The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

Inside Clinton’s Copenhagen trip

As the climate-change deal deadline in Copenhagen loomed late Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton huddled with world leaders in an impromptu meeting that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, a State Department official on the scene reports. Following Clinton’s attendance at the Queen’s dinner (after her meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao), ...

575364_091218_clinton2.jpg
575364_091218_clinton2.jpg

As the climate-change deal deadline in Copenhagen loomed late Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton huddled with world leaders in an impromptu meeting that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, a State Department official on the scene reports.

Following Clinton's attendance at the Queen's dinner (after her meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao), heads of state of key countries decided to go back to the Bella Center and talk it all out until past 2 a.m. In attendance were British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and others, the official said.

China was represented by chief negotiator Su Wei (rather than Wen) and Clinton stepped out of the room twice to consult privately with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who was also in town. The last-minute dealings showed the urgency and concern about reaching an agreement or at least keeping the possibility open as President Obama flew toward the conference.

As the climate-change deal deadline in Copenhagen loomed late Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton huddled with world leaders in an impromptu meeting that lasted into the wee hours of the morning, a State Department official on the scene reports.

Following Clinton’s attendance at the Queen’s dinner (after her meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao), heads of state of key countries decided to go back to the Bella Center and talk it all out until past 2 a.m. In attendance were British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, South African President Jacob Zuma, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and others, the official said.

China was represented by chief negotiator Su Wei (rather than Wen) and Clinton stepped out of the room twice to consult privately with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who was also in town. The last-minute dealings showed the urgency and concern about reaching an agreement or at least keeping the possibility open as President Obama flew toward the conference.

Politico‘s Glenn Thrush reported that Wen boycotted Friday morning’s leaders meeting, which Clinton attended. But then, Clinton sat in on Wen’s one-hour meeting with President Obama later in the morning, after which progress was reported.

When not shuttling around doing climate-change diplomacy, Clinton found time to sit in on National Security Advisor Jim Jones‘s meeting with his Russian counterpart on the follow-on to the START nuclear reductions treaty. She also sat in on Obama’s bilateral with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, which covered START and a number of other issues. Busy day.

Clinton’s plan is to leave Copenhagen tonight but the schedule is fluid, our State Department official on the scene reports. One concern is the blizzard that’s headed to the Washington area now.

Either way, she’s going to miss State Department spokesman Robert Wood‘s going-away party at 3 p.m. He’s headed to Vienna to be DCM there. Congrats, Robert!

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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