This Week at State: October 18, 2019

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo hold a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on October 17, 2019.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo hold a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on October 17, 2019.

This Week at State: October 18, 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 Travel to Ankara, Jerusalem, and Brussels 

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Ankara, Jerusalem, and Brussels from October 16-19 to meet with key leaders and discuss long-standing alliances.

On October 17, Secretary Pompeo participated in a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey to discuss the situation in northeast Syria.

The Secretary then travel to Jerusalem on October 18 where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss developments in Syria and the continued need to counter the Iranian regime’s destabilizing behavior in the region.

On October 18, the Secretary traveled to Brussels, Belgium, where he me with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss Transatlantic security issues and U.S. goals for the upcoming NATO Foreign Ministerial and Leaders Meeting.

U.S. Congratulates Prime Minister of Ethiopia on Nobel Peace Prize Recipt

On October 12, Secretary Pompeo congratulated Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, on the prestigious honor of being the 100th recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

U.S. Conveys Intent to Sanction the Government of Turkey

In an October 14 press statement, Secretary Pompeo conveyed the United States intent to take action in response to Turkey’s unilateral military offensive in northeast Syria following President Donald J. Trump’s signing of an Executive Order to press Turkey to halt its military offensive against northeast Syria and adopt an immediate ceasefire. This Executive Order gives the Department of Treasury and the Department of State, the authority to consider and impose sanctions on individuals, entities, or associates of the Government of Turkey involved in actions that endanger civilians or lead to the further deterioration of peace, security, and stability in northeast Syria.

U.S. Participates in the 70th Session of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

From October 7-11, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration led the U.S. delegation to the 70th Session of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Executive Committee.  In an address to the plenary session, Acting Assistant Secretary Carol T. O’Connell reaffirmed America’s humanitarian leadership and highlighted that the United States continued to be UNHCR’s largest donor in FY 2019, in line with our broader role as the largest contributor to humanitarian assistance in the world.

Secretary Pompeo Comments On Tunisia’s Presidential Elections

In an October 15 press statement, Secretary Pompeo congratulated the Tunisian people, who turned out over the weekend to exercise their hard won right to vote. The Secretary said, “The U.S. looks forward to working with President elect Kais Saied to continue the longstanding cooperation between our two countries.”

U.S. and Libya Hold Consultations on Unified and Transparent Libyan Energy and Economic Institutions

In an October 16, U.S. and Libyan officials met in Washington to discuss specific measures to increase transparency and accountability of economic and energy institutions, support unified governance of sovereign institutions, and ensure stable financing for Libya’s energy sector.

U.S. Resumes Targeted U.S. Foreign Assistance for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

In an October 16 press statement, the State Department informed Congress of Secretary Pompeo’s intent to resume targeted U.S. foreign assistance funding for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. 

Secretary Pompeo Shares Condolences Aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis

On October 16, Secretary Pompeo expressed condolences for the loss of life and damage caused by Typhoon Hagibis. He said, “We stand by the people of Japan during this difficult time and offer our sincere hopes for Japan’s quick recovery from this disaster.”

State Department Maduro Regime’s Election to the UN Human Rights Council

In an October 17 press statement, Secretary Pompeo commented on the Maduro regime’s election to the UN Human Rights Council. Secretary Pompeo said, “It is sadly no surprise that Maduro shamelessly sought a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in an effort to block any limit to his repressive control of the Venezuelan people.  What is truly tragic, however, is that other nations voted to give Maduro’s representative for Venezuela a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.”

Meetings with Global Leaders 

On October 12, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Foreign Minister Marise Payne. 

On October 15, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Iraqi President Barham Salih. Also on October 15, Under Secretary Hale met with senior government officials. 

On October 16, Under Secretary Hale met with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman Al Saud and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir.  Also on October 16, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

On October 17, Under Secretary Hale Met with Republic of Yemen Government Officials

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