This Week at State: November 15, 2019

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This Week at State: November 15, 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 Travels to Germany

Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo traveled to Germany from November 6-8, 2019 to underscore important bilateral relationships, meet with key leaders, and commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In Berlin, Germany, on November 8, 2019, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks on “The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future.” Also while in Berlin, the Secretary delivered remarks at the unveiling of the Ronald Reagan Statue at the U.S. Embassy. 

Secretary Pompeo also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and German Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz.

For more information on the Secretary's travel to Germany, visit the trip page.  

Financial Sanctions to Address Human Rights Abuses and Corruption in Nicaragua

In a November 8 press statement, Secretary Pompeo underscored the United States commitment to using all economic and diplomatic tools to hold the Ortega regime accountable for human rights abuses and rampant corruption. He said, "The Ortega regime must cease its repression and respond to Nicaraguans’ call for genuinely free and fair elections that are both transparent and early."

Attacks on Civilians in Idlib and Neighboring Areas of Northwest Syria

In a November 8 press statement, State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus condemned the Assad regime’s airstrikes, with Russian support, that continue to cause numerous casualties among civilians and humanitarian workers, and damage to hospitals and civilian infrastructure in Idlib and other areas of northwest Syria.  

IAEA Raises Deeply Troubling Issues at Special Meeting of the Board of Governors

In a November 8 press statement, Secretary Pompeo conveyed the United States'  deep concern with the issues the IAEA raised at a special meeting of its Board of Governors. The Secretary said, "If true, the declarations upon which Secretary Kerry anchored the JCPOA are – once again – proven to be both false and fraudulent."

U.S. Response to Organization of American States Report on New Elections in Bolivia

On November 10, Secretary Pompeo commended the professional work of the Organization of American States (OAS) technical mission which found numerous troubling irregularities with Bolivia’s October 20 elections. The Secretary affirmed the United States fully supports the OAS and Bolivian calls for new elections and a new Electoral Tribunal that can ensure free and fair elections that reflect the will of the Bolivian people. 

Secretary Pompeo Delivers Speech on Veteran’s Day

On November 11, Secretary Pompeo delivered a speech on “Lessons From a Lifetime of Service” at the Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, on Veteran’s Day.  

State Department Comments on Situation In Hong Kong

In a November 11 press statement, Spokesperson Ortagus condemned violence on all sides in Hong Kong, extended sympathies to victims of violence regardless of their political inclinations, and called for all parties --  police and protestors --  to exercise restraint.‎  

Under Secretary Krach Advances Global Economic Security at Indo-Pacific Business Forum

On November 12, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach made three major announcements in energy, infrastructure and digital initiatives at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok. Together they represent advanced efforts in all three economic pillars of the Indo-Pacific Strategy to incorporate globally trusted standards.

Decision by European Union Court of Justice on Psagot Case

In a November 13 press statement, Spokesperson Ortagus conveyed the United States' deep concern about the EU requirement identified in the decision issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Psagot Case. 

The U.S., Poland, and Brazil Announce Details of Warsaw Process Working Group

On November 12 the United States, Poland, and Brazil announced the Warsaw Process working group on humanitarian issues and refugees will meet in Brasilia on February 5-6, 2020. The working group will share best practices and lessons learned on the education and protection of children and youth in humanitarian responses to crises in the Middle East.

Ambassador Sales Leads Third U.S.-Qatar Counterterrorism Dialogue

On November 12, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the Department of State, led the U.S. delegation, which consisted of experts from the Department of the Treasury, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community.

On South Sudan’s Failure to Form a Unity Government by November 12

In a November 13 press statement, Spokesperson Ortagus commented on South Sudan's Failure to Form a Unity Government by November 12. The Spokesperson Ortagus said, "the United States expressed grave disappointment with the failure of President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to agree on the formation of a Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity by the established deadline of November 12."

Congratulations on Mauritius’ Elections

On November 13, Secretary Pompeo congratulated the Government of Mauritius and its citizens on its recent peaceful national legislative elections. The Secretary said” This successful election provides further proof of Mauritius’ position as one of the region’s strongest democracies."

State Department Dedicates the New U.S. Consulate General Saudi Arabia

On November 13, the Department dedicated the new U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The new campus provides a secure, modern, sustainable, and resilient platform for U.S. diplomacy in western Saudi Arabia. 

State Department Comments on Postponement of Negotiations to Modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime

In a November 13 media note, Spokesperson Ortagus announced that the United States and Canada postponed the ninth round of negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime, which were originally scheduled for November 19-20 in Washington, D.C. 

Secretary Pompeo Congratulates to Bolivian Senator Anez 

On November 13, the Secretary Pompeo congratulated Bolivian Senator Jeanine Anez for stepping up as Interim President of State to lead her nation through this democratic transition, under the constitution of Bolivia and in accordance with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Secretary Pompeo said “We look forward to working with the Organization of American States, Bolivia’s civilian constitutional institutions, and the Bolivian people as they prepare to hold free, fair elections as soon as possible.”

Middle East Strategic Alliance General Conference

On November 13, the United States hosted a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) General Conference in Washington, D.C. MESA is a whole-of-government initiative that works to advance regional stability, security, and prosperity through enhanced multilateral cooperation.  

U.S. and Libya Host Security Dialogue and Issue Joint Statement

On November 13, the U.S. Government and the Libyan Government of National Accord, represented by Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala and Minister of Interior Fathi Bashaga, launched the U.S-Libya Security Dialogue in Washington, D.C.The Government of National Accord’s delegation expressed grave concerns regarding the security situation and its effect on the civilian population.

Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Meet in Washington, DC

On November 14, Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group, met at the U.S. Department of State and affirmed their common willingness and continued resolve to address a new phase in this fight by pursuing our joint effort against Daesh/ISIS in Iraq and Syria. 

Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks, stating, "You all know we must keep taking the fight to ISIS.  So do we.  The United States will continue to lead the Coalition, and the world, on this essential security effort."

The foreign ministers of the Small group on Syria also met at the U.S. Department of State on the margins of the D-ISIS Ministerial. In a joint statement, these leaders expressed strong support for the work of the UN Secretary-General and UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

 Following these meetings, Special Representative for Syria Engagement and the Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador James Jeffrey and Ambassador Nathan Sales, the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, provided a summary of events. 

Meetings with Global Leaders

On November 12, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi and met with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. 

On November 13, Secretary Pompeo met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Søreide and with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Jeppe Kofod. 

On November 14, Secretary Pompeo met with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the State Department.

Secretary Pompeo delivers remarks at the Rice University Baker Institute in Houston

On November 15, Secretary Pompeo traveled to Houston, Texas where we met with former Secretary of State James A. Baker, as well as with students and faculty. The Secretary delivered remarks recognizing the courage of those who have fought for freedom throughout history and encouraging those in attendance to realize the power of the natural hunger for human freedom.

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.