Sec. Of State Hillary Clinton Continues Marathon Trip

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

(CBS News) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Egypt Saturday. It's the next-to-last stop on what has been - even for her - a marathon, 13-day, nine-country trip that has taken her to some of the more remote places in the world.

America's chief diplomat is the most-traveled Secretary of State in U.S. history. She's visited 102 countries since taking office. (President Barack Obama has visited 32.) Hillary Clinton has only seven months left in office, and she's not slowing down.

The secretary departed Andrews Air Force Base on July 5 on board a customized Boeing 757 for one of her most extensive - and historic - trips since taking office.

In the first 48 hours, the secretary flew to Paris, to Kabul, to Tokyo, toggling time zones and topics with an entourage of staffers and journalists in tow. In Kabul she made an unannounced visit to the U.S. embassy and Hamid Karzai's presidential palace. She said there, "I wish we didn't have to leave, Mr. President!"

The longest portion of this trip was spent in Asia, boosting U.S. businesses - part of what Secretary Clinton calls "economic statecraft"' - a prime piece of her foreign policy strategy. From the platform of a women's forum in Mongolia, she pinched neighboring China.

Twenty four hours later, Clinton had breakfast in Vietnam, lunch in Laos, and dinner in Cambodia. In all three countries, she addressed the painful memories of the Vietnam War, saying, "Here in Laos, the past is always with us."

During a four-hour visit to Vientiane, Laos, the secretary toured a center that provides prosthetics to victims of U.S. cluster bombs.

She is the first Secretary of State in 57 years to visit the communist Southeast Asian nation, the most-bombed country in history. Twenty four hours later: it's wheels up to the Middle East. Clinton will be the highest-ranking U.S. official to meet with newly-elected Egyptian president Muhammed Morsi.

On Monday she'll head to Israel before returning to the U.S.


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