This Week at State: September 6, 2019

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrives in Brussels, Belgium on September 2, 2019. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]
U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo arrives in Brussels, Belgium on September 2, 2019. [State Department photo by Ron Przysucha/ Public Domain]

This Week at State: September 6, 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. Supports The Bahamas in the Aftermath of Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian, the second strongest Atlantic storm on record and the strongest to ever strike The Bahamas, made landfall as a category 5 storm on the northern Bahamian island of Abaco on September 1 and on Grand Bahama Island September 2. It carried maximum sustained winds of 180 mph and a possible storm surge of 23 feet above normal tide levels. The storm has caused significant damage to infrastructure, knocked out electricity, and left many people displaced.

The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Embassy Nassau are working to help those affected by Hurricane Dorian and USAID/OFDA activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on September 2, to aid in relief and recovery efforts.

Secretary Pompeo Travels to Belgium

On September 2-3 Secretary Pompeo traveled to Brussels Belgium, where he met with senior leaders to discuss Transatlantic cooperation to advance our shared global priorities. In Brussels, the Secretary met with Belgian Prime Minister and European Council President-elect Michel, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, European Parliament President Sassoli, European Commission President-elect von der Leyen, and Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan Travels to the Western Hemisphere 

Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan  traveled with Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay September 3-6, to strengthen U.S. partnerships in the region on women’s economic empowerment in support of the White House’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP).
Deputy Secretary Sullivan and Advisor Ivanka Trump engaged with senior government officials and civil society stakeholders in all three countries and underscored the United States’ whole-of-government support for women’s economic and political integration and empowerment.

United States Imposes New Sanctions Designations on Iran’s Space Program as Tehran Continues to Use Civilian Space Agencies to Advance its Ballistic Missile Programs

On September 3, the Department of State designated the Iran Space Agency and two of its research institutes under Executive Order (E.O.) 13382 for engaging in proliferation-sensitive activities. In a statement, Secretary Pompeo said, “The United States will not allow Iran to use its space launch program as cover to advance its ballistic missile programs. Iran’s August 29 attempt to launch a space launch vehicle underscores the urgency 

United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Venezuelan Regional Crisis

Deputy Secretary John Sullivan and United States Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green announced September 4 in Cúcuta, Colombia more than $120 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to address the largest external displacement of persons in the Hemisphere’s history. Also present were Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and members of interim President Guaidó’s coalition. Maduro’s rampant corruption, brutal repression, and vast social and economic mismanagement has forced more than 4.3 million Venezuelans to flee.

U.S. Intensifies Maximum Pressure Campaign Against the Iranian Regime

On September 4, Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook delivered remarks at a special briefing where he shared new lines of effort the United States Government is intensifying our maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran.  ‘First, we are announcing a reward of up to $15 million for any person who helps us disrupt the financial operations of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and Qods Force,” he said.

In addition the Special Representative also discussed sweeping action the United States is taking against an IRGC/QF oil-for-terror network. He said, “The IRGC has been running an illicit petroleum shipping network over the last several months.  This network has moved hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illicit oil. That money is then used to fund terrorism.”

Secretary Pompeo Publicly Designates Romania’s Liviu Nicolae Dragnea Due to Involvement in Corruption

Acting on credible information, on September 5, Secretary Pompeo publicly designated the former Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, due to his involvement in significant corruption. As such Liviu Nicolae Dragnea and his immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

U.S. Comments on Burmese Military Criminal Complaint against Reverend Hkalam Samson

In a press statement on September 5, Spokesperson Ortagus commented on the lodging of a criminal complaint against Reverend Hkalam Samson in relation to his remarks about religious freedom and the rights of members of ethnic and religious minority groups in Burma during his recent meeting in Washington with the President of the United States.  

Secretary Pompeo Delivers Remarks on Protecting Unalienable Rights at Kansas State University

On September 6, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks at Kansas State University on the importance of promoting and protecting unalienable rights both at home and abroad.

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.