This Week at State: September 14, 2018

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This Week at State: September 14, 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:

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. 

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.

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

The State Department also hosted a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, where Deputy Secretary John Sullivan gave remarks.

During the Department's 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, Deputy Secretary John J. Sullivan delivered remarks and laid a memorial wreath to honor those lost 17 years ago. (State Department photo)

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Secretary Pompeo Speaks on Election Interference, State Department Appointments

In remarks to the press on September 14, Secretary Pompeo spoke about the President’s September 12 Executive Order regarding foreign interference in U.S. elections.

The Secretary also spoke about State Department nominations and staffing. 

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.