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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on the Death of Ambassador Pamela Harriman
Washington, D.C., February 5, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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MR. BURNS: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Secretary Albright has a statement to make on Ambassador Pamela Harriman. She will not be taking questions. We will have a normal briefing at around 1:00 o'clock. Madam Secretary.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: With the death of Ambassador Pamela Harriman, America has lost a remarkable representative, the State Department has lost one of its most effective diplomats, and I have lost a friend.
Ambassador Harriman's life spanned two great countries, two continents, and, although anyone who saw her would never believe it, seven decades. She was a central figure in the history of this century. Her recollections of the beginning of World War II and her careful analysis of the U.S. role in world affairs added depth to our understanding of our times.
Former Secretary Warren Christopher phoned just a few moments ago and highlighted that her performance as U.S. Ambassador in Paris was a fitting capstone to years of public and philanthropic service.
In the capital of America's oldest ally, she played an important role in our shared effort to bring peace to Bosnia and to pursue President Clinton's high priority to forge a Europe that would be, for the first time, fully united, fully secure and fully free.
When I visited her in Paris, I was deeply impressed by the respect and affection with which her staff held her and how much the Embassy staff admired and loved her. And, as an American, I was proud to witness the very high regard in which she was held by the French Government and its people.
Amidst the high-tech gadgetry of the Information Age, she was a master of the personal touch that separates simple communications from true diplomacy.
Not long before she died, during my first full day as Secretary, I met with Ambassador Harriman in Washington. We discussed the warm albeit spirited nature of U.S.-French relations, and we exchanged plans about what she would do when she returned to Washington to continue her support for the Administration and the United States.
I was so looking forward to working with her when she came back here. I am deeply sadden by her death but profoundly grateful for her life and for her service to the Department and to our country. My prayers go to her family, and I know that I speak on behalf of the entire Department of State when I say that Ambassador Pamela Harriman will be deeply missed.
Thank you.

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