This Week at State: July 26, 2019

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with VFW Commander Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence, in Orlando, Florida on July 22, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo meets with VFW Commander Vincent “B.J.” Lawrence, in Orlando, Florida on July 22, 2019.

This Week at State: July 26, 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’s Concludes Trip to Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, El Salvador, and Florida

Following his visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo continued to trip to Latin America making stops in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Mexico City, Mexico; and San Salvador, El Salvador July 20 - July 21, 2019. 

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, Secretary Pompeo participated in a press availability with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, and participated in an interview with Estefani Espin of Ecuavisa.

On July 21, in Mexico City, Secretary Pompeo met with Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon. While there, he discussed his travel as well as Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela with Buck Sexton of iHeartMedia.

Secretary Pompeo concluded his travel in Orlando, Florida, on July 22, where he delivered remarks entitled, “A Foreign Policy in Service to Our Veterans” at the 120th National Convention for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

While there,the Secretary  met with members of the VFW and with the VFW Auxiliary Kansas Delegation. 

State Department Commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

On July 20, the State Department joined the world in celebrating one of humanity’s greatest achievements: landing on the moon. Spokesperon Ortagus reflected on this historic moment noting, “The Apollo 11 mission was not just a success for America, but for the entire global community.”

U.S. Expresses Concern Regarding Chinese Coercion on Oil and Gas Activity in the South China Sea

In a press statement on July 20, Spokesperson Ortagus commented on China’s interference with oil and gas activities in the South China Sea.

Meetings with Global Leaders

On July 20, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

On July 21, the Secretary met with Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

On July 23, Secretary Pompeo met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and also met with Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s Minister Prime Masrour Barzani

On July 25, Secretary Pompeo met with Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno and spoke by phone with U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

U.S. Reaffirms Enduring Relationship with ASEAN

On July 22, the 10th anniversary of the accession of the United States to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the United States celebrated our flourishing strategic partnership with ASEAN. The close relationship between the United States and ASEAN has advanced on the foundation of the deeply-held shared principles and values enshrined in the Treaty.

Secretary Pompeo Extends Condolences on Passing of Director General Amano

On July 22, Secretary Pompeo extended his deepest condolences following the passing of Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

United States Imposes Sanctions on Chinese Firm for Purchasing Oil from Iran

On July 22, the United States took further action as part of our maximum economic pressure campaign against the Iranian regime by imposing sanctions on the Chinese firm Zhuhai Zhenrong Company Limited and its chief executive for knowingly purchasing or acquiring oil from Iran, contrary to U.S. sanctions.

Strategic Prevention Project Outlines Targeted Approach to Foreign Assistance

On July 23, the State Department’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources announced the final report of the Strategic Prevention Project: Assessing the Role of Foreign Assistance in Preventing Violent Conflict. The Project was launched in 2018 to identify how the United States and international partners can better target foreign assistance to priority fragile states to reduce the risk and severity of violent conflict.

U.S. Congratulates Ukraine on Its Parliamentary Elections

On July 23, Spokesperson Ortagus congratulated the Ukrainian people on their peaceful and historic parliamentary elections, which delivered a clear result and underscored Ukrainians’ commitment to democratic ideals.

U.S. Imposes Visa Restrictions on Nigerians Responsible for Undermining the Democratic Process

On July 23, Secretary Pompeo imposed visa restrictions on Nigerians believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy in Nigeria. The State Department emphasized that the actions are specific to certain individuals and not directed at the Nigerian people or the newly elected government.

U.S. Condemns Attack on Civilians in Maarat Al Numan City, Idlib

On July 23, the United States condemned airstrikes in Maarat Al Numan City in southern Idlib which hit civilian homes and the city’s market, reportedly taking the lives of over 35 innocent men, women, and children. 

U.S. and Japan Release Joint Statement on U.S.-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space

On July 24, the U.S. Government and the Government of Japan released a statement on the occasion of the Sixth Meeting of the U.S.-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space. The Dialogue represents the strong and shared commitment of two of the world’s most advanced spacefaring nations to further enhance bilateral space cooperation and to cooperate closely with the international community to ensure the continuous, safe, and stable use of outer space for current and future generations. 

Secretary Pompeo and Afghan President Ghani Issue Joint Statement on Negotiating an End to the War in Afghanistan

Secretary Pompeo and President Ghani spoke by phone on July 24 and agreed that now is the time to accelerate efforts to reach a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan. President Ghani welcomed the Secretary’s engagement and confirmed Afghanistan’s commitment to working side-by-side with the United States to achieve a stable, peaceful, democratic Afghanistan that is not a center for terrorism.

Secretary Pompeo Welcomes Dominican President Medina’s Announcement on Term Limits

On July 24, Secretary Pompeo welcomed Dominican President Medina’s announcement not to seek an extension of constitutionally mandated term limits.

U.S. Announces Sanctions on Maduro-Aligned Corruption Network

On July 25, the United States sanctioned five individuals involved in a complex network of bribery and money laundering that has been stealing from the people of Venezuela for years, as well as an additional five individuals and 13 entities connected to these corrupt actors. As noted in the UN Office of the High Commissioner and Human Rights July 5 report, the former Maduro regime’s misallocation of resources and corruption have contributed to the economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

State Department Announces Secretary Pompeo Will Travel to Thailand, Australia, and Federated States of Micronesia

On July 25, Spokesperson Ortagus announced Secretary of State Pompeo’s trip to Bangkok, Thailad; Sydney, Australia; and Pohnpei, the Federated States of Micronesia from July 30-August 6 to deepen our long-standing alliances and vibrant bilateral relations with these countries, and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to ASEAN, which is central to our vision for the Indo-Pacific region.

State Department Announces Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit to Convene in D.C. July 29-31

Spokesperson ortagus announced that nearly 700 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa, chosen from more than 38,000 applicants, will meet with U.S. government officials, civil society and private sector leaders at the State Department-sponsored Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit from July 29-31 in Washington D.C. The Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit fosters and builds relationships that support and expand U.S.-Africa cooperation.

Secretary Pompeo Extends Condolences on the Passing of Tunisian President Essebsi

On July 25, Secretary Pompeo extended his heartfelt condolences to the people of Tunisia on behalf of the State Department on the passing of President Beji Caid Essebsi.

Joint Statement on First Economic Dialogue Between U.S., Republic of Cyprus, Greece, and Israel

On July 25, the governments of the United States, the Republic of Cyprus, the Hellenic Republic (Greece), and the State of Israel issued a joint statement following a meeting in Washington, D.C., to discuss the importance of economic engagement as part of our shared commitment to promoting peace, stability, security, and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

State Department Recognizes National Intern Day

Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus recognized the many interns who work both domesically and abroad in support of the Department's mission. She also highlighted the upcoming open application period for Summer 2020 intern candidates to apply.

State Department Updates the Cuba Restricted List

On July 26, the State Department updated the Cuba Restricted List to add four sub-entities owned by the Cuban military. The Department remains committed to ensuring U.S. funds do not directly support Cuba’s state security apparatus, which not only violates the human rights of the Cuban people, but also exports this repression to Venezuela to support the corrupt Maduro regime.

Secretary Pompeo Comments on White House  Actions to Combat Violence in Mali

On July 26, President Trump signed an executive order to address the deteriorating security situation in Mali. In a press statement, Secretary Pompeo said, "The Presidents executive order will freeze assets and suspend travel for individuals or entities that seek to undermine the peace, security, or stability of Mali. The United States will continue to work with its partners and the UNs Mali Sanctions Committee to identify those who seek to capitalize on instability or maintain the status quo rather than work towards peace, and make them subject to the full effect of sanctions."

State Department Recognizes Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. Endorses Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

In a press statement on July 26, Spokesperson Ortagus said, "On this anniversary, I am pleased to announce that the United States has formally endorsed the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action. These international commitments help ensure that humanitarian assistance, relief, and recovery services are inclusive and accessible – reducing barriers that can leave persons with disabilities open to targeted violence, exploitation, and abuse."

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.