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Gabon’s President holds talks with Hillary Rodham Clinton

By Azim Datardina

(Washington DC, 08.03.2010)

President Ali Bongo Ondimba met today with Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State. They discussed bilateral issues, including their desire to conclude a Bilateral Investment Treaty, and multilateral issues, in particular the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme.

Gabon has been elected as a member of the UN Security Council and holds the rotating presidency during the month of March.

Addressing a press conference afterwards, Secretary Clinton said, 'We stand ready to support Gabon as it further strengthens its democratic institutions and processes. President Obama and I are committed to broadening and strengthening our partnership and our friendship with Gabon.' Turning to President Ali Bongo Ondimba, she said, 'we have much to learn from one another, and I look forward to your leadership in the years ahead.'

On the subject of Iran, Secretary Clinton said; 'I expressed our serious questions about Iran's continued refusal to live up to its international obligations.'

Concerning Iran, President Ali Bongo Ondimba said: 'We will work with all Security Council members. It is not for us to reassure Iran, it is for them to reassure us.' He is expected to shed more light on his objectives for Gabon's term as president of the Security Council in a speech to the International Peace Institute tomorrow.

The President thanked the United States administration for its support during a year of political transition in Gabon. 'We've come a long way, we've gone through a democratic process, and now we are moving forward. As Madam Clinton said, our message is very clear. We want to take Gabon further. We want Gabon to become an emerging country, and we will take all the necessary steps to do that. Good governance, fighting against corruption, diversifying our economy and our partners. This is what we're doing.'