‘Smart power’ at work, says Hillary Clinton

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Author: AGENCIES

Wednesday 17 August 2011

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the US response to crises in Libya and Syria, saying the Obama administration is projecting “smart power” by refusing to act alone or with brute force to stop repression in the two countries.

Clinton said the US remains the world’s strongest leader but is wisely building coalitions to respond more effectively and better promote universal values of human rights and democracy.
“The US stands for our values, our interests and our security, but we have a very clear view that others need to be taking the same steps to enforce a universal set of values and interests,” she told an audience in a joint appearance at the National Defense University with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
She also said a call by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down would be more effective than one from the US.
“It’s not going to be any news if the US says Assad needs to go,” OK, fine. What’s next?” she said.
Indicating Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other regional powers have more influence on Syria, Clinton said “we don’t have very much going on with Syria because of the long history of challenging problems with that.”
When pressed on whether President Barack Obama’s administration should demand that Assad step down, Clinton replied: “I am a big believer in results over rhetoric.”

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