Spokesperson Heather Nauert: The United States is deeply concerned about today's escalation of violence over Israel's border and strongly supports #Israel's sovereign right to defend itself...The U.S. continues to push back on the totality of Iran's malign activities in the region and calls for an end to Iranian behavior that threatens peace and stability. https://go.usa.gov/xnHpEEscalation of Violence Over Israel
Spokesperson Heather Nauert: Secretary Tillerson met with #Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales to discuss progress in countering narcotics trafficking through Guatemalan territories and reaffirm U.S. support for anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala. https://go.usa.gov/xnHg7Secretary Tillerson Meets With Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales
Escalation of Violence in Eastern Ghouta and Idlib, Syria
The United States is extremely concerned about escalating violence in Idlib, the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta, and other areas of Syria threatened by ongoing regime and Russian airstrikes. We are yet again appalled by the recent reports of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons and the escalation of bombings that has resulted in dozens of civilian deaths in the last 48 hours, as well as the continued abhorrent attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, which resulted in increased displacement. These attacks must end now.
The United States supports the United Nations calling for a month-long cessation of violence to allow the delivery of humanitarian supplies and the urgent medical evacuation of over 700 civilians in Eastern Ghouta. Russia must use its influence with Damascus to ensure the Syrian regime immediately allows the UN to provide vital assistance to this extremely vulnerable population.
We call on all parties to commit to the unconditional de-escalation of violence and unhindered humanitarian access to address the humanitarian disaster created by the Assad regime’s brutal attacks on these areas.
Secretary Tillerson To Travel to Amman, Ankara, Beirut, Cairo, and Kuwait City
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Amman, Jordan; Ankara, Turkey; Beirut, Lebanon; Cairo, Egypt; and Kuwait City, Kuwait, February 11–16.
In Jordan, the Secretary will meet with His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein and Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Al-Safadi. The Secretary will underscore the enduring strength of the U.S.-Jordan relationship, engage with the Jordanian leadership on the conclusion of a new Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral assistance, and discuss key regional issues such as the ongoing crisis in Syria and Jordan’s support for Middle East peace.
The Secretary’s itinerary includes a stop in Turkey, where he will meet with senior Turkish officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues.
In Beirut, the Secretary Tillerson will meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri. The Secretary’s visit will emphasize U.S. support for the Lebanese people and the Lebanese Armed Forces.
The Secretary will meet with senior Egyptian officials in Cairo to discuss the U.S.-Egypt partnership, how we can further strengthen it, and coordinate on key regional issues.
The Secretary will lead the U.S. delegation to the Ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS in Kuwait and participate in the Iraq Reconstruction Conference.
This is the third time the Secretary will gather with his counterparts for a meeting of the Global Coalition, and the first since the defeat of ISIS in Raqqa and Iraq declared its territory liberated. The Secretary will express his appreciation to Kuwait for hosting these events at a critical time. The Secretary and his counterparts will discuss how the 74-member Global Coalition can ensure an enduring defeat for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, while sharpening the Coalition’s focus on denying ISIS’s global ambitions.
The three-day Iraq Reconstruction Conference will showcase private sector investment opportunities and international support for Iraq. The Secretary will participate in events that highlight private sector opportunities to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure and modernize key sectors of its economy to improve the lives of the Iraqi people. This will be an opportunity to support the Iraqi people and help impart confidence that Iraq is now open for business.
The Secretary will meet with various senior officials and counterparts on the margins of the Defeat-ISIS Ministerial and Iraq Reconstruction Conference.
Initiative on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters First Regional Workshop
The United States and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), are holding the first regional workshop on the Initiative on Addressing the Challenge of Returning Families of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The workshop will take place in Tunis, Tunisia on February 8–9, 2018. This is the first of three regional workshops that will develop new GCTF good practices to guide international engagement, assistance, and training to address the potential challenges and security risks posed by family members of foreign terrorist fighters.
As ISIS’s battlefield losses accelerated, foreign terrorist fighters who traveled to Syria and Iraq began to return to their home countries or relocate to third countries. These individuals present specific challenges in their new locales, specifically those who traveled with family members. Some family members may have engaged in terrorist acts while in Syria and Iraq or may pose a threat to receiving communities. Others may be victims of ISIS – particularly young children – who witnessed unspeakable violence, were indoctrinated with violent extremist ideologies, or otherwise became desensitized to ISIS’s brutality.
To address this complex issue, this year-long initiative will bring together national and local governments, international organizations, medical and psychological service providers, and family support organizations over a series of three regional workshops.
Participants at the first regional workshop in Tunisia are assessing the threat of returning families of foreign terrorist fighters in the Sahel/Maghreb region; discussing existing tools and gaps for women, young children, and juveniles; and reviewing rehabilitation and reintegration options for family members who may face incarceration upon returning. The discussions over the two-day workshop will help shape a set of non-binding good practices on this issue that will be put forward for endorsement by GCTF members at the 2018 GCTF Ministerial Meeting.
The United States has appointed three new representatives to the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) Board of Governors who bring a wealth of scientific expertise and program management experience to the organization. The new board members are:
Cathleen Campbell, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Visiting Scholar and former president of CRDF Global, a nonprofit organization with an illustrious history of supporting international science and innovation cooperation.
Joshua Gordon, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the lead federal agency for research on mental illnesses.
Peter Hotez, Founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and a professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, a former U.S. Science Envoy, and world-renowned scientist.
The new U.S. board members join Rebecca Keiser, Director of the Office of International Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation, and Andrew Hebbeler, Deputy Director of the Office of Science and Technology in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and their Israeli counterparts on the Board of Governors.
The BSF was founded in 1972 and promotes scientific cooperation between the United States and Israel by supporting collaborative research projects in basic and applied scientific fields, for peaceful and non-profit purposes. The BSF also supports workshops and travel grants for young scientists. Grants are made on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis, juried by leading scientists from the United States, Israel, and around the world. Since its inception, the BSF has awarded some $600 million to more than 4,500 research projects that have resulted in significant advances in many scientific fields.
For further information, contact OES-PA-DG@state.gov. Follow the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at @StateDeptOES. For more information about the BSF, please visit http://www.bsf.org.il.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi today at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
The conference in #Kuwait will highlight private sector opportunities to rebuild #Iraq’s infrastructure and modernize key sectors of the economy to improve the lives of the Iraqi people. This will be an opportunity to support the Iraqi people and help impart confidence that Iraq is now open for business. https://go.usa.gov/xnsEyKuwait Mobilizes the Private Sector to Help Iraq Rebuild
The United States will participate in a Kuwait-hosted three-day forum that will showcase private sector investment opportunities and donor commitments from other governments.
The Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance (PLGHA) policy aims to ensure that U.S. taxpayer funding does not support foreign non-governmental organizations that provide or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. Background Briefing: https://go.usa.gov/xnsG5 | Read more: https://go.usa.gov/xnsfj|Background Briefing with Senior State Department Officials on Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance
Today in Kingston, Secretary Tillerson and #Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness discussed strengthening regional security, countering transnational criminal organizations, energy independence, and #Jamaica’s support on regional issues including the situation in #Venezuela.
Read the Secretary's full remarks: https://go.usa.gov/xnsdd
Spokesperson Heather Nauert: We congratulate of people of #Ecuador on successful national referendum on February 4. The U.S. looks forward to continuing to advance the common interests which drive the relationship between our people in a constructive direction. go.usa.gov/xnsG9
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discusses his first multi-country trip to Latin America and the Caribbean in an interview with Rich Edson of Fox News.
Read the full transcript: https://go.usa.gov/xns53
Spokesperson Heather Nauert: The United States is deeply troubled by sentencing of Hoang Duc Binh and Nguyen Nam Phong. The trend of increased arrests, convictions, and harsh sentences of peaceful activists since early 2016 is very concerning & the U.S. calls on #Vietnam to release all prisoners of conscience immediately.
Spokesperson Nauert's full statement: https://go.usa.gov/xnsZ5
The U.S. Department of State employs approximately 7,000 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) veterans around the world - read their stories of service at home and abroad: http://go.usa.gov/xnsTG.
Learn more about DoD's initiative and get to #KnowYourMil! https://go.usa.gov/xnsTM
Under the leadership of President Donald Trump and thanks to the generosity of the American people, 13 high-#HIV-burden countries are now poised to achieve epidemic control by 2020. https://go.usa.gov/xnsrv #PEPFAR15
Under the leadership of President Donald Trump, and thanks to the generosity of the American people, 13 high-HIV-burden countries are now poised to achieve epidemic control by 2020.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discusses his first multi-country trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, #Syria, and #PyeongChang2018 in an interview with Rich Edson of Fox News. Read the full transcript: https://go.usa.gov/xns53
Last evening, Secretary Tillerson met with #Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos to discuss bilateral issues, such as continued support for police and military forces, addressing coca cultivation, and the crisis in #Venezuela.
Read the Secretary's full remarks: https://go.usa.gov/xnskg
The United States is deeply troubled by sentencing of Hoang Duc Binh and Nguyen Nam Phong. The trend of increased arrests, convictions, and harsh sentences of peaceful activists since early 2016 is very concerning & the U.S. calls on #Vietnam to release all prisoners of conscience immediately. https://go.usa.gov/xnsDeConviction of Peaceful Activists