This Week at State: September 27, 2019

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Secretary Pompeo delivers remarks.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers remarks at an event on Religious Freedom at the United Nations.

This Week at State: September 27, 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 Attends the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly

On September 22, Secretary Pompeo traveled to New York City to attend the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly to advance U.S. interests and promote peace and security.  Read more about the UN General Assembly.  

Secretary Pompeo Meets with Central Asian (C5) Foreign Ministers

On September 22, Secretary Pompeo met with Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and the Ambassador of Turkemistan to discuss counterterrorism, border security, and economic growth. On the occasion of the Fourth C5+1 Ministerial, the Secretary and the five Ministry representatives issued a Joint Declaration of Partnership and Cooperation.

United States Hosts UN Event on Religious Freedom

On September 23, the United States hosted an event on religious freedom on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks, as did Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan Hosts Event on Human Rights Crisis in Xinjiang

On September 23, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan co-hosted an invitation-only panel discussion for United Nations delegations and non-governmental partners on the Human Rights Crisis in Xinjiang. The event featured the deeply personal stories of victims of China's brutal campaign of repression against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and other Muslim individuals in Xinjiang. 

U.S. Co-Hosts Ministerial Meeting on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace

On September 23, Deputy Secretary Sullivan co-hosted the Second Ministerial Meeting on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace, with the Netherlands and Australia, on the margins of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly. 

On September 23, 26 countries joined the United States to sign a statement highlighting their joint commitment to ensuring greater accountability and stability in cyberspace. The statement calls on all states to support the evolving framework and to join with us to ensure greater accountability and stability in cyberspace.

U.S. Welcomes Agreement to Form Constitutional Committee in Syria

On September 23, the United States welcomed UN Secretary General Guterres' announcement that an agreement had been reached between the Government of Syria and the Syrian Negotiations Commission to form a Constitutional Committee facilitated by the United Nations in Geneva.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan Leads U.S. Delegation Meeting of Rio Treaty

On September 23, 16 countries agreed to invoke the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance treaty for collective action to restore democracy to help the people of Venezuela. The historic nature of this meeting highlights the depth of collective concern over the Venezuela crisis.

U.S. Takes Action Against Entities and Vessels Operating in Venezuela’s Oil Sector

In a press statement on September 24, the United States designated four companies that operate in Venezuela’s oil sector as sanctioned, and identified as blocked property four vessels associated with this activity. This action further targets Venezuela’s oil sector and the mechanisms used to transport oil to Nicolás Maduro’s Cuban benefactors, who continue to prop up the former regime. 

U.S. Announces Humanitarian Assistance for Rohingya Refugees

In a press statement on September 24, the United States announced more than $127 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh and internally displaced Rohingya and members of other affected communities in Burma. This funding will help address the emergency needs of some of the more than 900,000 refugees in Bangladesh, many of whom are Rohingya women and children from Rakhine State, Burma, as well as the related needs of Bangladeshi host communities.

Secretary Pompeo Hosts Gulf Cooperation Council +2 Ministerial

On September 24, Secretary Pompeo hosted the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) +2 Ministerial on the margins of the UN General Assembly. The Secretary thanked the foreign ministers for their partnership with the United States and emphasized the importance of regional coordination to confront the region's challenges.

U.S. and Romania Sign Nuclear Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding

On September 24, the United States and the Government of Romania signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation to further solidify the steadfast partnership of our two nations. This Memorandum strengthens U.S.-Romania ties in an area of cooperation that is deeply rooted in our mutual national security and strategic interests, and is supportive of our respective energy security goals.

Secretary Pompeo Speaks at the United Against Nuclear Iran's 2019 Iran Summit

On September 25, Secretary Pompeo spoke on "Iranian Aggression: The World Awakes" at the United Against Nuclear Iran's 2019 Iran Summit on the margins of the UN General Assembly.

Deputy Secretary Sullivan Participates in Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial

On September 25, Deputy Secretary Sullivan participated in the tenth Ministerial Plenary meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and announced two new U.S.-led initiatives: one on pooling nations’ collective knowledge on developing watchlisting guidance of known and suspected terrorists; and the other on countering terrorist travel in the maritime domain.  

Deputy Secretary Sullivan Discusses Enhancing Trade and Investment with African Foreign Ministers 

On September 25, Deputy Secretary Sullivan hosted African foreign ministers and senior officials from Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa, together with senior executives from several U.S. corporations and business councils, for a discussion on U.S.-Africa trade and investment. 

Aid for Lifesaving Programs in Venezuela and the Region

On September 25, Secretary Pompeo announced in New York nearly $119 million in additional humanitarian assistance to further demonstrate the United States’ commitment and solidarity with the Venezuelan people and the region in response to the Maduro-made Venezuela crisis.  This amount includes nearly $36 million for life-saving aid inside Venezuela.

New Sanctions Against Chinese Companies

On September 25, the United States imposed new sanctions against Chinese companies that transported Iranian oil contrary to U.S. sanctions, denying the Iran regime revenues for destabilizing conduct at the expense of the Iranian people.  

State Department Designates Raul Castro 

On September 25, the United States designated Raul Castro and his immediate family for his involvement in gross violations of human rights. The Cuban regime's disregard for human rights and use of violence to prop up the former Maduro regime are responsible for the ongoing crises in Cuba and Venezuela.

Expansion of the U.S. Fulbright Program in Albania

On September 25, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced the expansion of the mutual exchange of U.S. and Albanian students and scholars via the Fulbright Program. The Memorandum of Understanding conveys the Albanian Government’s commitment to provide sustainable support to the Fulbright Student Program, in order to provide more opportunities for students to participate in the Fulbright Program.

Iranian Regime Elite Restricted from Travel to the United States

In a press statement on September 26, the President announced a Presidential Proclamation restricting entry into the United States for senior Iranian government officials and members of their families.  Under this proclamation, designated senior regime officials and their families will no longer be allowed entry into the United States. No longer will elites reap the benefits of a free society while the Iranian people suffer under the regime’s corruption and mismanagement.

Secretary Pompeo Participates in Press Availability at UN General Assembly

On September 26, Secretary Pompeo discussed progress at the United Nations General Assembly, and announced that the United States had concluded that the Assad regime used chlorine as a chemical weapon on May 19 in an attack at Latakia province, Syria. The United States will not allow attacks to go unchallenged, nor will we tolerate those who choose to conceal such atrocities.

Meetings with Global Leaders

On September 22, Secretary Pompeo met with Iraqi President Barham Salih

On September 24 Under Secretary Hale met with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.  

On September 26, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Afghan President Ghani. Deputy Secretary Sullivan met with Haitian Foreign Minister Edmond and Under Secretary Hale met with Caribbean Foreign Ministers

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.