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Home » Libya » Joint Communique on Libya

November 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton paid tribute Thursday to slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, calling him a ‘fallen hero’ who understood that diplomacy requires taking risks.

About two months after Stevens and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, Clinton said the State Department and Pentagon are reviewing security at high-threat diplomatic posts to determine what improvements should be made.

But Clinton also stressed that diplomacy in unstable areas is inherently dangerous and praised Stevens for volunteering for difficult jobs to serve his country.

‘Our country mourns a fallen hero,’ she said of Stevens at a speech honoring him and others receiving the Common Ground award for conflict resolution, negotiation and peace building. 

The award was presented by the group Search for Common Ground, which is focused on ways of resolving conflicts.

Stevens ‘understood that there is no substitute for going beyond the embassy walls, building relationships, and finding common ground,’ she said.

‘We will never prevent every act of terrorism or achieve perfect security. 

‘And our diplomats cannot work in bunkers and do their jobs. We must accept a level of risk to protect this country we love and to advance our interests and values around the world.’

Clinton’s comments came as lawmakers step up demands for information about the Benghazi attack. 

Several congressional committees will hold classified hearings on the matter next week amid Republican charges that the Obama administration ignored increased threats to the mission. 

The State Department and FBI are also investigating.

Clinton will step down as U.S. Secretary of State within ‘days’ of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in January, her spokesman said Thursday.

Her long-respected departure is expected by most Democrats to be a prelude for a White House run in 2016, when she will be 69.

The top candidate to replace her is believed to be Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the losing 2004 Democratic presidential nominee.

He is viewed as a more likely pick that Susan Rice,  U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, because of her widely-criticised appearance on Sunday talk shows in which she insisted that spontaneous demonstrators in Benghazi had killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Other possibilities include Tom Donilon, the National Security Adviser, David Petraeus, CIA director, Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran and former Republican senator, Samantha Power, an Irish-born former journalist, and William Burns, Clinton’s deputy.

‘The Secretary has been honoured to serve as President Obama’s Secretary of State, and has loved every minute of leading this Department and being part of the State family,’ Philippe Reines, a Clinton spokesman, said in an email to the ‘Weekly Standard’.

He added: ‘She has said that she wants to ensure continuity, and realises the confirmation of her successor might take a period of days beyond that.’

He did not answer questions on whether she would run for president after she steps down following Obama’s inauguration in January.

Source: The Daily Mail

Categories: News, Press

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