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:
U.S. Congratulates Winner of Paraguayan Presidential Elections
In a press statement on April 23, Spokesperson Heather Nauert congratulated Mario Abdo Benitez on his election as the next president of Paraguay, based on the results from the elections of April 22.
“We congratulate the Paraguayan people on their participation in a successful election, and on this demonstration of their commitment to democratic values. The strong bilateral relationship between the United States and Paraguay is founded on shared commitment to democratic principles and the promotion of human rights and economic opportunity for all.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
Acting Secretary Sullivan Delivers Remarks at the G-7 Ministerial Meeting in Canada
On April 23, Acting Secretary of State John J. Sullivan delivered remarks at a press availability as the G-7 Ministerial Meeting concluded in Toronto. The Acting Secretary affirmed the United States’ support for the efforts of Canada to build a more peaceful and secure world for all and in particular the nation’s efforts to to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment through strategic partnerships.
The Acting Secretary said, “Our conversations over the past few days have been very productive, and the U.S. remains committed to working closely with our G7 partners on all of the critical issues that we discussed, and we look forward to our leaders building upon our conversations when they gather in Charlevoix in June for the G7 leaders’ conference.”
Acting Secretary John Sullivan and his #G7 partners discussed critical issues, including #counterterrorism, #nonproliferation, #NorthKorea, #Iran, #Syria, #Venezuela, #Burma, and more. Read the Acting Secretary's full remarks: https://t.co/eM8TPLsOmd. pic.twitter.com/ByFYC2GHSU— Department of State (@StateDept) April 23, 2018
On the margins of the G-7 ministerial, Acting Secretary Sullivan also met with a number of his counterparts for bilateral discussions. The Acting Secretary also engaged with staff at Consulate General Toronto.
U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Rakhine State Crisis
On April 23, Acting Secretary Sullivan announced $50 million in additional humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people fleeing the Rakhine State crisis. This brings the United States’ response to the crisis in Burma and Bangladesh to more than $163 million since August 2017, and total humanitarian assistance for displaced people in and from Burma to more than $255 million since the start of FY 2017. The Acting Secretary of State announced this new funding at the G7 Summit in Toronto, where he stood united with other G7 members to denounce human rights violations and abuses, including atrocities, committed in Rakhine State.
Acting Secretary Sullivan: Today I’m announcing we are providing an additional $50 million in humanitarian aid from @StatePRM to support the @UN-led Joint Response Plan in #Bangladesh. This assistance will support refugees and Bangladeshi host communities. #G7— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) April 23, 2018
Vice President Pence and Acting Secretary Sullivan Host French President Macron for State Luncheon During State Visit
On April 24, Vice President Mike Pence and Acting Secretary Sullivan hosted the French President for a State Luncheon at the U.S. Department of State’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The Acting Secretary delivered remarks underscoring the importance of the United States’ alliance with France. The Acting Secretary also commented on our trade relationship and collaboration on a number of global issues.
Acting Secretary Sullivan with @EmmanuelMacron: From the very beginning of our nation’s history, the United States and #France have shared deep and abiding friendship – built on our foundational commitment to the defense of liberty, in our own countries and around the world. pic.twitter.com/92qL8DygPf— Department of State (@StateDept) April 24, 2018
Acting Sec Sullivan with @EmmanuelMacron: US & #France are addressing global security challenges & supporting democratic aspirations of people across the globe & taking a firm, unapologetic stand against regimes who use despicable means like #chemical weapons on their own people. pic.twitter.com/qZMB0Ci4QN— Department of State (@StateDept) April 24, 2018
The State Luncheon was a part of the Trump Administration’s first official ceremonial State Visit.
State Department Comments on Taliban Announcement of Spring Offensive
On April 25, Acting Secretary John Sullivan, commented on the Taliban’s announcement of their spring offensive. He said, “The announcement affirms the Taliban’s responsibility for the insecurity that destroys the lives of thousands of Afghans each year.”
Taliban announced another campaign of senseless violence targeting the democratically elected and internationally recognized Afghan government and their fellow Afghans today. https://t.co/ByNA9RRaH5 https://t.co/ZoF6qPT4db— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) April 26, 2018
Acting Secretary Sullivan affirmed the United States’ solidarity with the Afghan people in response to the Taliban’s announcement and encouraged Taliban leaders to engage peacefully. “As President Ghani recently said, the Taliban should turn their bullets and bombs into ballots. They should run for office. They should vote. We encourage Taliban leaders to return to Afghanistan from their foreign safe havens and work constructively for Afghanistan’s future. More violence will not bring peace and security to Afghanistan.”
State Department Commemorates the Birthday of the Disappeared Panchen Lama
In a press statement on April 25, State Department Spokesperson recognized the birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. Spokesperson Nauert called for his immediate release and urged China to uphold its international commitments to promote religious freedom for all persons
20 years ago the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was reportedly abducted by the Chinese govt at age six. April 25 marked his birthday. We call on China to release him & to uphold its international commitments to promote religious freedom for all. https://t.co/j24wxKXesM— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) April 26, 2018
United States, Japan, and Mongolia Hold Trilateral Meeting
The United States, Japan, and Mongolia held a trilateral meeting in Tokyo on April 26, 2018. The participants reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Japan-Mongolia trilateral meeting as an important mechanism for the exchange of views on regional and multilateral cooperation and on mutually beneficial economic development. Following the meeting the three nations released a joint statement.
AA/S Thornton, @MongolDiplomacy State Secretary Davaasuren, and @MofaJapan_en DG Kanasugi discussed avenues of cooperation to promote a rules-based order throughout the region in the 2018 U.S.-#Japan-#Mongolia trilateral meeting. Joint Statement: https://t.co/QQSJljnrTP pic.twitter.com/vYeN6NGUJz— EAP Bureau (@USAsiaPacific) April 27, 2018
Mike Pompeo Sworn in as Secretary of State, Departs for Trip to NATO Ministerial and Middle East
Mike Pompeo was sworn in as the 70th U.S. Secretary of State on April 26, 2018. The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President's chief foreign affairs adviser. With Secretary Pompeo's swearing in, Acting Secretary Sullivan resumed his role as Deputy Secretary of State.
.@POTUS: I am pleased with the Senate’s confirmation of Mike Pompeo to serve as our country’s top diplomat. Having a patriot of Mike’s immense talent, energy & intellect leading @StateDept will be an asset for our country at this critical time in history. https://t.co/lLyF8GQKt6 pic.twitter.com/KOX9FqCXHv— Department of State (@StateDept) April 26, 2018
Immediately following his swearing-in, Secretary Pompeo embarked on this first trip as Secretary of State, making his first stop in Brussels on April 27 In Brussels, the Secretary met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participated in the NATO Foreign Ministerial, during which allies discussed preparations for July’s NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government meeting.
Ahead of first official session of #NATO #ForMin, Secretary Pompeo greeted SecGen @jensstoltenberg: "As soon as I was sworn in, I hopped on a plane & came here. There's a reason for that. Our work here is invaluable." pic.twitter.com/xFgomKMUhW— US Mission to NATO (@USNATO) April 27, 2018
At the conclusion of the NATO Ministerial, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks to members of the press, where he underscored the importance of NATO and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the organization.
Secretary Pompeo at @NATO: As our Alliance works towards the July Summit here in #Brussels, we will focus on three priorities: increasing defense spending and burden sharing; strengthening #NATO’s deterrence and defense; and countering terrorism. pic.twitter.com/oROBP2weiY— Department of State (@StateDept) April 27, 2018
Secretary Pompeo at @NATO: This alliance has been an essential pillar of American security interests for decades. Some of our strongest bilateral relationships are encompassed within this alliance. #NATO https://t.co/sYsEoRzs2Z— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) April 27, 2018
One the Secretary departs Brussels, he will travel to the Middle East, where he will meet with Saudi, Israeli, and Jordanian leaders to discuss critical regional and bilateral issues.
President Trump Hosts Bilateral Meeting with German Chancellor Merkel
On April 27, President Donald Trump held a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Deputy Secretary Sullivan participated in the meeting. The United States and Germany form the bedrock of the transatlantic relationship and the NATO Alliance, based on shared values of freedom, democracy, and human rights. In remarks following their meeting, President Trump underscored the importance of the United States relationship with Germany. He also took a moment to comment on the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Iran, Syria, and the NATO Alliance among other issues.
.@POTUS with Chancellor Merkel: For decades, the alliance and friendship between #Germany & the U.S. has advanced the cause of peace, prosperity & freedom. Today our nations face a wide array of shared challenges and opportunities & I am confident that we will meet them together. pic.twitter.com/Czl9FTGxna— Department of State (@StateDept) April 27, 2018
.@POTUS with Germany's Chancellor Merkel: This afternoon I want to congratulate the Republic of #Korea on its historic summit with #NorthKorea. We are encouraged by President @moonriver365 and Kim Jong Un’s expressed goal of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. pic.twitter.com/2Etm41jbF5— Department of State (@StateDept) April 27, 2018
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.