This Week at State: June 22, 2018

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This Week at State: June 22, 2018

Did you miss key foreign policy developments this week? 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 key moments from This Week at State:

United States Offers Support for Peace Talks in Afghanistan

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed Afghan President Ghani’s decision to extend the Eid ceasefire and to begin peace talks with the Taliban on June 16, saying, “The United States stands ready to work with the Afghan government, the Taliban, and all the people of Afghanistan to reach a peace agreement and political settlement that brings a permanent end to this war.”

Secretary Pompeo Discusses Ongoing Issues with World Leaders

On June 16, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

On June 17, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

On June 18, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Secretary also met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

On June 19, Secretary Pompeo attended President Donald J. Trump’s bilateral meeting with King Felipe VI of Spain.

On June 20, Secretary Pompeo met with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

On June 21, Secretary Pompeo met with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. The Secretary also met with Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

On June 22, Secretary Pompeo hosted a working luncheon with King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of Jordan.

United States Condemns Terrorist Attack in Nigeria

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack on Saturday night in Damboa, Nigeria,” Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a June 18 statement. “The United States stands firm with Nigeria in its fight against terrorism.”

Secretary Pompeo Delivers Remarks on America’s Economic Revival

On June 18, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks on economic diplomacy at the Detroit Economic Club. In the speech, the Secretary outlined his vision of the State Department's role in America's economic revival. “Economic diplomacy has always been central, when done right, to the State Department’s mission," Secretary Pompeo said.

For full coverage of the Secretary’s remarks, check out this blog.

United States Congratulates Next President of Colombia

“The United States congratulates Ivan Duque on his election as the next President of Colombia,” Spokesperson Nauert said in a June 18 statement. “We will work with President-elect Duque to support Colombia’s efforts to combat drug trafficking, strengthen security, protect human rights, and secure the just and lasting peace its people deserve.”

United States Expresses Deep Concern About Political and Religious Prisoners Held by the Russian Government

On June 18, Spokesperson Nauert released a statement expressing the United States’ “deep concern” by the growing number of political and religious prisoners held by the Government of the Russian Federation. In the statement and a series of tweets, Spokesperson Nauert expressed specific concern over more than 60 Ukranian political prisoners, including four currently on hunger strikes.

“We call on Russia to release all those identified as political or religious prisoners immediately and cease its use of the legal system to suppress dissent and peaceful religious practice.” - Spokesperson Nauert

United States Condemns Ongoing Violence in Nicaragua

“The United States condemns the ongoing government-sponsored violence and intimidation campaign in Nicaragua,” Spokesperson Nauert said in a June 18 statement.

State Department Condemns Execution of Iranian Sufi Dervish, Arrest of Lawyer

In a June 18 statement, the State Department condemned the Iranian government’s execution of Mohammad Salas, a member of the long-persecuted Iranian Gonabadi Sufi Dervish community.

On June 19, Spokesperson Nauert also expressed the United States’ deep concern over reports of the arrest of Zeynab Taheri, the lawyer who represented Mr. Salas.

Completion of State-USAID-DoD Stabilization Assistance Review

On June 19, the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Department of Defense (DoD) announced the release of the final report of the Stabilization Assistance Review, identify ways that the United States can more effectively leverage diplomatic engagements, defense, and foreign assistance to stabilize conflict-affected areas.

Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley Announce Withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

In remarks at the State Department on June 19, Secretary Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced the United States’ withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council.

United States Commemorates World Refugee Day

In a statement on World Refugee Day, June 20, Secretary Pompeo joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and international partners in commemorating “the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution and conflict.”

“Through active humanitarian diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, and tireless efforts to end conflicts and achieve durable solutions for persecuted people around the world, we will continue to help the world’s most vulnerable refugees, reflecting the deeply held values of the American people.” - Secretary Pompeo

United States and Republic of Korea Hold Cyber Consultations

The 5th United States-Republic of Korea Bilateral Cyber Consultations were held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on June 21, 2018, to strengthen our joint commitment to an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure cyberspace. The Cyber Consultations affirmed the benefits of a whole-of-government approach between the Republic of Korea and the United States on cyber policy and reinforced cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Korea on a wide range of issues.

Reported Violations of the Southwest Ceasefire in Syria

On June 21, Department Spokesperson Nauert expressed that the United States remains deeply troubled by reports of increasing Syrian regime operations in southwest Syria within the boundaries of the de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year.

Implication of Malian Soldiers in Civilian Deaths

The United States expresses serious concern about the role of Malian military forces in the deaths of 25 people.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan and USAID Administrator Green Met With Humanitarian Organizations on Yemen

On June 21, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and USAID Administrator Mark Green met with representatives of international and non-governmental organizations to discuss the conflict in Yemen and developments in Hudaydah, and the withdrawal of Houthi forces.

Global Sports Mentoring Program To Be Recognized With Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award

We announced that the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) will be recognized as this year’s recipient of the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award at annual Sports Humanitarian Awards dinner in Los Angeles on July 17. In its seventh year, the GSMP is the flagship professional development exchange supporting the State Department’s ongoing efforts to advance the rights and status of women and girls around the world through sports. 

Secretary Pompeo Addresses the SelectUSA Investment Summit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered remarks on “Promoting Global Economic Prosperity” at the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit on June 22. The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign business investment in the United States. More than 15 U.S. chiefs of mission personally led delegations to the Summit.

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

Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.