This Week at State: August 30, 2019

8 minutes read time
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks on ‘Celebrating Americanism in Our Foreign Policy’ at the 101st National Convention of the American Legion, in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 27, 2019.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks on ‘Celebrating Americanism in Our Foreign Policy’ at the 101st National Convention of the American Legion, in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 27, 2019.

This Week at State: August 30, 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. Continues to Push for Action Two Years After Rohingya Ethnic Cleansing

In a press statement on August 24, Spokesperson Ortagus called upon all those involved to respect human rights, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and engage in political dialogue to pursue peace, and expressed appreciation for the Government of Bangladesh’s ongoing generosity in hosting refugees. 

August 25 marked the two years since Burma’s security forces engaged in a brutal attack against hundreds of thousands of unarmed men, women, and children in a grossly disproportionate response to attacks by militants on security posts in northern Rakhine State, causing an exodus of more than 740,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh.

Meetings with Global Leaders

On August 25, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

On August 28, Secretary Pompeo met with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman to riterate U.S. support for a negotiated resolution between the Republic of Yemen government and the Southern Transitional Council.

Secretary Pompeo Applauds U.S.-Romania Agreement on 5G Wireless Networks

On August 26, Secretary Pompeo applauded the recent agreement between the United States and romania on 5G wireless networks.

https://twitter.com/SecPompeo/status/1166105101372665856?s=20

Secretary Pompeo Highlights the Role of Americanism in U.S. Foreign Policy at the American Legion’s 101st National Convention

On August 27, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivered remarks at the American Legion’s 101st National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana focused on “Celebrating Americanism in Our Foreign Policy.” 

While traveling in Indiana on August 27, Secretary Pompeo participated in a number of media interviews, where he discussed a range of global issues including Iran, North Korea, trade with China, efforts to counter terrorism and more.

U.S., European Union, Iceland, and Norway Sign Agreement on Air Carrier Leases

On August 27, representatives of the United States, the European Union, Iceland, and Norway signed an agreement to remove one-sided time constraints on U.S. air carrier leases of aircraft with crew in the lucrative U.S.-EU air transport market.  

The United States Ratifies Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Agreement

In a media note on August 27, Spokesperson Ortagus announced the United States’ ratification of the Central Arctic Ocean Fisheries Agreement. The United States is the fourth party to ratify the agreement after Canada, the Russian Federation, and the European Union. The Agreement will enter into force once all ten Signatories ratify.

Secretary Pompeo comments on New Treasury Sanctions

On August 29, Secretary Pompeo announced new Department of the Treasury sanctions on Four Financial Facilitators for Hamas and the Jammal Trust Bank SAL. The designations reflect the United State’s determination to counter Iran’s malign influence in the region, Hamas’s destabilizing violence, and Hizballah’s terrorist and illicit activities.

Creation of the Venezuela Affairs Unit

In a press statement on August 28, Secretary Pompeo announced the opening of the Venezuela Affairs Unit (VAU), the interim diplomatic office of the U.S. Government to Venezuela, located at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota‎, Colombia, and has been established with bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress. The United States stands with interim President Juan Guaido, the National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela as they seek to regain their democracy.

United States-Japan Dialogue on Latin America and The Caribbean Addresses Collaboration in the Region

On August 28, U.S. Department of State representatives welcomed their Japanes counterparts for the bilateral United States-Japan Dialogue on Latin America and the Caribbean to share their policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean.  The two sides discussed policy strategies and priorities in the region and the importance of working within the framework of regional institutions, including the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Secretary Pompeo Welcomes State Department Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs

On August 29, Secretary Pompeo convened a ceremonial swearing-in for David Schenker as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

Secretary Pompeo Marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

On August 30, Secretary Pompeo released a statement recognizing the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances stating, “Authoritarian regimes often disappear advocates for freedom and human rights, journalists, political opposition, and others to silence the voices of those who challenge their authority or express dissent, and as a tool of oppression.”

State Department Addresses Military Buildup in the Russian-occupied Georgian Region of South Ossetia

On August 30, Spokesperson Ortagus noted that the United States is monitoring reports of military buildup near the administrative boundary line (ABL) of the Russian-occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia.  

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.