In Latvia, Clinton hits 100-country mark
RIGA, Latvia -- Hillary Rodham Clinton made history yesterday, and marked it, too.
She set a frequent-flier record for U.S. secretaries of state when she touched down in her 100th country and she commemorated the strong stand that one of her predecessors had taken against Soviet expansion.
The globe-trotting Clinton hit the century mark when she stepped off her Air Force Boeing 757 in Latvia's capital, Riga. No other secretary of state has visited more than 96 countries while in office, the State Department said.
The previous record-holder was Madeleine Albright, the top U.S. diplomat during President Bill Clinton's second term.
In 3 1/2 years on the job, Clinton has logged 70 trips to countries from Afghanistan to Zambia, the department said. She has spent 337 days on the road, including more than 1,750 hours, or more than 73 days, on her Air Force 757, according to the department.
Counting her trips abroad as first lady, Clinton has now represented the United States in 122 countries, according to her staff.
Clinton, who first visited Riga with her husband in 1994, was in Latvia on the second stop of a four-nation European swing. She visited Finland on Wednesday and plans stops in St. Petersburg, Russia, and then Geneva, where she will attend an international conference on the Syria crisis.
In Riga, Clinton met Latvian officials and dedicated a street in front of the U.S. Embassy in honor of former Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles. In 1940 he issued what became known as the Welles Declaration, which set out Washington's refusal to recognize the Soviet Union's takeover of the Baltic states.