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 Expresses Condolences on Earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo extended thoughts and prayers to the people of Indonesia following the September 28 earthquake and tsunami that struck Central Sulawesi.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of #Indonesia following the Sept. 28 earthquake and tsunami that struck Central Sulawesi. @usembassyjkt is closely monitoring the situation and we stand ready to assist as needed.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 29, 2018
The United States also conveyed its condolences and support to all affected in a September 30 statement by Spokesperson Nauert.
United States Welcomes Results of Macedonia's Referendum
On September 30, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert issued a statement welcoming the results of the Republic of Macedonia’s September 30 referendum, in which citizens expressed their support for the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece.
“The United States strongly supports the Agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU, contributing to regional stability, security, and prosperity.” -- Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert
Ten-Year Memorandum of Understanding Between the United States and Israel Begins
On October 1, the ten-year period of the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the United States and Israel in 2016 began. The MOU sets funding levels for Foreign Military Financing and cooperative programs for missile defense, reflecting the enduring and unshakable commitment of the President, this Administration, and the American people to Israel's security.
State Department Announces Secretary Pompeo’s Upcoming Trip to Asia
On October 2, Spokesperson Nauert announced Secretary Pompeo will travel to Tokyo, Japan; Pyongyang, DPRK; Seoul, Republic of Korea; and Beijing, China from October 6-8.
.@SecPompeo will travel to #Tokyo, #Pyongyang, #Seoul, and #Beijing from October 6-8 to reiterate the Administration’s continued focus on the final, fully verifiable, denuclearization of the #DPRK, and longstanding commitment to our alliances and partnerships in the region. pic.twitter.com/miEd6ke46A— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) October 3, 2018
In remarks to the media on October 3, Secretary Pompeo also commented on his upcoming trip.
Secretary Pompeo Meets with Global Leaders
On October 1, Secretary Pompeo met with Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne. On October 2, the Secretary met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
On October 3, Secretary Pompeo held meetings with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. The Secretary also spoke by phone with Iraq's President Barham Salih and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
State Department Marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Secretary Pompeo marked National Disability Employment Awareness Month in an October 1 statement.
As we recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month, @StateDept will continue to work to ensure that persons everywhere living with disabilities have meaningful, equal access to employment and to supportive workplaces. It’s the right thing to do. #NDEAM— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 1, 2018
United States Announces New Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada
On October 1, President Donald J. Trump announced the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“USMCA is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our farmers and manufacturers, reduces trade barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world.” -- President Donald J. Trump
I echo @POTUS Trump’s congratulations to #Mexico and #Canada, our partners in the new #USMCA trade deal. @StateDept is pleased to support this historic agreement that will open markets, reduce trade barriers, and bring our countries even closer as neighbors and friends. pic.twitter.com/YMyLeoGVUv— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) October 1, 2018
First Lady Melania Trump Kicks off First International Trip; Visits Ghana and Malawi
In her first major international trip, First Lady Melania trump traveled to Ghana on October 3 and Malawi on October 4.
In Ghana, the First Lady, joined by USAID Administrator Mark Green, visited the Greater Accra Regional Hospital to observe USAID’s robust maternal, newborn, and child health assistance efforts there. The First Lady met with Mrs. Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee house, where they discussed the importance of maternal and newborn health in all communities.The First Lady also met with the Chargé d’Affaires, Christopher Lamora, and his staff at the United States Embassy to thank them for their service to the United States.
In Malawi, the First Lady traveled to the Chipala Primary School to highlight the importance of educating and empowering youth. During her visit, she lauded USAID’s continued efforts to increase access to education for children in Malawi. Mrs. Trump met with Ambassador Virginia Palmer and the Embassy staff, thanking them for their service and continued efforts in Malawi.
The first lady will also travel to Kenya and Egypt.
Secretary Pompeo Delivers Remarks to the Media on Iraq, ICJ, and Bolstering the U.S. Diplomatic Corps
On October 3, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks to the media on the situation in Iraq, the October 3rd ruling from the International Court of Justice and his effort to put America’s diplomatic corps back on the field.
.@SecPompeo: In light of how #Iran has abused the @cij_icj as a form for attacking the United States, I am therefore announcing today that the United States is terminating the Treaty of Amity with Iran. pic.twitter.com/AlPqUswsBC— Department of State (@StateDept) October 3, 2018
U.S. Releases New National Strategy for Counterterrorism
On October 4, President Donald J. Trump released a new National Strategy for Counterterrorism that will protect American citizens and interests at home and abroad.
Secretary Pompeo released a statement on the new strategy and how it will help protect the American people and interests.
.@SecPompeo: Today @POTUS announced a new National Strategy for Counterterrorism...The President’s strategy emphasizes the importance of diplomacy and the role of international partnerships in combating the terrorist threats we face. https://t.co/UDEr12USA7— Department of State (@StateDept) October 4, 2018
Learn more about the U.S. National Strategy for Counterterrorism in this White House Fact sheet.
U.S. Calls for the Release of Tomas Nunez Magdariaga in Cuba
In a statement on October 4, Spokesperson Nauert commented on the wrongful detention of Tomas Nunez Magdariaga in Cuba and called on the Cuban government to release him.
The United States is gravely concerned about the physical health of Cuban democratic activist Tomás Núñez Magdariaga, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 50 days in protest against his wrongful imprisonment. pic.twitter.com/7DjaAd380l— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) October 4, 2018
Under Secretary Hale 2018 Secretary of State's Award for Corporate Excellence
On October 5, Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale presented this year’s Awards for Corporate Excellence (ACE) at the State Department. Established in 1999, ACE recognizes U.S. companies that empower and enhance lives and communities. This year’s winners are PVH Corp. in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Alaffia in Lome, Togo.
Learn more about the winners in this blog entry.
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.