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:
State Department Honors Memory and Service of Senator John McCain
On August 25, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo extended his deepest condolences upon the death of Senator John McCain.
Susan and I send our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of @senjohnmccain - an American patriot. We wish you fair winds and following seas.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 26, 2018
See how the State Department and many of its embassies and consulates around the world honored Senator McCain here:
As his friends, family and colleagues gather at the U.S. Capitol, here’s a look at how @StateDept and its embassies and consulates around the world are honoring the memory and service of Senator John McCain. ⚡️https://t.co/xhX8kZyMaV— Department of State (@StateDept) August 31, 2018
Department Notes One-Year Anniversary of Ethnic Cleansing in Burma
Secretary Pompeo noted the one-year anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma, on August 25.
A year ago, following deadly militant attacks, security forces responded by launching abhorrent ethnic cleansing of ethnic #Rohingya in Burma. The U.S. will continue to hold those responsible accountable. The military must respect human rights for #Burma’s democracy to succeed.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 26, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Comments on U.S. Appearance Before ICJ
In a statement released on August 27, Secretary Pompeo commented on the United States’ appearance before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in a case brought by Iran. In the statement, Secretary Pompeo called Iran’s filing “an attempt to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions, including re-imposition of sanctions, which are necessary to protect our national security” and “a misuse of the Court.”
“We will vigorously defend against Iran’s meritless claims this week in The Hague, and we will continue to work with our allies to counter the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran’s proliferation of ballistic missiles and other advanced weapons systems that threaten international peace and stability.”
- Secretary Pompeo
Secretary Pompeo Comments on Strait of Hormuz
Secretary Pompeo commented on the Strait of Hormuz and the need for freedom of navigation on August 27.
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not control the Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 27, 2018
President Trump Hosts Kenyan President at White House
On August 27, President Donald J. Trump welcomed Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta to the White House. President Kenyatta's visit to Washington marked 55 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Kenya, and the start of a new U.S.-Kenya Strategic Partnership.
Read more about the visit and the new strategic partnership in this blog entry.
U.S., Mexico Reach Preliminary Trade Agreement
.@POTUS Trump is fighting for better trade deals, and after a year of tough negotiations, the United States and #Mexico reached a trade agreement that is fair and reciprocal and will strengthen both nations’ economies. Today marks a new chapter between our two countries.— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) August 27, 2018
Special Representative Hook Speaks on Iran Policy
Brian Hook, Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State and Special Representative for Iran, gave remarks on Iran policy at the National Security Summit, held at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on August 28.
Secretary Pompeo Speaks with Kurdish Leader
On August 29, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Masud Barzani, former President of the Kurdistan Region and head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, to discuss political developments in Iraq and the broader region.
United States Condemns Russian Harassment of International Shipping
In a statement released on August 30, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert condemned Russia’s harassment of international shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, impeding maritime transit.
The U.S. condemns Russia’s harassment of int'l shipping in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, impeding maritime transit by delaying or stopping hundreds of ships. The U.S. supports #Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We call on #Russia to cease this harassment. pic.twitter.com/f1eSN2XtLU— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) August 30, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Names New Director of Policy Planning
On August 30, Secretary Pompeo announced the appointment of Dr. Kiron Skinner as the incoming Director of Policy Planning at the State Department. Dr. Skinner is currently the W. Glenn Campbell Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kiron Skinner as the incoming Director of Policy Planning. Dr. Skinner will provide strategic views on policy formulation. Her vision and expertise will be strong assets in the @StateDept’s work on behalf of the American people. pic.twitter.com/10B0sVs0BC— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 30, 2018
Ambassador David Hale Sworn-in as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Ambassador David Hale, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, was sworn-in as the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs on August 30. Ambassador Hale, a 34 year veteran of the State Department, most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.
Excited to swear in Amb. David Hale as the Under Secretary for Political Affairs @StateDept. He’s a career Foreign Service Officer who’ll work closely with our regional bureaus to deliver maximum diplomatic impact. I look forward to working with David to execute @POTUS’ agenda. pic.twitter.com/G5eL5t5dup— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 30, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Comments on Situation in Idlib, Syria
On August 31, Secretary Pompeo commented on reports of a Russian and Syrian assault on the Syrian city of Idlib.
Sergey Lavrov is defending Syrian and Russian assault on #Idlib. The Russians and Assad agreed not to permit this. The U.S sees this as an escalation of an already dangerous conflict.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 31, 2018
The 3 million Syrians, who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. Not good. The world is watching.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) August 31, 2018
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.