This Week at State: November 9, 2018

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This Week at State: November 9, 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:

Welcoming Delivery of Humanitarian Assistance in Syria

In a November 3 statement, Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert welcomed the news that the UN is finally able to begin delivering aid to the Rukban encampment in Syria 

“Above all, we must recognize the tireless, courageous efforts of the humanitarian workers who are undertaking these operations. We hope this delivery lays the foundation for sustained rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to Rukban and all areas in need throughout Syria through cross-line and cross-border aid deliveries in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2393, and we will continue our diplomatic efforts to ensure that is the case.”

- Spokesperson Nauert

Secretary Pompeo Participates in Interviews With CBS and FOX

On November 4, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo conducted interviews with John Dickerson of CBS Face the Nation and Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday. The Secretary’s interviews highlighted topics ranging from Iran sanctions to North Korea.

United States Re-imposes Sanctions on Iran

In a November 5 briefing at the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C., Secretary Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced the re-imposition of all Iran sanctions previously lifted under the JCPOA deal.

Along with the announcement of sanctions, the State Department addressed the need to constrain Iran’s nuclear program and the United States’ solidarity with the Iranian people.

On November 7, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook delivered remarks on the reimposition of sanction on Iran during a briefing with members of the press.

“Now that our sanctions on the Iranian regime have been reimposed, we want to alert nations of the risk of doing business with Iran’s shipping sector. If Iranian tankers make calls to your ports or transit through your waterways, this comes at great risk. The United States urges you to consider the advisory we are issuing today.”

- Special Representative Brian Book

Meetings with Global Leaders

On November 6, Secretary Pompeo met with Republic of Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides at the Department and spoke by phone with Canada Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Denmark Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen

On November 8, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

On November 9, Secretary Pompeo met with Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi at the Department. 

U.S. Expresses Concern Over Violence Uptick in Cameroon

On November 6, Spokesperson Nauert released a statement on the recent uptick in violence in Cameroon.

“The United States expresses grave concern over the burgeoning Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon’s Northwest and Southwest regions. We urge an immediate halt to the indiscriminate targeting of civilians and burning of houses by Cameroonian government forces and to attacks perpetrated by both Anglophone separatists against security forces and civilians.”

- Spokesperson Nauert

Secretary Pompeo Extends Joyous Diwali Wishes
In a November 6 statement, Secretary Pompeo wished those celebrating Diwali a joyous and prosperous holiday.

Support for Strengthening Cooperation and Meaningful Reforms in Sudan

The United States welcomed Sudan’s commitment to facilitate meaningful reforms to enhance stability, including counterterrorism, human rights, and the conditions conducive for progress of the peace process. In a November 7 statement, Spokesperson Nauert added that the United States “is prepared to initiate the process of rescinding Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism if the determination is made that all of the relevant statutory criteria have been met,” and if Sudan makes progress in addressing areas of concern.

Secretary Pompeo to Travel to Paris

On November 7, Spokesperson Nauert announced that Secretary Pompeo will travel to Paris, France November 10-11, to join President Trump in commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the first World War and in meetings with French counterparts.

State Department Highlights Progress Since Release of New Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy

On November 8, the State Department announced U.S. arms transfers rose 13 percent in 2018, highlighting the Trump administration's success strengthening security partners while growing american jobs.

Central to these efforts is the President’s new Conventional Arms Transfer (CAT) Policy, released in April 2018, which aligned U.S. policy on conventional arms transfers with our national and economic security interests. On November 8, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs released a fact sheet providing updates in the CAT policy implementation plan. 

U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense co-hosted the U.S.-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue on November 9, at the Department of State.

Following the dialogue, Secretary Pompeo held a joint press availability with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi and Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, at the Department of State.

Secretary Pompeo Recognizes Veterans Day

On November 9, Secretary Pompeo in a Veterans@State event honoring Veterans Day and recognizing veterans serving at the Department of State.

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