This Week at State: June 2, 2017

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This Week at State: June 2, 2017

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? We’ve got you covered. Each week DipNote recaps the latest U.S. Department of State highlights spanning a wide range of global issues, events, and initiatives in one blog post.

Here are the highlights from This Week at State:

The U.S. Condemned Attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan

We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and injured, including our Afghan partners, members of the diplomatic and international communities, and many innocent Afghan citizens.  We pray for a speedy recovery to the American and Afghan members of our mission staff and others who were injured in this attack, and we praise the Afghan Security Forces, police, and medical professionals who were the first responders to the scene.

In the face of this senseless and cowardly act, the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan is unwavering; the United States stands with the government and the people of Afghanistan and will continue to support their efforts to achieve peace, security, and prosperity for their country.

United States Engaged with Regional Partners on Venezuela

On May 31, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosted a working breakfast with Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. The three leaders discussed the Organization of American States (OAS) Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on Venezuela; the OAS General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico, June 19-21, 2017; and other regional issues.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hosts a working breakfast for Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Later that day, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon addressed the 29th OAS Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the situation on Venezuela. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon said:

"The United States supports the proposal contained in the draft declarations calling for the establishment of a contact group to guide the next stage of our diplomatic efforts."

Working with the OAS and with the democratic governments throughout the Americas, the United States is supporting a unified regional approach to help Venezuela find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution to the increasingly dire situation there. We also seek to establish a mandate for new diplomatic engagement in support of good-faith negotiations amongst all Venezuelans.

Secretary Tillerson Hosted a Working Luncheon for Vietnamese Prime Minister Phuc

On May 31, Secretary Tillerson hosted a working luncheon for Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.  The luncheon took place in advance of Prime Minister Phuc’s visit to the White House for a meeting with President Donald J. Trump.

The United States is firmly committed to its relationship with Vietnam and the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S.-Vietnam partnership is a critical component of U.S. foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Phuc’s visit advances our growing partnership with Vietnam and helps us address key priorities, including trade, North Korea, and security cooperation.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones Briefed the Press on the President’s Trip to the Middle East

Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart Jones held a May 30 press briefing on President Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East, which included stops in Riyadh, Israel, and the West Bank.

The President made it a priority to reaffirm America's global leadership, continue building key relationships with world leaders, and deliver a message of unity to America's friends and allies.

While in the Middle East, President Trump called on leaders to cast out promoters of violent extremism and close off avenues of their support.  The President also sent a clear message of support for Israel’s security and affirmed an eagerness to see the peace process move forward.

Secretary Tillerson Departed on Travel to Australia and New Zealand

Secretary of Tillerson departed on June 2 for travel to Sydney, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand.  While in Sydney, Secretary Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis will participate in the 2017 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) hosted by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne.

At AUSMIN, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and their counterparts will discuss the full range of U.S-Australian cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues. The Secretaries will coordinate our policies and identify ways to further strengthen the alliance and deepen cooperation between our two governments.

The Secretary will then travel to New Zealand to reaffirm our strong ties and discuss coordination on shared strategic interests with Prime Minister English and Foreign Minister Brownlee.

Follow the State Department on Twitter and Facebook for additional information and updates.

Editor’s Note: This entry is also published on Medium.com/StateDept.