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 Singapore and Indonesia
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Singapore on August 4 and to Jakarta, Indonesia on August 4-5.
In #Malaysia, #Singapore, and #Indonesia, @SecPompeo reaffirmed U.S. dedication to #ASEAN and advancing our common security and economic interests with our friends and allies in the #IndoPacific region. Check out some highlights: https://t.co/AE97ntdmi2— Department of State (@StateDept) August 6, 2018
In Singapore on August 4, Secretary Pompeo participated in the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit Ministerial, and the Australia-Japan-United States Trilateral Strategic Dialogue Joint Ministerial, as well as a press availability.
.@SecPompeo conveyed @POTUS’ commitment to this part of the world that continues to grow in importance. As part of the commitment to advancing regional security in the #IndoPacific region, the U.S. announces nearly $300 million in new funding to reinforce security cooperation. pic.twitter.com/NPfJlbnugJ— Department of State (@StateDept) August 4, 2018
In Indonesia, Secretary Pompeo met with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi and President Joko Widodo, reinforcing the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership and advancing our shared security and bilateral trade and investment goals.
Celebrating nearly 70 years of diplomatic ties! Excellent meeting today with Indonesian President @jokowi affirming our strategic partnership & shared security & economic interests. @StateDept @usembassyjkt pic.twitter.com/vlpfoKXmqy— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 5, 2018
United States Reimposes Sanctions on Iran
In an Executive Order signed on August 6, President Donald J. Trump ceased the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and re-imposed all sanctions lifted or waived in connection with the JCPOA.
In a statement, President Trump said, “The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance. Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences.”
Secretary Pompeo also commented on the reimposition of sanctions against Iran.
90 days ago, @POTUS withdrew U.S. from the failed #IranDeal. Today, sanctions on the regime in #Iran were re-imposed to counter its malign activities. The regime must use Iran's resources to help its citizens, not support terror & enrich the leadership. https://t.co/hES0cmwjYc— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 6, 2018
For more information on the re-imposed Iran sanctions, check out this blog.
United States Comments on Issuance of Death Notices in Syria
Commenting on the Syrian regime’s recent notices confirming the deaths of thousands of political prisoners in its custody via an August 6 statement, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of the systematic arrest, torture, and murder of Syrian civilians in response to their legitimate and nonviolent calls for their freedom, rights, and political reforms.
State Department Marks 20th Anniversary of Bombings at Embassies in Kenya, Tanzania
Secretary Pompeo marked the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in an August 7 statement.
“We must honor the memory of those we mourn today by pressing the cause of freedom and justice. Our partnership with our African allies remains stronger than ever. As we remember and honor the sacrifices of the victims and their families, we stand together in the continuing fight against terrorism.”
- Secretary Pompeo
Today, on the 20th anniversary of the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in #Kenya and #Tanzania, we remember the victims of these terrorist attacks. We stand together with our African allies in the continuing fight against terrorism. @AmEmbTZ @USEmbassyKenya pic.twitter.com/BvUdFnHW6E— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 7, 2018
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan honored families and survivors during a memorial ceremony held at the State Department, and highlighted our continued resolve to fight against terrorism.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan: Even as we remember our fallen colleagues, we continue our efforts to defeat al-Qaida, ISIS, and other global terrorist organizations and to prevent further attacks on the United States and our citizens. Our resolve is as strong today as ever. pic.twitter.com/OJvlR9xEGg— Department of State (@StateDept) August 7, 2018
Secretary Pompeo and Deputy Secretary Sullivan Speak with Global Leaders
Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on August 7.
On August 9, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray. Also on August 9, Deputy Secretary Sullivan met with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Ambassador Sedat Önal.
United States Imposes New Sanctions on Russia
On August 8, the United States announced new sanctions on Russia, following the use of a “Novichok” nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal. In a statement, Spokesperson Nauert said that the United States determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of the Russian Federation has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals. The sanctions will take effect on or around August 22.
U.S. Comments on Recent Events in Zimbabwe and Upcoming Elections in the DRC
On August 9, Spokesperson Nauert released a statement expressing concern regarding recent events in Zimbabwe.
“The United States government is gravely concerned by credible reports of numerous detentions, beatings, and other abuses of Zimbabweans over the past week, particularly targeting opposition activists.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
On August 9, the Spokesperson also released a statement expressing encouragement regarding the ruling coalition’s announcement of a consensus candidate other than President Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The DRC has an historic opportunity to ensure a peaceful transfer of power in December, and the United States looks forward to supporting this process in accordance with the established electoral calendar.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
U.S. Expresses Condolences to Victims of Indonesian Earthquake
During the Department Press Briefing on August 9, Spokesperson Nauert extended condolences to the victims of the recent earthquakes and aftershocks in Indonesia.
.@statedeptspox: I express our condolences to the victims of the recent earthquakes & aftershocks in #Indonesia. We’re monitoring the situation & stand ready to provide additional aid to the Indonesian Govt. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Indonesian people. @usembassyjkt pic.twitter.com/hATCMO3ifi— Department of State (@StateDept) August 9, 2018
Secretary Pompeo also extended his thoughts and condolences.
My thoughts are with the people of Indonesia. My condolences to the victims of the recent earthquakes and aftershocks. Our prayers go out to all those affected. The United States is consulting with the Government of Indonesia, and we stand ready to provide aid.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 10, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Swears-in New Foreign Service and Civil Service Classes
On August 10, Secretary Pompeo administered the Oath of Office to the 148th Foreign Service Specialist Class and the 155th Civil Service Class, at the State Department.
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.