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Bill and Hillary Clinton visit Swansea Uni to discuss events in Gaza and global affairs

The pair were joined by Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford

The Clintons visited Swansea University last week to share and discuss their views about the challenges facing our future leaders.

For the first time since 2019, Bill and Hillary Clinton were back in Swansea for an event hosted by the university and the Welsh Government.

The couple were guests of honour at a special discussion which focused on current global challenges.

Their audience reached 600 people in Swansea University’s Great Hall, including Seren Network students.

Former presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton has family connections in Wales with her mother’s side coming from Pembrokeshire and Abergavenny.

The pair discussed a range of current social issues, such as nationalism, climate crisis and technological developments.

However, the stand-out topic of discussion was the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Former president Bill Clinton himself worked strongly to obtain stability between the two regions during his eight years in office, so people were eager to hear him discuss the event.

More than 11,000 people have died in the current conflict which was triggered by a Hamas attack in southern Israel on 7th October. Speaking at the university, Mr Clinton stated: “I know Gaza, I know the old city of Jerusalem and the West Bank. It’s heartbreaking.”

Mr Clinton also urged people to find “common ground” and “stand up for cooperation over conflict”.

The couple also discussed the ongoing situation with Ukraine and Russia, with Mr Clinton saying: “I think what Russia did in Ukraine is truly terrible.”

“They are not asking us to die for them, but the means to defend themselves. Yet you hear people say, ‘This is so expensive, we are going to get tired of this. But if you think this is bad you have no idea what Europe will look like if you let Russia win in Ukraine’”.

Mrs Clinton urged young people to follow their ambitions, despite any obstacles they may encounter, saying: “If you think you can do a good job and you think you can make a difference then you’ve got to get out there and try. I live by the idea that you take criticism seriously but not personally.

“In the world we live in, where people are killing each other over real and imagined differences I think having an environment where one participates in decision-making that is civil and decent is important.”

During their time in Swansea, the Clintons also took part in a fundraising event in support of the university’s Sanctuary Scholarships programme, which provides opportunities for people seeking sanctuary in the UK to access higher education.

Featured image via Swansea University 

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