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:
United States Marks Rosh Hashanah
On September 9, President Donald J. Trump issued a Presidential Message marking Rosh Hashanah and the start of the Jewish High Holy Days.
Secretary Pompeo also extended his wishes for a happy and sweet Rosh Hashanah.
United States Congratulates New Pakistani President
In a September 9 statement, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert congratulated Dr. Arif Alvi on his swearing in as the new President of Pakistan.
U.S. Administration Determines PLO Office in Washington Should Close
“The Administration has determined after careful review that the office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington should close,” Spokesperson Nauert said in a September 10 statement. Spokesperson Nauert cited the PLO’s lack of steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel and the PLO’s refusal to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts.
The United States continues to believe that direct negotiations between the two parties are the only way forward. We are not retreating from our efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace. https://t.co/mubMlxGq01— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) September 10, 2018
Special Representative Biegun Travels to Korea, China, and Japan
Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun traveled to Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo from September 10–15 to meet with his counterparts and continue diplomatic efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore.
“It is great to be back in Seoul. This is my first trip here as the Special Representative of the U.S. for North Korea since my appointment by Secretary Pompeo.” S/R Stephen Biegun arrived at Incheon International Airport and delivered a statement regarding his visit. pic.twitter.com/XS3B0Hy4ss— U.S. Embassy Seoul (@USEmbassySeoul) September 10, 2018
In #Beijing, Special Representative Biegun met with his Chinese counterparts to discuss how to work together to achieve our shared goal of the final, fully verified denuclearization of #NorthKorea. pic.twitter.com/pVeju6onGN— EAP Bureau (@USAsiaPacific) September 13, 2018
U.S. Condemns Attack on on Libya's National Oil Corporation
The United States strongly condemned the September 10 terrorist attack against Libya’s National Oil Corporation in Tripoli in a statement by Spokesperson Nauert.
"We stand in solidarity with the National Oil Corporation and all Libyans as they fight against terrorism and for a better and prosperous future. Libyan oil facilities, production, and revenues belong to the Libyan people.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
State Department Honors the Victims of September 11th
On September 11, the State Department honored the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. In a statement marking the anniversaries, Secretary Pompeo said, “The diverse nationalities of the victims of 9/11 and the attack in Libya remind us that terrorism is a global issue that requires the efforts of every sovereign nation to defeat it.”
“The men and women of the U.S. Department of State are proud to stand side-by-side with partners from all over the world in this effort, and we will not waver in our resolve to pursue peace, security, and justice.”
- Secretary Pompeo
Susan and I join all Americans in commemorating the terrorist attacks on #September11th. The events of that day, and the hatred of America by the murderous jihadists, are etched in our memory.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 11, 2018
The State Department also hosted a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, where Deputy Secretary John Sullivan gave remarks.
The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security also shared its remembrance here.
Secretary Pompeo Certifies Actions of Saudi Arabia and UAE in Yemen
Secretary Pompeo announced in a September 12 statement that he has certified to Congress that the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments.
Ending the conflict in #Yemen is a national security priority. The United States will continue to work with the Saudi-led Coalition to maintain support for UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and the UN-led effort to facilitate a comprehensive political agreement.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 12, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Meets with Global Leaders
On September 12, Secretary Pompeo met with Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić. On September 13, Secretary Pompeo met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. On September 14, Secretary Pompeo met with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Deputy Secretary Sullivan Meets with Humanitarian Organizations on Yemen
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and USAID Administrator Mark Green met with international and non-governmental organizations to discuss the humanitarian situation in Yemen on September 12.
.@statedeptspox provides a readout of Deputy Secretary John Sullivan’s meeting with humanitarian organizations on the situation in #Yemen. Full text: https://t.co/S56FlSukC6 pic.twitter.com/4a8IUIJvix— Department of State (@StateDept) September 13, 2018
U.S. Condemns Russia-backed Sham Elections in Ukraine
The United States condemned the announcement of a plan to conduct “elections” in the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics” in a September 12 statement.
“Given the continued control of these territories by the Russian Federation, genuine elections are inconceivable, and grossly contravene Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements. By engineering phony procedures, Russia is once more demonstrating its disregard for international norms and is undermining efforts to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine.”
- Spokesperson Nauert
Department of State Comments on Super Typhoon Mangkhut and Hurricane Florence
In the Department Press Briefing on September 13, Spokesperson Heather Nauert commented on State Department efforts to assist U.S. citizens affected by Super Typhoon Mangkhut.
.@statedeptspox: We are watching Super Typhoon #Mangkhut which is expected to impact Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau & mainland China. The safety & security of U.S. citizens overseas is a high prioritiy. We encourage citizens in those areas to enroll in @TravelGov’s STEP program. pic.twitter.com/hbf89vDYuL— Department of State (@StateDept) September 13, 2018
On September 14, speaking to the media at the Department of State, Secretary Pompeo extended his thoughts and prayers to those affected by Hurricane Florence.
.@SecPompeo: I want to let our fellow Americans who are affected by #HurricaneFlorence to know that our prayers are with them. @POTUS is closely monitoring situation, the federal govt is providing the necessary help & we encourage everyone to take the right steps to stay safe. pic.twitter.com/IusKZqrz6V— Department of State (@StateDept) September 14, 2018
For more information for U.S. citizens affected by these natural disasters, check out this blog.
Department of State Congratulates New Career Ambassadors
On September 14, Ambassadors Philip Goldberg, David Hale, Michele Sison and Dan Smith were conferred by President Trump as Career Ambassadors—the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service.
Proud to congratulate Ambassadors Philip Goldberg, David Hale, Michele Sison & Dan Smith, confirmed and conferred the rank of Career Ambassador—the highest in the Foreign Service. Thank you, Ambassadors, for your dedicated service on behalf of the American people. pic.twitter.com/TCyCqgfMEx— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) September 13, 2018
Learn more about these four Career Ambassadors in this blog.
Secretary Pompeo Welcomes 156th Civil Service Class
Secretary Pompeo participated in the swearing-in ceremony of the 156th Civil Service class on September 14.
One of the best parts of my job is welcoming the newest members of @StateDept team! Congratulations to the members of the 156th Civil Service class. I know you’ll serve our country with pride, honor, and distinction. pic.twitter.com/w2rhKi6PHs— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 15, 2018
Secretary Pompeo Speaks on Election Interference, State Department Appointments
.@SecPompeo: @POTUS signed an Executive Order that made clear our Administration will not tolerate foreign interference in our democratic processes. Elections are the foundation of our democracy & preserving their integrity is a matter of protecting sovereignty & nat’l security. pic.twitter.com/a3CWjuuA10— Department of State (@StateDept) September 14, 2018
The Secretary also spoke about State Department nominations and staffing.
.@SecPompeo: We know American diplomacy is most agile & effective when we have our entire team in place. When we have senior leadership that is empowered to give direction to our mission, our teams at home & across the world can better deliver on that mission with maximum impact. pic.twitter.com/j1T4P0NGe9— Department of State (@StateDept) September 14, 2018
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.