Benin Welcomes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (August 10, 2012)
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Benin on Friday, August 10. She was welcomed to the country with a traditional song and dance performance at the airport, and then continued to the Presidential Palace for a bilateral meeting with President Boni Yayi. After the meeting, President Yayi decorated Secretary Clinton with the National Order of Benin. “On behalf of the Obama Administration and the government of the United States, we are proud to be a partner and friend of your country,” Secretary Clinton said. “And I will take this very wonderful honor on behalf of the American people."
The Secretary expressed gratitude to President Yayi for his role in the African Union bringing peace and stability and development and opportunity to Africa. Secretary Clinton said, "The United States looks forward to being your partner and friend for many years as you consolidate democracy and demonstrate for the entire world to see what a true democratic society that provides opportunity for its people looks like."
Benin was Secretary Clinton’s final stop on an 11-day trip to emphasize U.S. policy commitments outlined in the Presidential Policy Directive - to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, advance peace and security as well as promote opportunity and development for all citizens throughout Africa.
This was the first time an American Secretary of State has traveled to Benin.