This Week at State: November 2, 2018

7 minutes read time

This Week at State: November 2, 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:

State Department Celebrates International Religious Freedom Day

On October 27, the State Department celebrated International Religious Freedom Day, marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the International Religious Freedom Act.

Statement on Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Secretary Pompeo released a statement regarding the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27.

Countdown to Iran Sanctions Deadline

The Department of State continued its countdown to the November 4th Iran sanctions deadline by highlighting 12 requirements Secretary Pompeo outlined for the Iranian regime to act like a normal state. This week, the Department highlighted #9, #8, #7, #6, #5, #4, and #3.

Concern Regarding Developments in Sri Lanka

In an October 28 statement, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert stated that the United States “continues to follow developments in Sri Lanka with concern.” Spokesperson Nauert added, “We call on the President, in consultation with the Speaker, to immediately reconvene parliament and allow the democratically elected representatives of the Sri Lankan people to fulfill their responsibility to affirm who will lead their government.”

United States Congratulates Brazilian President-Elect

The United States congratulated Jair Bolsonaro on his election as the next president of Brazil, in a statement from Spokesperson Nauert.

“We salute Brazil’s strong commitment to democracy and congratulate the Brazilian people on participating in a successful election … We value our deep cooperation with Brazil and look forward to working with President-elect Bolsonaro in the coming years.”

- Spokesperson Nauert

On October 29, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, congratulating him and affirming the U.S.-Brazil relationship.

Condolences on Crash of Indonesia Lion Air Flight

“The United States extends its deepest condolences to those who lost family and loved ones in the October 29 plane crash in Indonesia,” Spokesperson Nauert said in an October 29 statement. “Preparations are underway to assist the Indonesian government in its investigation of this tragic accident.”

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Marks 40th Anniversary

The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) marked its 40th anniversary.

Secretary Pompeo Emphasizes Importance of Ending the Yemen Conflict

Secretary Pompeo released a statement on October 30 calling on all parties to support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen.

“It is time to end this conflict, replace conflict with compromise, and allow the Yemeni people to heal through peace and reconstruction.”

- Secretary Pompeo

Secretary Pompeo Discusses Global Issues in Media Interviews

On October 31 and November 1, Secretary Pompeo gave a number of interviews to discuss global issues including the pressure campaign against Iran, U.S. engagement on North Korea, and China. The interviews were with Brian Kilmeade of The Brian Kilmeade Show, Laura Ingraham of The Laura Ingraham Show, Tony Katz of Tony Katz Today, Mark Reardon of the Mark Reardon Show, and Lars Larson of the Lars Larson Show.

“The risk to the world from Iran increased during the JCPOA, and this administration is determined not to repeat that. We’re going to be diligent. These sanctions are not aimed at the Iranian people. Indeed, it is the Iranian people who we are supporting, and we hope that it will be the Iranian people that will demand that their government simply do the things that we’ve asked, to behave like a normal country.”

- Secretary Pompeo

United States Supports OSCE Mission to Investigate Human Rights Abuses in Chechnya

On November 1, the United States joined 15 other member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to invoke the Moscow Mechanism, a rare diplomatic action triggering a formal international fact-finding mission to look into reports of impunity for human rights violations and abuses in the Russian Federation’s Republic of Chechnya.

United States Addresses Human Rights in Cuba

In her remarks to the United Nations General Assembly on November 1, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley addressed the long history of human rights abuses in Cuba.

Secretary Pompeo Speaks to Media About Iran Sanctions

Secretary Pompeo, joined by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, conducted a briefing on November 2 to discuss the upcoming snap-back of sanctions against Iran.

Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook also gave a special briefing on November 2.

State Department Marks International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists

On November 2, Spokesperson Nauert released a statement marking the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. The Spokesperson said, "Commemorating this day is particularly important this year, as we continue to seek all facts in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. We have taken initial action against those individuals believed to be responsible, and as Secretary Pompeo said last week, we will continue to explore additional measures against any individual determined to be responsible."

Welcoming International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology

Spokesperson Nauert welcomed the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology in a November 2 statement.

Election of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to the International Telecommunication Union

Spokesperson Nauert commented on the election of Doreen Bogdan-Martin to the ITU in a statement on November 2.

We were honored to support her candidacy for this position and believe she is the right person for the job.  Ms. Bogdan-Martin is the first woman to be elected for any senior leadership position at the ITU in its 153-year history."

-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.