single day by the men and women of your military and the citizens of your country,” according to a video of the encounter. Mr. Zardari’s response was inaudible because his staff had barred microphones.
Mrs. Clinton and Admiral Mullen appeared later at the American Embassy with no Pakistanis present and addressed the stress in the relationship. She joked about tense opening of the talks but made it clear in her remarks that the conversations were sharp.
“There is always a lot to talk about but this was an especially important meeting because we have reached a turning point. Osama bin Laden is dead but Al Qaeda and its syndicate of terror remain a threat to us both,” Mrs. Clinton said. She said the Pakistanis had agreed on “some very specific actions” they will take alone and with the United States but she did not elaborate.
UPDATE:Here is her daily schedule for today:
SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel in Islamabad, Pakistan, accompanied by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more information (ET +9 hours).
9:10 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Pakistani President Zardari, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
10:30 a.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton and Admiral Mullen hold an expanded bilateral meeting with President Zardari, Army Chief of Staff General Kayani, Acting Foreign Minister Khar and Interior Minister Rehman Malik, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
1:30 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton and Admiral Mullen hold a joint press availability, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
2:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with the staff and families of Embassy Islamabad, in Islamabad, Pakistan.