This Week at State: May 31, 2019
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. Welcomes Establishment of Independent Commission by Colombian Government
On May 25, the United States welcomed the Colombian government’s decision to establish an independent commission to examine allegations regarding the Colombian military. Cooperation between the United States and Colombia has strengthened the rule of law, promoted transparency and accountability, and increased respect for human rights. Colombia has made great strides in advancing human rights and strengthening the institutions that protect them.
U.S. welcomes Colombian government’s decision to establish an independent commission to examine allegations regarding the Colombian military and strongly supports #Colombia’s efforts to clarify this issue. https://t.co/99vCTiNdCv— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 25, 2019
U.S. Continues to Support Democracy in Venezuela
In a press statement on May 25, Spokesperson Ortagus reiterated U.S. support for the Venezuelan people’s desire to recover their democracy and bring the illegitimate Maduro regime to an end. May 25 marked the 17th day since the arrest and disappearance of Edgar Zambrano, First Vice President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, and one of 800 political prisoners being held by the Maduro regime. The U.S. condemns their illegal imprisonment demands their immediate release.
Free elections cannot be overseen by a tyrant. The U.S. believes the only thing to negotiate with Maduro is the conditions of his departure, and we hope the talks in Oslo will focus on that objective. https://t.co/ZR3LxN474F— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 25, 2019
Today also marks the 17th day since the arrest and disappearance of Edgar Zambrano. We join supporters of democracy in #Venezuela and throughout the world in condemning his and all 800 illegal imprisonments by the Maduro regime and in demanding their immediate release.— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 25, 2019
U.S. Protests Restrictions on Cuban Political Prisoner Dr. Eduardo Cardet
On May 27, the United States condemned the conditions placed on the movement and activities of Cuban human rights activist and political prisoner Dr. Eduardo Cardet. We denounce the Cuban regime’s deplorable prison conditions and continued abuses against Dr. Cardet and other political prisoners.
The Cuban regime may have released activist Eduardo Cardet after three years of unjust imprisonment, but regime-imposed restrictions mean he’s still not free. The U.S. applauds Cardet’s courageous efforts to promote fundamental freedoms for the people of #Cuba. #JailedForWhat pic.twitter.com/hV445VNmia— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 28, 2019
U.S. Government Signs Memorandum of Cooperation with Government of Guatemala
On May 27, the U.S. Government signed a new Memorandum of Cooperation with the Government of Guatemala to help stem the northward flow of illegal immigrants from Central America to the United States. Our two governments will enhance cooperation on border security; training; joint actions to counteract illicit flows of people, drugs, and money; and improvements in the identification, administration, and detention of illegal immigrants.
President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Advance the U.S. and Japan’s Global Partnership
President Donald J. Trump visited Japan May 25-28, 2019. The President and Prime Minister Abe reaffirmed the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance and noted that it is the cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific. The two leaders also highlighted steps taken to strengthen security, economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation.
Meetings with Global Leaders
On May 29, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to congratulate the government and people of Indonesia on the election of Joko Widodo and Ma’ruf Amin as their President and Vice President-elect, respectively.
State Department Welcomes Rising Leaders for Professional Fellows Congress
On May 28, the State Department convened 280 emerging leaders from 60 countries, as the Spring 2019 Professional Fellows concluded their intensive fellowships with U.S. businesses, government offices, and non-profit organizations. During the Professional Fellows Congress, Fellows expand their networks, advance their leadership skills, and translate their experiences in the United States into actionable projects to implement in their home communities.
Congratulations to the 4 Spring 2019 @ProFellows Program Alumni Impact Award Winners! We will honor them & the work they do this week at the Spring 2019 Professional Fellows Congress in D.C. #ProFellows #ExchangeOurWorld #YSEALI #ExchangeAlumni https://t.co/dDHZwJysps pic.twitter.com/8jiBlAcarf— Marie Royce (@ECA_AS) May 28, 2019
U.S. Congratulates European Union on European Parliament Elections
In a press statement on May 28, the United States congratulated the citizens of the European Union member states on the successful conclusion of the European Parliament elections.
The U.S. congratulates the citizens of the EU member states on the successful conclusion of the #EUelections2019. The U.S. and the European Union share a strong, enduring partnership and we know this partnership will continue as new Members of the @Europarl_EN take their seats. pic.twitter.com/H6BFTVwTIe— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 29, 2019
State Department Offers Condolences on Passing of General Prem Tinsulanonda
In a press statement on May 29, Spokesperson Ortagus offered condolences on the passing of General Prem Tinsulanonda to his family, friends, and the people of Thailand.
The U.S. Government offers condolences on the passing of General Prem Tinsulanonda to his family, friends, & the people of #Thailand. His commitment to the U.S.-Thai partnership & alliance contributed to regional security & helped our two nations prosper. https://t.co/YQdL0a9zfL pic.twitter.com/xrR49wvqvb— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 29, 2019
State Department Offers Condolences on Passing of Former Jamaican Prime Minister Seaga
In a press statement on May 30, Spokesperson Ortagus offered condolences to the people of Jamaica on the passing of the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Edward Phillip George Seaga.
On behalf of the U.S., I offer my condolences to the Jamaican people on the passing of the 5th Prime Minister of #Jamaica, Edward Phillip George Seaga, revered as one of the country’s strong pro-democracy, independence-era leaders & as a bulwark for free market economic reforms. pic.twitter.com/UheYBo5rqC— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) May 30, 2019
Secretary Pompeo’s Travel to Berlin, Germany
On May 30, Secretary Pompeo began his travel to Berlin, Germany; Bern and Lugano, Switzerland; The Hague, The Netherlands; and London, United Kingdom. En route to Germany, Secretary Pompeo spoke to the traveling press about his expectations for the trip.
Wheels up for Europe. I look forward to important discussions in Berlin, Switzerland, The Hague, and London as we look to enhance our partnerships on issues from global security to trade and investment. pic.twitter.com/IIhidyd5BQ— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 30, 2019
A pleasure to meet the @USBotschaft team. Your work on behalf of millions of Americans with German roots, hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops who have served here, and countless exchange students and visitors, clearly demonstrates the close connection the U.S. and Germany share. pic.twitter.com/LcajX0groS— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 31, 2019
The U.S. and Germany have a strong and enduring friendship -- and we do ask more of our friends and Allies. Increased defense investment and the protection of energy security and diversity are not only key to European security, but also to global security and the @NATO Alliance. pic.twitter.com/ozwFlXAHb5— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 31, 2019
Editor’s Note: This entry is also published in the U.S. Department of State’s publication on Medium.