Washington: Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, played a key role in bringing the world`s largest democracy, India, and the oldest democracy, the US, "together" and reached a civilian nuclear agreement, a top American diplomat has said.
At a portrait unveiling ceremony of Rice at the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry praised his predecessor for her key diplomatic initiatives from January 2005 to January 2009.
"For four years, for more than a million miles of travel, every single day she was here and anywhere in the world, she put those words into action to make sure that diplomacy was always America`s first resort, and to make the State Department the center of America`s foreign policy," he said.
"That`s how she brought together the world`s oldest democracy, the United States, with the world`s largest democracy, India, and ended years of acrimony and reached a civilian nuclear agreement," Kerry said yesterday.
"That`s how she brought the United States together with the five permanent members of the Security Council in Germany to say for the first time with a united voice that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable. That`s how she helped contain a toxic mix of force that could`ve fueled a much bigger conflict, but to end the war in Lebanon," he said.
After serving as the 66th Secretary of State Rice was succeeded by Hillary Clinton, Kerry`s immediate predecessor.
In her remarks, Rice said America is, after all, an idea.
"It is a universal idea that we the people ought to be an inclusive concept, not one that is bound by religion or nationality or ethnicity, but by a belief that one can come from humble circumstances and do great things; that aspiration is the mother`s milk of success," she said. "And the United States of America has been that guiding light," she said.
Acknowledging that these are very difficult times, she said they are times when, as people of particularly the Middle East test the proposition that no one should live in tyranny, they`re times that seem chaotic and they seem dangerous, and sometimes there are those who say that maybe there are just those who don`t have the DNA for democracy, maybe they`re just not ready for democracy.
"I think we Americans, more than any peoples, should perhaps be a little bit more patient with those who have thrown the yoke of tyranny and are trying to find their way to stable democracy.
After all, our Constitution initially in a compromise that would allow the United States of America to come into being counted my ancestors as three fifths of a man," she said.
"It would be that same Constitution to which Martin Luther King would appeal when he would say that segregation was wrong in my hometown of Birmingham, and when he would say that the United States had to be what it said it was, not something else. It would be that same Constitution to which I would take allegiance as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States of America," she added.