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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interview
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was interviewed today live on a PA TV program for teenagers. The following is a transcript of the interview:

Boy host:
"You have just finished meeting with the Palestinian children in the Access program. Can you tell us, what do you think of such a program and of the students involved?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"First of all, I am delighted to be on your program and I thank you for giving me the opportunity. I think it is very important to have a program run by young people about speaking about speaking out and I just saw some very impressive people. The students in this Access program that I visited were incredibly smart, asked great questions, their English was really good and I am proud to say that we are expanding on the Access programs…" [Talks more about being happy to be on show.]
 
Girl host:
"The Access program is an exchange program funded by the American government. What role do such programs play in bridging the gap between cultures, and what can be done to make them two-way exchange programs?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"I am hoping to play a big role in working to connect the Palestinian people and American people more closely. As you know, we have many Palestinian Americans, we have very successful Palestinians in every walk of life; in business, in academia, you name it, in every walk of life. And I want to do more to connect up our two countries, our people - having the Palestinian people feel that they have a better understanding of the United States and having the American people feel like they have a better understanding of the Palestinian people."
 
Boy host:
"Both you and President Obama have spoken about your interest in bringing about a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinian people. What are the concrete steps that you are planning to take to bring about such an agreement?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"Well, we already have taken some. One of my first recommendations to president Obama was to appoint Senator Mitchell as our Middle East Envoy, to do it immediately, and to send him to the region to begin his work, and the president and I were able to make that announcement on the second day of the administration. Senator Mitchell left on one of the first few days. We wanted to send a very clear message to the Palestinian people, to the Israeli people, to the region, that this administration is dedicated to working towards a two-state solution. My appearance at Sharm El Sheikh at the Gaza reconstruction conference hosted by the Egyptians, was intended to send another message: that the United States will commit nine hundred million dollars to the people of Gaza because we want to alleviate humanitarian suffering in Gaza, but some of that money will also go to the West Bank because the work being done by President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad is very effective and successful and we want to support that. Of course, once an Israeli government is formed, Senator Mitchell will go back and talk with them." 
 
Girl host:
"Before becoming the Secretary of State you were the senator, governor, and first lady and first woman candidate for presidency. What would be your added value as a woman to such a position?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"I have had an extraordinary experience.
I have been so honored to hold these positions in my country, to work with my husband Bill Clinton - who, as you know, was very committed to bringing about a two-state solution with Palestinian and Israeli people. I have been the senator in New York and I will continue my work on children’s rights and women’s rights, to better economic opportunity, to better understanding around the world, and now as Secretary of State I feel very privileged to represent President Obama who is reaching out to the world, making it clear that the United States wants people to have a better future."
 
Girl host:
"We have taken our cameras to the streets and asked many young Palestinians about questions they want to ask you. A little young girl from a village in Ramallah wants to know what you would do if your daughter Chelsea was unfortunate enough to have been born under occupation, to be born deprived of freedom and liberty?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"Well, I would do what so many parents here in the West Bank and in Gaza do. I would love her, I would take care of her, I would get the best education I could for her, and I would never lose hope, I would never give up on the dream of a Palestinian State. No matter what happens, no matter what people do to try and derail that dream. I would tell my daughter, and I would hope my daughter would believe with all of her heart, that she has the same opportunities for the best future that any child anywhere in the world does, and that’s what my goal will be."
 
Boy host:
"Many of our viewers are young Palestinians. What message would you deliver to young Palestinians, many of whom have lost hope in justice and can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"I understand the frustration and sense of hopelessness that can sometimes affect people's thinking and feeling, but I believe that with all my heart that there is no excuse for hopelessness. There is always the possibility of the human spirit that can overcome any barrier. Not violence, not rejectionism and despair, but constantly making it clear that human beings deserve the same rights no matter who you are and what you are and where you live; that’s why getting an education is so important. That’s why meeting these young students in Access and talking to the two of you fills me with hope. Now there have to be changes, and the United States is committed to a two-state solution. I met with Palestinian leaders, I met with Israeli leaders, I have delivered the same message to everyone I met with. We are committed to working towards a two-state solution and I have to say that the work that President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad have done have given every young Palestinian not just hope, but conviction that it is possible, because you should have seen the presentation that President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad gave in Sharm El Sheikh; among the best I have ever seen from anyone. The written materials, the specifics. People came to Sharem El Sheikh willing to give money to help the people in Gaza. But after hearing that they nearly doubled their commitment. Because it is not just a question of hope. You have to have a clear program. You can’t just say, “Here I am, help me.” You have to say, “Here’s what I’m doing to help myself, here’s what I’ve accomplished, now it’s your turn.” You shift the burden - and that’s what president Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad have done, and that is what the United States is committed to doing. Both Israelis and Palestinians are looking towards the day when Israelis can live in security, because that’s of course a very legitimate concern, and the Palestinian people can live in security in their own state and shape their own destiny."
 
Boy host:
"The 8th of March is International Women’s Day. Your Excellency has become a role model for many women around the world. Do you have any plan to empower women on the level of political participation, negotiations, and peace making?"
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
"Yes, I am all of that. I am committed to the rights of girls and women to live up to their God-given potential. When I see a young woman like you sitting next to an impressive young man, I see the future and I see that we are using the talents of everyone. Any country that does not utilize the talents of half the population will never be as successful as they could be, and that’s just, I think, an obvious fact. So I am going to do as Secretary of State what I have done all my life: I will stand up for women’s rights. Stand up for women to have the same chances as boys, for daughters to have the same support as sons, because we all have different talents, we have all been endowed with different talents and society must recognize that, so that’s my goal. I will work very very hard towards that." [Expresses thanks for being invited.]


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