Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Mexico on March 25 for a two-day visit that will include stops in Mexico City and Monterrey. The State Department website posted a statement: "While in Mexico, Secretary Clinton will discuss a broad range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest, including cooperation under the Merida Initiative." The Washington Post reported that in addition to anti-drug cooperation, Clinton's visit will also include discussions on trade, energy, and the upcoming summit of the G-20 nations.
On March 24, the North Korean government warned the UN, the United States, and Japan against issuing sanctions in retaliation for its planned launch of a communications satellite between April 4 and 8. The communist nation's foreign ministry issued a statement published by the Korean Central News Agency that said the imposition of UN sanctions would violate a September 2005 six-nation agreement on mutual respect.
Two journalists for the California-based online media outlet Current TV were taken into custody and detained by North Korean soldiers on March 17. The two women, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, were identified by a missionary who spoke to them earlier that day and later shared his information with the Associated Press.
During a mid-March forum organized by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Washington, China's top climate-change negotiator, Li Gao, said his country should not pay for cutting emissions created by producing Chinese goods to satisfy the demands of countries importing Chinese goods. Li had joined envoys from Japan and the EU to engage in preliminary talks in preparation for the December Climate Conference in Copenhagen. The stated purpose of that conference will be to reach an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol before its provisions expire in 2012. Neither the United States nor China ratified the Kyoto agreement.
Tiny, tragic El Salvador became on Sunday the latest Latin American country to lurch leftwards, following the lead of the likes of Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Popular former TV journalist Mauricio Funes was elected president as the candidate representing the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).
As many as 50 suspected Taliban militants destroyed 15 trucks at the al-Faisal terminal in Peshawar, Pakistan, early on the morning of March 16. A NATO supply convoy loaded with supplies bound for U.S. forces in Afghanistan was being assembled at the terminal, according to a Peshawar police official.
The Chinese government, to which the United States is in debt approximately $1 trillion, is preparing to use its leverage to exact concessions from the U.S. government. “We are concerned about the safety of our assets,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at a news conference March 13. “I would like to call on the United States to honor its words, stay a credible nation and ensure the safety of Chinese assets."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, participating in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on March 5, invited her counterparts to make a "fresh start" in their diplomatic relationship with Russia. Formal relations between NATO and Russia were suspended last August over differences concerning Russia's military operations in Georgia and its breakaway regions.
After waging a successful campaign to lift term limits in February, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is on a rampage. He recently sent the military to take control of all the nation’s rice processing plants. According to the National Election Board, the change in the country’s Constitution was approved by 54.3 percent of the population. But despite his narrow margin of victory, Chávez plans to proceed with his imposition of socialism on the nation, and can now potentially run for president indefinitely.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) leaders in Ramallah, West Bank, on March 4, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters news described Fayyad as the "pointman in Western-backed reconstruction plans for the Gaza Strip that freeze out the territory's Hamas Islamist rulers."