This Week at State: November 30, 2018

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This Week at State: November 30, 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:

U.S. Observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

On November 25, Secretary Pompeo released a statement in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

U.S. Remembers the Mumbai Attacks, Offers Reward for Justice

On November 25, Secretary Pompeo released a statement in remembrance of 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist attack. “We stand with the families and friends of the victims, whose loved ones were lost in this act of barbarism, including six American citizens. The barbarity of 26/11 shocked the entire world,” he said.

The United States is committed to seeing that those responsible for this attack face justice. The Department of State Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Program is offering a new reward for up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual who was involved in planning or facilitating the 2008 Mumbai attack.

U.S. Addresses Russian Aggression Against Ukraine

Secretary Pompeo spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on November 26 to discuss Russian aggression against Ukraine in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait.

On November 26, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Ukraine, during which U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on Russia to respect its international obligations and to de-escalate the tension it has created.

Learn more in this DipNote blog.

Secretary Pompeo Comments on Iran's President

On November 26, Secretary Pompeo released a statement following comments by Iranian President Rouhani, once again, calling for the destruction of Israel as well as his comments at an international conference encouraging Muslims around the world to unite against the United States

"The Iranian regime is no friend of America or Israel when they repeatedly call for the death of millions, including Muslims. The Iranian people know better and do not agree with their government, which has badly represented them to the world for 39 years. The people have suffered under this tyranny for far too long.”

-Secretary Pompeo

Meetings with Global Leaders

On November 26, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Ukrainian President Poroshenko and met with Kosovo President Hashim Thac and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia and Finance Minister Richard Martinez at the State Department.

On November 29, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan met with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo at the State Department.

Secretary Pompeo releases Opinion-Editorial on the U.S.-Saudi Relationship

On November 28, an opinion-editorial, authored by Secretary Pompeo, was published in the Wall Street Journal nunderscoring the importance of the United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia, like the U.S.—and unlike these critics—recognizes the immense threat the Islamic Republic of Iran poses to the world. …Its objectives are to spread the Islamic revolution from Tehran to Damascus, to destroy Israel, and to subjugate anyone who refuses to submit, starting with the Iranian people. An emboldened Iran would spread even more death and destruction in the Middle East, spark a regional nuclear-arms race, threaten trade routes, and foment terrorism around the world."

- Secretary Pompeo

State Department Comments on Stalemate on Syria at Astana Meeting

On November 29, Spokesperson Nauert released a statement on the lack of progress at the Astana meeting toward achieving a breakthrough on Syria.

"The latest “Astana group” meeting on Syria did not yield an agreed list of members for the Syrian Constitutional Committee and thus failed to produce progress toward advancing the political process in this tragic conflict. For 10 months, the so-called Astana/Sochi initiative on the Syrian Constitutional Committee, created to advance the goals laid out within UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2254, has produced a stalemate. “

- Spokesperson Nauert

Iran's Transfer of Arms to Proxy Groups and Ongoing Missile Development

As part of the Administration’s efforts to confront the totality of the Iranian regime’s malign activities, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook delivered remarks at the Iranian Materiel Display at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling on November 29.

United States and United Kingdom Complete Talks on Post-Brexit Aviation Agreement

Delegations from the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom completed talks on November 28 on a bilateral air transport agreement that would take effect when the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement ceases to apply to the United Kingdom.

U.S. Announces Emergency Food Assistance For Yemen

This week, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo announced the United States is providing nearly $131 million in additional emergency food assistance to the people of Yemen, who are suffering from the world's largest humanitarian crisis and food-security emergency. This brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Yemen response to more than $697 million since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2018.

Secretary Pompeo Travels to Buenos Aires for the G-20 Leaders' Summit

Secretary Pompeo is traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina through December 1 to support President Trump’s participation in the G-20 Leaders’ Summit. While in Buenos Aires, Secretary Pompeo will attend G-20 plenary sessions as well as the President’s bilateral meetings with leaders from other G-20 countries.

On November 30 President Trump delivered remarks - with Canadian President Trudeau and Mexican President Pena Nieto - at a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement during a ceremony in Argentina.

On November 30, Secretary Pompeo co-hosted the G7 Foreign and Finance Ministers’ Dinner with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

State Department Recognizes World AIDS Day

In advance of World AIDS Day 2018 (recognized annually on December 1), U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivered remarks at the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Faith Communities and HIV Technical Summit and announced the latest results achieved by American leadership and partnerships through the PEPFAR.

"Since the launch in 2003 of PEPFAR – thanks to strong support from three presidents, multiple Congresses, and our many partners around the globe – we have saved more than 17 million lives.  We have prevented millions of new HIV infections. And AIDS-related deaths globally have been cut in half since their peak in 2004. Quite simply, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has gone from crisis towards control."

-Secretary Pompeo

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.