This Week at State: June 21, 2019

6 minutes read time
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo gives remarks at the 2019 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) graduation ceremony at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo gives remarks at the 2019 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) graduation ceremony at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on June 19, 2019. (State Department Photo)

This Week at State: June 21, 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. and Tunisia Convene the Second Joint Economic Commission

On June 14, the United States and Tunisia held the second Joint Economic Commission, in Washington, D.C. Both governments reaffirmed their commitment to expanding investment opportunities for U.S. businesses while promoting social and economic development in Tunisia under the framework of their strategic partnership.

Secretary Pompeo Discusses Iran in Media Interviews

Secretary Pompeo discussed increasing tensions with Iran with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday and Margaret Brennan of CBS Face the Nation on June 16, and with Ben Shapiro of the Ben Shapiro Show on June 19.

Meetings with Global Leaders

On June 17, Secretary Pompeo met with Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini.

On June 18, Secretary Pompeo met with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini. Also on June 18, Deputy Secretary Sullivan met with Caribbean Ambassadors and Insurance Industry Trade Association Executives.

On June 19, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale met in Washington, D.C., with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.

On June 20, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland as well as with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

U.S. Explores Rejoining UN World Tourism Organization

In a June 17 media note, the Office of the Spokesperson noted that at the Executive Council meeting of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Baku, Azerbaijan, White House Principal Deputy Chief of Staff Emma Doyle announced the Administration’s intent to explore rejoining the Organization. The United States will begin negotiations with UNWTO and its member states to seek terms to rejoin that are advantageous to the United States and will maximize benefits to the American tourism sector.

Secretary Pompeo Speaks to the Press at CENTCOM

On June 18, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks to the press at United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida, following meetings with CENTCOM Commander, General Kenneth F. McKenzie, and Special Operations (SOCOM) Commander, General Richard D. Clarke.

Under Secretary Hale Briefs Senate Republican Conference

On June 18 during its policy lunch, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale discussed Iranian threats in the Middle East with the Senate Republican Conference.  The Under Secretary briefed the Conference on the Administration’s economic and political pressure campaign against Iran’s destabilizing behavior, including our diplomatic engagement with partners around the world to protect freedom of international navigation. These efforts will help deter Iran from escalating its irresponsible and dangerous actions.

Secretary Pompeo Hosts 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony

On June 20, U.S. Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons John Cotton Richmond unveiled the 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Secretary Pompeo, joined by Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, discussed the report in a ceremony at the State Department. In remarks, Secretary Pompeo said, “Human trafficking is a stain as well on all of humanity. We detest it because it flagrantly violates the unalienable rights that belong to every human being.”

The Secretary also recognized this year’s #TIPHeroes, a group of men and women from around the globe whose tireless efforts have made a lasting impact on the fight against modern slavery.

State Department Comments on Prosecution of Suspects in MH17 Case

In a June 19 press statement, Secretary Pompeo welcomed the announcement regarding the indictment of four individuals for their role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. The Secretary said, “This is an important milestone in the search for the truth, and we remain confident in the professionalism and ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to prosecute those responsible in a manner that is fair and just.”

Secretary Pompeo Comments on World Refugee Day

On June 20, Secretary Pompeo acknowledged World Refugee Day and released a statement recognizing the plight of millions of refugees who have fled their homes due to conflict and persecution. In this statement, he also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to providing life-saving assistance for the most vulnerable.

State Department Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the International Labor Organization

On June 21, the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The United States proudly hosted the first International Labor Conference in 1919. Secretary Pompeo released a statement on this occasion stating, “As the ILO enters its second century pursuing objectives critical to economic prosperity and security around the world, the United States recommits itself to advancing the rights of workers globally.”

Secretary Pompeo Releases 2018 International Religious Freedom Report

On June 21, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks on the release of the 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom (IRF) at the State Department. He said, “For all those that run roughshod over religious freedom, I’ll say this: The United States is watching and you will be held to account.”

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.