‘Hillary Clinton put special focus on Asia as top US diplomat’

Her plans put special focus on Asia,recognising the emergence of powers like India.

Written by Agencies | Washington | Published: October 12, 2012 4:34:16 pm

Hillary Clinton,as the top US diplomat,has expanded the definition of what makes effective diplomacy and put special focus on Asia recognising the emergence of powers like India,a senior official has said.

“I think it’s a bit premature to be discussing Secretary (of State) Clinton’s legacy,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer told foreign journalists here.

Clinton,who will leave the State Department in four months,is still working hard every day to advance US foreign policy objectives,he said.

“And knowing her,she will be working till the very last minute that she’s in the job,and so I don’t know that she’ll allow us to plan for any fancy farewells,” Hammer said.

“From the perspective of us in the State Department,we so much appreciate the effort that she has put into elevating diplomacy and development and putting it on the par with defence,and making the case that we need to be constantly looking to see how we can do better in terms of our development,in terms of our diplomacy,” he said.

Clinton,Hammer said,has expanded the definition of what makes effective diplomacy through her vision of smart power and using all elements of American influence to advance US core interest and to exercise American leadership to address the many challenges that it faces.

“So there’s a whole basket of issues that I think that whomever comes next will want to embrace that…recognise that,for example,with the State Department elevating the work that it does on promoting economic statecraft,that helps to promote American jobs and create economic opportunity with the countries that we’re working with around the globe; that there’s a very robust agenda that we will continue to pursue,”

Hammer said.

Clinton has put,together with President Barack Obama,a “very strong priority” on the US focus in Asia,Hammer said.

“You are seeing that the United States is extremely active diplomatically,recognising that we are looking at an area,a region of the world that is going to be a driving economic factor,while at the same time we have made a real concerted effort to grow and strengthen our existing alliances,whether that is with NATO or,as we talked about,with Korea and Japan,and recognising at the same time the emergence of powers like India,Brazil,our relationship with Mexico,” he said.

“So there’s a wide scope of effort in terms of what the President and Secretary Clinton have been advancing in their foreign policy. But,I will let you and everybody else,all the historians,sort of try to determine what is her legacy,” he said.

“We feel extremely proud to have had and continue to have her as our Secretary of State,and she has led us in a very determined way to challenge ourselves,again,to continually do better,and to work with others around the world to,again,deal with the very core problems that we face,and in making the United States more secure,in advancing our interests. I think the record will speak very loudly that she did extremely well,” Hammer said.

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