Clinton Says U.S. Investment Abroad Fends Off Extremism

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said strategic investment in developing countries from Haiti to the Arab Spring nations is key to minimizing extremism and furthering U.S. interests.

“We are backing reformers who build accountable institutions and combat the corruption that stifles innovation, initiative, and hope,” Clinton said in remarks today to the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. She urged governments, philanthropists and nonprofits around the world to work together.

“Unity on this throughout the international community is crucial,” she said. “Extremists around the world are working hard to drive us apart. All of us need to stand together to resist these forces and to support the democratic transitions under way in North Africa and the Middle East.”

The Clinton Global Initiative was founded by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who introduced her.

Hillary Clinton said President Barack Obama “will have much more to say” about the Arab Spring when he addresses the UN General Assembly tomorrow, and that she would be meeting with the new presidents of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen.

She cited as a model a coordinated effort with the U.S. and Haitian governments, private investors and the Inter-American Development Bank that includes opening a power plant and building an industrial park that has attracted companies such as a Korean apparel company that now employs 800 people.

Clinton also emphasized development in Africa, saying six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing countries in the last decade were on the continent. She said the State Department is focused on getting more U.S. companies involved in infrastructure, energy and agriculture projects in developing countries.

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