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
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.”
The conviction of @Reuters journalists Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo is a major setback to the Government of #Burma's stated goal of expanding democratic freedoms. We urge the Government of Burma to release them immediately, and to end the arbitrary prosecution of journalists. https://t.co/a1Nd1bWjEh— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) September 3, 2018
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 #Pakistan with my colleague & friend CJCS Gen Joe Dunford. Today we met with PM @ImranKhanPTI & FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi to discuss our diplomatic & military to military relationship. @StateDept pic.twitter.com/dQUMVg6Q8y— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 5, 2018
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
What’s the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue? It’s a fancy name for getting this group together to work through the issues that bind & challenge our world’s oldest & largest democracies. #India #2Plus2Dialogue @StateDept @DeptofDefense pic.twitter.com/eXkEmJfCta— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 6, 2018
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.
Excited to be in #Delhi with Sec Mattis @DeptofDefense to engage with our strategic partner #India @SushmaSwaraj & @nsitharaman on critical diplomatic & security priorities at the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue #2Plus2Dialogue @StateDept pic.twitter.com/Ecb1ljck5p— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 6, 2018
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
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.