APIA: Wednesday 29 August 2012: The United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton is now on her way to attend the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Post Forum Dialogue on Friday this week ,August 31.
She will be the highest US government leader to attend the Forum Leaders meeting which is currently underway in Rarotonga.
A statement today from the US Embassy in Apia said” the visit is part of our intensive engagement and ongoing collaboration with the Pacific Islands.
“Her visit will emphasize the depth and breadth of American engagement across economic, people to people, strategic, environmental, and security interests. The visit also represents a concerted effort to strengthen regional multilateral institutions, develop bilateral partnerships, and build on alliances – three core elements of U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific.
“She will lead the highest-level U.S. inter-agency delegation in the 41-year history of the Forum with senior officials from the Departments of State, Defense, and Interior.”
The visit is seen by Pacific Island commentators as a strategic effort to restore relations with the Pacific nations which have been moving persistently towards the Peoples Republic of China over the last thirty years with some having established relations with Taiwan.
Samoa’s Prime Minister recently said that the US is only interested in places of war and conflict for its weapons industry at the expense of the Pacific which is relatively peaceful.
In Rarotonga, Ms. Clinton is expected to meet Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and other Forum Leaders after the Forum proper.
The US Embassy statement said that after Rarotonga, Clinton will travel to Jakarta on September 3, Secretary Clinton will discuss with senior Indonesian officials the U.S.- a Comprehensive Partnership and our respective engagements on regional global issues.
In Beijing September, 4-5, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior Chinese leaders. Discussions are expected to cover a wide range of issues of importance in the U.S.-China relationship as part of our efforts to build a cooperative partnership, including preparations for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other upcoming multilateral meetings and numerous bilateral, regional, and global issues.
On September 6, Secretary Clinton will be the first Secretary of State to travel to Dili, where she will emphasize U.S. support for the young democracy of Timor-Leste in her meetings with senior officials.
In Brunei, Secretary Clinton will meet with senior officials to emphasize the importance of the increasingly vibrant U.S.-Brunei relationship. She will also highlight the U.S.-Brunei ASEAN English Language initiative and discuss Brunei’s 2013 chairmanship of ASEAN.
The final stop on Secretary Clinton’s trip will be Vladivostok, where she will lead the U.S. delegation to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting September 8-9. The Secretary will discuss trade liberalization, food security, and green growth including initiatives to fight wildlife trafficking, with heads of state and other regional leaders, including business representatives. She will engage on many areas of bilateral cooperation with Russia including with Foreign Minister Lavrov.