Monday 23 October 2017

Hillary Clinton extols diplomacy in subtle swipe at Trump

Diplomacy's a funny old business...from left, former US secretaries of state John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright share laughs at the US Diplomacy Centre Pavilion (AP)
Diplomacy's a funny old business...from left, former US secretaries of state John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright share laughs at the US Diplomacy Centre Pavilion (AP)

Hillary Clinton has paid an impassioned tribute to the power of diplomacy - containing a barely-hidden dig at Donald Trump - saying the United States will "weather every storm on the horizon" by staying true to its "universal values".

In a rare public appearance after her presidential election loss, Democrat Mrs Clinton never mentioned Mr Trump by name, but her short address at the opening of a new State Department museum in Washington was a subtle rebuke to the billionaire property mogul.

President-elect Mr Trump has already broken decades of diplomatic protocol through his interactions with foreign leaders during his transition.

"Diplomacy is one of the greatest forces for peace, prosperity and progress the world has ever known," Mrs Clinton told dignitaries and donors gathered at the new US Diplomacy Centre Pavilion.

"And today the lessons of this museum are more vital and urgent than ever. Democratic freedom and the rule of law are under attack across the world."

The museum and education centre are aimed at promoting American diplomacy, with a 14-foot section of the Berlin Wall as the star attraction.

One of the halls will be named after Mrs Clinton and another after another former US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger.

The bulk of the money raised to support the project came during Mrs Clinton's time at the agency.

Mrs Clinton sat on stage alongside former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

Though Mr Powell supported Mrs Clinton in the election, the two have had a difficult relationship at times .

Over the summer, Mr Powell repeatedly denied reports that he suggested Mrs Clinton use a private email account as secretary of state.

She warned that the "long-standing bipartisan goal of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace is under enormous pressure", a subtle reference to heightened Russian aggression in the region.

Mr Trump has been a fierce defender of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mrs Clinton has kept a low profile since the election, popping up at a Broadway shows and in selfies snapped by supporters who run into her at bookshops and hiking near her home in Chappaqua, New York.

In her last public appearance, an event last month thanking campaign donors, she blamed Russian interference for her defeat in the presidential race, casting her loss as part of a long-running strategy by Mr Putin to discredit the fundamental tenets of American government.

Mr Trump's choice to head the State Department, Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson, is due to face the Senate in his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

AP

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