Democratic lawmaker condemns Clinton's 'fly-by diplomacy'

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has logged more air miles in her first year on the job than most people do in a lifetime, but for one member of Congress, that's not quite enough.

Del. Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) is ticked off that Clinton isn't planning to stop by more Pacific Island nations during her three-day trip to the region later this week.

On Sunday he told the Samoa Observer that the perceived slight "shows a lack of sensitivity for the region."

Or perhaps just a lack of time: Clinton will visit three countries in about 72 hours, including Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The lawmaker (pictured here at right with actor Dwayne Johnson and his wife) said Clinton's decision "sends a message that some 15 Pacific Island nations are not an important or integral part of our U.S. foreign policy objectives."

He also made an unflattering comparison between the U.S. and China, saying, "China takes the time to meet with heads of state from small Pacific Island nations ... [They] deserve something better than fly-by diplomacy."

Hunkin's frustration is at odds with the stated intent of Clinton's trip, as described last week by Assistant Secretary for East Asian & Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell.

Briefing reporters about the upcoming visit, Campbell said, "as many of you know, one of the efforts of the Obama administration and Secretary Clinton has been to step up our engagement in the Pacific Islands ... as part of this overall effort, she will be stopping in Papua New Guinea."

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