This Week at State: September 7, 2018

5 minutes read time

This Week at State: September 7, 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:

Secretary Pompeo Speaks with Global Leaders

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on September 1. The Secretary also spoke with Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi.

On September 4, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and on September 6, the Secretary spoke with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

State Department Comments on Announcement Reviewing Rules of Engagement in Yemen

On September 2, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement regarding the Saudi-led Coalition's ‎announcement that it will review their rules of engagement following last month's Sa'ada air strikes.

“The United States regards the Saudi-led Coalition's ‎announcement that it will review their rules of engagement, hold those at fault accountable, and compensate victims following the Joint Incident Assessment Team's finding that last month's Sa'ada air strikes lacked justification as an important first step toward full transparency and accountability.”

- Spokesperson Nauert

Statement on Attack on American Citizens in Amsterdam

The Department of State expressed its “concern and support” for two U.S. citizens injured in an August 31 attack in Amsterdam. In a September 2 statement, Spokesperson Nauert emphasized that the U.S. stands with its Dutch allies against terrorism, offered U.S. assistance in the investigations, and thanked the Dutch police and medical personnel for their effective and courageous efforts to apprehend the assailant and care for our citizens.

Secretary Pompeo spoke with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok on September 3 regarding the attack.

Department of State Addresses Conviction of Journalists in Burma

On September 4, Spokesperson Nauert addressed the conviction of two Reuters journalists in Burma, calling it “a major setback to the Government of Burma's stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms.” The U.S. Embassy in Burma also released a statement calling the convictions “deeply troubling.”

U.S. Delegation to Pacific Islands Forum Hosts Meeting with Pacific Islands Leaders

On September 4, a high-level U.S. government delegation hosted a roundtable discussion with the heads of delegation for 16 Pacific Island countries and territories just prior to the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting with Forum Dialogue Partners (PIF FDP) in Nauru.

To learn more about U.S. engagement in the Pacific, check out this fact sheet.

U.S., France, Italy and UK Welcome Libya Ceasefire

The governments of the United States, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom released a joint statement welcoming the ceasefire in Tripoli, Libya on September 4.

Secretary Pompeo Travels to Pakistan

On September 5, Secretary Pompeo, accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, traveled to Pakistan for meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior Pakistani leaders.

In his meetings, Secretary Pompeo highlighted the importance of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, and emphasized the important role Pakistan could play in bringing about a negotiated peace in Afghanistan, and conveyed the need for Pakistan to take sustained and decisive measures against terrorists and militants threatening regional peace and stability.

Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mattis Participate in U.S-India “2+2” Dialogue

Secretary Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis traveled to India on September 6 to participate in the inaugural U.S.-India “2+2” Dialogue in New Delhi.

The Secretaries met with their Indian counterparts, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Defense Nirmala Sitharaman, to discuss strengthening strategic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

For more coverage of the U.S.-India “2+2” Dialogue, check out this blog.

U.S. Joins Joint Statement on the Salisbury Attack

On September 6, the United States, with France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom, released a joint statement reiterating outrage at the use of chemical weapons in the March 4 Salisbury attack, as well as welcoming progress made in the investigation.

United States Imposes Sanctions on Supporters of Syrian Regime

On September 6, the United States imposed financial sanctions on four individuals and five entities that have facilitated weapons or fuel transfers, or provided other financial or material support, to the Assad regime in Syria.

State Department Comments on Need for Free and Fair Elections in Maldives

Spokesperson Nauert expressed the United States’ concern regarding the continued democratic backsliding in Maldives, particularly as the country prepares for presidential elections, in a September 6 statement.

“The restoration of democratic institutions and practices, to include a free, fair, and inclusive election held on its scheduled date of September 23, is of critical importance to Maldives’ future.”

- Spokesperson Nauert

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.