Hillary vows to use diplomacy, development to advance US interests (Lead)

January 23rd, 2009 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 22 (IANS) America’s new chief diplomat Hillary Clinton Thursday vowed to use the tools of “diplomacy and development” in advancing US’ national security, furthering its interests and promoting America’s values around the world.President Barack Obama had set the tone for the American foreign policy in his inaugural address, she told employees at the State Department as she took over as the new US Secretary of State.

“And the work of the Obama-Biden administration is committed to advancing America’s national security, furthering America’s interests, and respecting and exemplifying America’s values around the world,” Clinton said.

Clinton said, she “will do all that I can, working with our president, to make sure that we deliver on the promises that are at the very core of what this new administration and this new era represent.”

Obama is visiting the State Department this afternoon “on his second day in office to let all of you know, and all who are serving on our behalf around the world, how seriously committed he is to working with us,” she said.

But Clinton said: “There isn’t anything that I can get done from the seventh floor or the president can get done from the Oval Office, unless we make clear we are all on the American team.”

“We are not any longer going to tolerate the kind of divisiveness that has paralysed and undermined our ability to get things done for America,” she warned.

“There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defence, diplomacy, and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs,” she said.

“We will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States,” Clinton said.

“And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America’s future,” she promised.

Noting that in her testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee, she had spoken a lot about “smart power”, she said: “This is going to be a challenging time and it will require 21st century tools and solutions to meet our problems and seize our opportunities.”

Clinton was sworn-in as the 67th US Secretary of State to succeed Condoleeza Rice Wednesday evening shortly after the Senate approved her nomination by an overwhelming 94-2 vote.

Former president Bill Clinton and her Senate staff looked on as Clinton’s childhood friend and D.C. Appeals Court Associate Judge Kathleen Oberly swore her in on a Bible belonging to the former first lady’s late father, in a ceremony in her Senate office.

Immediately after the ceremony, Clinton submitted her resignation from the Senate with identical one-sentence letters to Vice President Joe Biden, who serves as president of the Senate, Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson and New York Governor David Paterson.

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