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 Concludes His Trip with a Visit to the Republic of Korea
Secretary Pompeo continued his trip, which included stops in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, India and Japan.
Following the G-20 in Japan, Secretary Pompeo accompanied President Trump to the Republic of Korea to meet with President Moon Jae-in on June 30. The two leaders also discussed ways to strengthen the United States-Republic of Korea alliance. President Trump and President Moon continued their close coordination on efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.The Secretary also joined President Trump as he became the first U.S. President to step into the DPRK.
My trip to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Afghanistan, India, Japan, and ROK strengthened our partnerships across many critical issues. I was also honored to accompany President @realDonaldTrump at his historic visit to the DMZ, where he became the first U.S. President to step into DPRK. pic.twitter.com/lYV0Tj0q8M— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 30, 2019
U.S. Comments on the Killing and Torture of Capitan de Corbeta Rafael Acosta Arévalo by Maduro in Venezuela
In a press statement on June 30, Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus condemned the killing and torture of Capitan de Corbeta Rafael Acosta Arévalo, a Venezuelan Naval Officer, who died while in the custody of Maduro’s thugs and their Cuban advisers.
The U.S. condemns the killing of Rafael Acosta Arévalo, who died in the custody of Maduro’s thugs and their Cuban advisers. Maduro will continue to kill, steal, and lie to stay in power. We must continue to support the people of #Venezuela in their quest to restore democracy.— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) June 30, 2019
Secretary Pompeo Condemns Attack In Kabul
In a press statement on July 1, Secretary Pompeo condemned the horrific attack in Kabul that killed an unconfirmed number of people and wounded more than 100 others, including as many as 50 children.
.@SecPompeo strongly condemned today’s horrific attack in #Kabul, and called on the Taliban to stop harming civilians. Attacks like this remind us of what is at stake in Afghanistan, and why we remain committed to the #AfghanPeaceProcess. pic.twitter.com/NEnS6wnjc9— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) July 2, 2019
U.S. Calls on Iran To Halt All Uranium Enrichment
In a press statement on July 1, Secretary Pompeo called on Iran to halt all uranium enrichment.
"The Iranian regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the region and to the world. The United States is committed to negotiating a new and comprehensive deal with the Iranian regime to resolve its threats to international peace and security. As long as Iran continues to reject diplomacy and expand its nuclear program, the economic pressure and diplomatic isolation will intensify."
- Secretary Pomopeo
Iran's regime has taken new steps to advance its nuclear ambitions. Once again, the regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security. The world’s top sponsor of terrorism can never be allowed to enrich uranium at any level.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 1, 2019
State Department Highlights U.S. Participation in the OAS General Assembly
On July 1, the State Department highlighted the United States' participation in the 49th Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly in Medellin, Colombia, June 26-27, 2019. Assistant Secretary Kimberly Breier, who led the U.S. delegation, reiterated our commitment to working with the OAS on restoring democracy and respect for human rights in Venezuela and Nicaragua, pursuing OAS reform, and promoting religious freedom throughout the region.
State Department Encourages U.S. Students to Apply to the Virtual Student Federal Service
The State Department announced applications for the 2019-2020 VSFS program are open between July 1 and 31. The VSFS program is managed by the U.S. Department of State, and offers unique mentoring and exposure to professional experiences with numerous U.S. Government entities operating both domestically and abroad. VSFS student interns play an important role in moving the government forward. There’s something for everyone: graphic design, research, mapping, videography, history, analysis, marketing, community management, writing, calculation, policy planning, application development, and more.
Meetings with Global Leaders
On July1, Secretary Pompeo met with Kazakh Foreign Minister Beybut Atamkulov, at the Department of State.
Great to meet with Kazakhstani Foreign Minister Atamkulov today. The United States strongly supports the U.S.–Kazakhstani enhanced strategic partnership and looks forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with the new government of President @TokayevKZ. pic.twitter.com/wPbFpsOmOu— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 2, 2019
On July 1, Secretary Pompeo spoke with Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido by phone to commemorate the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence on July 5th and express the United States’ unwavering support for Guaido, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people as they seek to regain their country’s freedom and prosperity.
The United States Welcomes the ‘ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific’
On July 1, Spokesperson Morgan Ortahus welcomed the issuance of the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” by the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“This is a major step in affirming ASEAN unity at an important time in the organization’s history. We see strong convergence between the principles enshrined in ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific outlook—inclusivity, openness, a region based on rule of law, good governance, and respect for international law—and the vision of the United States for a free and open Indo-Pacific, as well as the regional approaches of our allies, partners, and friends. The United States continues to place ASEAN centrality at the heart of our Indo-Pacific strategy.”
- Spokesperson Ortagus
United States Hosts the ‘Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament Working Group’ Kick-off Plenary Meeting
The United States hosted the Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament Working Group (CEWG) kick-off plenary meeting, July 2–3, at the Department of State in Washington, DC. Nonproliferation and disarmament experts representing more than 40 countries from all regions of the world convene to share ideas on Creating an Environment for Nuclear Disarmament (CEND) and identify ways to improve the international security environment in order to overcome obstacles to further progress on nuclear disarmament.
The United States Curtails Cuban Support for Illegitimate Former Maduro Regime
On July 3, United States removed sanctions on oil shipping company PB Tankers in response to actions it has taken to ensure that its vessels no longer were complicit in supporting the former Maduro regime. Additionally, the United States designated Cubametales, the Cuban state-run company and primary facilitator of oil imports from Venezuela, for circumventing U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. strongly condemns the attack on a migrant detention facility in #Tajoura, #Libya. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured. All parties must urgently de-escalate and return to the political process. pic.twitter.com/Zb903e6m9s— Morgan Ortagus (@statedeptspox) July 3, 2019
State Department Marks the 4th of July Independence Day Holiday
The State Department commemorated the July 4th holiday, sharing U.S. culture, the holiday’s traditions, and thanking our colleagues around the world.
The birth of the United States of America was an unprecedented event in human history. Today, we celebrate our great country and the principles of liberty our nation’s Founders declared on that summer day in 1776. Wishing the @StateDept team and all Americans a happy #4thofJuly! pic.twitter.com/rTKN2dmSUR— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 4, 2019
U.S. Congratulates Venezuela on the Anniversary of Independence
In a press statement on July 5, Secretary Pompeo congratulate interim President Juan Guaido, the National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela as you celebrate the anniversary of your independence.
Today, #Venezuela’s Independence Day, we are reminded of the country’s prosperous past – and the future the Venezuelan people deserve. The U.S. stands with @jguaido, @AsambleaVE, and all Venezuelans yearning for a return to democracy and a brighter future. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/L9rQoL9cR9— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 5, 2019
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.