Chairwoman Hautala met Michael Posner, the new US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour on 16. November to discuss current human rights issues and possible ways for the EU and US to cooperate in the future in the international human rights field. [:]Mr Posner told Chairwoman Hautala that the new era of engagement of the US administration is long over due and that taking part in the UN Human Rights Council and other foras is a sign of renewed commitment to the universal protection and promotion of human rights. In the meeting both agreed on the importance of universal standards, especially in the aftermath of the fight against terrorism and related human rights violations. Of great concern to both was the situation of human rights defenders in Russia. It was agreed to look into several issues together and explore further cooperation options available already for the year 2010.