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Inside Politics

Five questions with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Albright: "You can't order your allies around."

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- In January 1997, the daughter of a Czechoslovakian diplomat, Madeleine Albright became the first woman to hold the post of U.S. secretary of state, serving in the second Clinton administration. Albright previously served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Albright answered five questions for at the Democratic National Convention.

CNN: How have the Clinton foreign policy initiatives that you helped shape been handled by the Bush administration?

ALBRIGHT: I think they have tried everything they could to overturn all the work that we did in terms of building our alliances. We left them with not only a surplus in our budget but with a surplus in our relations with other countries. And there is now a deficit in both.

CNN: Which alliances?

ALBRIGHT: Well, I think NATO and the idea of NATO enlargement that would make us stronger is most important. And it requires a lot of work and consultation and diplomacy. You can't order your allies around. You have to see them as force-multipliers and not as Lilliputians that are trying to tie down Gulliver.

CNN: What approach do you think the current administration should take toward the United Nations?

ALBRIGHT: They could realize that the U.N. is something the United States created that is very important to us and to creating a world community that can help us deal with the national security that we have.

CNN: You worked for Bill Clinton and are close to Hillary Clinton. What are your thoughts on the speeches they delivered to the first night of the Democratic National Convention?

ALBRIGHT: Both of their speeches were brilliant.

CNN: How did they complement one another?

ALBRIGHT: Hillary stated so clearly what many of the issues are, and President Clinton showed what America's promise is.

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