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:
Secretary Pompeo Travels to Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Belgium
Following meetings in North Korea, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Tokyo, Japan on July 7-8, where he met with the Japanese and South Korean Foreign Ministers to discuss next steps regarding North Korea. The Secretary also met with Japanese Prime Minister Abe.
During a trilateral press event, emphasized their agreement to move forward together to ensure regional security. pic.twitter.com/CJQyFLkpUt— (@usembassytokyo) July 8, 2018
The Secretary’s travels continued in Afghanistan on July 9, where he met with President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, and Afghanistan National Security Council. Secretary Pompeo also met with staff at the U.S. Embassy and U.S. and coalition troops at Bagram Airfield.
Meeting w/ @ashrafghani and @afgexecutive, @SecPompeo offered strong U.S. support for the Afghan peace process and their work to ensure safe, credible, and transparent elections this fall. "Now, more than ever, the United States stands as an enduring partner for #Afghanistan." pic.twitter.com/TzGeODfhOp— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) July 10, 2018
On July 9-10, Secretary Pompeo traveled to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he met with the Crown Prince and Foreign Minister. While in Abu Dhabi, Secretary Pompeo also gave interviews to The Nationaland Sky News Arabia.
Thanks to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed & FM Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan for their partnership in deepening strategic, economic & security ties between U.S. & #UAE, as well as their strong commitment to countering Iran’s malign activity in the region. pic.twitter.com/bbqb7hj8ZO— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 10, 2018
On July 10-12, Secretary Pompeo accompanied President Donald J. Trump to the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium. While in Brussels, Secretary Pompeo also participated in the U.S.-EU Energy Council and co-hosted a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS with NATO. On the margins of the NATO Summit, the Secretary also held meetings with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi, and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
.@NATO is the most successful alliance in history. All #NATO allies have committed to extending this success through increased defense spending, deterrence and defense, and fighting terrorism. Weakness provokes; strength and cohesion protects. This remains our bedrock belief. pic.twitter.com/zDmTVZkEgp— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 11, 2018
U.S. Comments on Burma Court Decision To Continue Trial of Reuters Journalists
In a July 9 statement by Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, the United States expressed sadness and disappointment by the Burma court decision to proceed with charges against journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for their alleged violations of the Official Secrets Act.
“This is a step backward for press freedom and raises questions about the rule of law in Burma.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
U.S. and Guatemala Co-Host Security and Migration Working Conference
On July 10, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kirsten D. Madison and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri accompanied Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to participate in a working conference co-hosted by the Government of Guatemala on security and migration issues in Central America.
United States Welcomes Eritrean and Ethiopian Commitment to Peace and Security
Secretary Pompeo welcomed the July 9 commitment to peace and security between the State of Eritrea and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in a July 10 statement.
“The United States stands ready to support this process, and encourages all parties to continue working with transparency and confidence in the coming days. Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea will further the cause of stability, security, and development in the Horn of Africa and Red Sea.”
- Secretary Pompeo
State Department Delegation Visits Gulf Countries to Coordinate Pressure on Iran
A delegation of senior State Department officials from various bureaus visited Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries this week to explore raising economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran’s regime to counter its destabilizing behavior.
.@StateDept officials met with #Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih in Jeddah to discuss maintaining a well-supplied oil market to guard against volatility, and coordinating U.S. oil sanctions to deprive the #Iranian regime of terrorism funding revenues. pic.twitter.com/UyrtCNMs8I— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) July 10, 2018
State Department Hosts 2018 AGOA Forum, African Women Entrepreneurs
The United States hosted the seventeenth annual U.S.-sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum, commonly known as the AGOA Forum, on July 11-12, 2018, at the Department of State. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan gave opening remarks highlighting the great importance this administration places on our relationship with Africa and the genuine promise we see in the prospects for enhanced trade relationships with our African partners.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan at #AGOA2018: The @POTUS Trump Administration places great importance on our relationship with #Africa, and sees genuine promise in the prospects for enhanced trade relationships with our partners. pic.twitter.com/h16lGYnaVH— Department of State (@StateDept) July 11, 2018
The State Department also announced a visitor program for twenty-two women entrepreneurs from 13 African countries to connect with their American counterparts and accelerate the growth of their businesses.
State Department Announces First-Ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
On July 11, the State Department announced that Secretary Pompeo will host the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department, July 24-26. The Ministerial will convene government officials, representatives of international organizations, religious leaders, rights advocates, and members of civil society organizations from around the world to discuss challenges to religious freedom, identify concrete means to address persecution of and discrimination against religious groups, and promote greater respect for religious freedom for all.
State Department Honors Journalists Murdered in Russia
Spokesperson Nauert released a statement on July 12 honoring Natalya Estemirova and Paul Klebnikov, two journalists murdered in Russia.
“We honor the memories of Ms. Estemirova and Mr. Klebnikov by calling for an end to the impunity for human rights abuses in Chechnya and elsewhere in Russia and by reiterating U.S. support for brave journalists and human rights defenders in Russia and around the world.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
Secretary Pompeo Travels to Mexico
On July 13, Secretary Pompeo traveled to Mexico City to meet with President Enrique Pena Nieto, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and Foreign Secretary Videgaray, and to reaffirm the U.S. partnership with Mexico to combat transnational criminal organizations and the opioid epidemic, and discussed efforts to enhance trade, curb irregular migration, and manage our shared border.
.@SecPompeo closed his remarks at the joint press conference with @LVidegaray by saying: "Our meetings today reaffirmed that #Mexico and the United States are neighbors, partners, and friends." pic.twitter.com/buiSSlqw1h— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) July 13, 2018
For more information on this trip, visit the Secretary’s trip page.
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.