This Week at State: June 28, 2019

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo conducts a press conference at U.S. Embassy Kabul in Kabul Afghanistan on June 25, 2019.
Secretary Pompeo Conducts a Press Conference at U.S. Embassy Kabul in Kabul Afghanistan on June 25, 2019.

This Week at State: June 28, 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:

Secretary Pompeo Travels to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, India, Japan, and South Korea

From June 23 to June 30, Secretary Pompeo travelled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; New Delhi, India; Osaka, Japan; and Seoul, South Korea. 

In Jeddah, Secretary Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to discuss ways to counter the malign Iranian influence in the region.

In Abu Dhabi, UAE, on June 24, Secretary Pompeo met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss heightened tensions in the region and the need to support maritime security.

In Kabul, on June 25, Secretary Pompeo met with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, former President Karzai, and others including representatives from opposition parties and civil society, to discuss next steps in the Afghan Peace Process.

In New Delhi, on June 26,  Secretary Pompeo met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar to discuss our ambitious agenda for the U.S.-India strategic partnership. 

On  June 27,  Secretary Pompeo traveled to Osaka to participate in the G-20 Leaders’ Summit, the first such gathering hosted by Japan. On the margins of the Summit, Secretary Pompeo joined President Trump in a meeting with Prime Minister Abe to coordinate on the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and to discuss ways to strengthen trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea on our unified approach toward the DPRK and other shared challenges.

Check out the Secretary's trip page for more information.

Secretary Pompeo Issues Statement on Iranian Disinformation

On June 22, Secretary Pompeo issued a statement addressing Iranian disinformation following recent activities in the Gulf of Oman. The Secretary said, “Iran’s leaders know the truth is a dangerous thing. It is important to correct the record.” 

State Department Announces Return of Thirteen Fugitives from Thailand

In a media note released on June 24, Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus highlighted a recent collaboration between the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and Thai law enforcement and immigration authorities to support the apprehension and return of 13 fugitives to face justice in the United States.

Secretary Pompeo Comments on Houthi Attack on Abha Airport

On June 24, Secretary of State Pompeo commented on an Iran-backed Houthi rebel drone attack on the Abha airport in Saudi Arabia. The Secretary said, “We call on the Iran-backed Houthis to end these reckless and provocative attacks on behalf of the Iranian regime.” He emphasized that the United States will continue to stand with its allies and partners in the region.

Secretary Pompeo Comments on Executive Order to Impose Sanctions on the Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran

On June 24, Secretary of State Pompeo released a press statement on the White House Executive order sanctioning the Supreme Leaders Office and authorizing further sanctions on those associated with it. 

“This action was taken as part of the Administration’s maximum pressure campaign against the Iranian regime, which has engaged in 40 years of terror and aggression against the United States and our allies. Most recently, it targeted a U.S. unmanned aircraft and executed attacks on international shipping.”

- Secretary Pompeo

U.S. and UAE Release Joint Statement Following Economic Policy Dialogue

On June 24, the Governments of the United States and the United Arab Emirates issued a joint statement on the occasion of their sixth Economic Policy Dialogue in Washington, D.C. The two governments reaffirmed their ongoing commitment to further deepening ties between the two countries and the importance of the U.S.-UAE economic relationship in promoting regional prosperity and stability.

U.S. and Chile Release Joint Statement on High-Level Dialogue

Under Secretary of State David Hale and Chilean Deputy Foreign Minister Carolina Valdivia co-chaired the U.S.-Chile High-Level Bilateral Political Consultative Mechanism on June 24 in Washington, D.C. The dialogue reflects the strong partnership between the U.S. and Chile, rooted in more than 200 years of friendship between our peoples, and our common vision for democracy, security, prosperity, and human rights based on our shared values.  

Special Representative for Venezuela Abrams Delivers Remarks to the Press

Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams held a briefing on June 25 addressing the human rights, humanitarian, and political situations in Venezuela. Special Representative Abrams said, “Inside Venezuela, the Maduro regime continues to undermine democratic institutions, to carry out human rights abuses, and to engage in rampant and extremely widespread corruption.”

State Department Announces Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom

On June 25, the State Department announced the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom will be held at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC to from July 16-18. Advancing international religious freedom for all remains one of the defining challenges of the 21st century and is a top foreign policy priority of the Trump administration. The ministerial will bring together an unprecedented number of civil society organizations, religious leaders, and high-ranking officials to better understand the challenges and devise strategies to confront intolerance, discrimination, and abuse.

Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Issues Joint Statement

On June 25, the Political Directors of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS met in Paris to reaffirm the coalition’s determination to continue the fight against Daesh/ISIS in the post-liberation era and to create the conditions for an enduring victory against the terrorist group through a durable, multifaceted effort. Following the meetings, the coalition issued a joint statement reaffirming our determination to continue the fight against Daesh/ISIS in the post-liberation era and to create the conditions for an enduring victory against the terrorist group through a durable, multifaceted effort.

U.S. Signs New Conventional Weapons Destruction Memorandum with Ukraine

On June 25, the United States and Ukraine signed a new memorandum of understanding on Conventional Weapons Stockpile Management. This project will enhance the safety and security of Ukraine’s munitions stockpiles, as well as advance Ukraine closer to its goal of meeting NATO and international standards for physical security and stockpile management.

State Department Observes International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

On June 26, Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus commented on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. 

“The United States condemns the use of torture in every circumstance as a violation of international law and the God-given dignity of human life.  We stand with victims of torture in seeking justice and an end to this abhorrent practice.”

- Spokesperson Ortagus

U.S. Delegation Participates in the Organization of American States General Assembly

Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier led the U.S. delegation to the 49th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in Medellín, Colombia June 26-28, 2019.   

State Department Announces New Education Initiative Grant Winners Announced for Mexico-U.S. Innovation Fund

On June 26, the State Department announced the new winners in the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant competition. 

U.S. and Argentina Sign Protocol of Amendment to 1985 Air Transport Services Agreement

On June 26, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and Argentine Minister of Transport Guillermo Dietrich signed a Protocol of Amendment that modernizes the 1985 Air Transport Services Agreement between the two countries. The amendment will benefit airlines, aviation workers, travelers, businesses, shippers, airports, and localities. 

United States Takes Action Against Corrupt Maduro Regime Officials

On June 27, the United States sanctioned Maduro-aligned Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez and Eustiquio Jose Lugo Gomez for being current or former officials in the Maduro regime.  

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.