This Week at State: November 29, 2019

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo speaks to the press at the Department of State in Washington D.C. on November 26, 2019. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett/Public Domain]

This Week at State: November 29, 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:

Bosnia and Herzegovina National Statehood Day

In a November 24 press statement, Secretary Pompeo extended best wishes to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as they celebrated their National Statehood Day. The Secretary said, “As you commemorate your statehood, we celebrate the strong partnership between our two countries. Our relationship helps form the foundation for peace in the Western Balkans and we hope to strengthen and deepen this relationship even further.”

U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Called Back for Consultations

In a November 25 press statement, the Department announced that it called back U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek for consultations related to the recent failure of parties to form the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity by the extended deadline of November 12. 

On International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

In observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, and the accompanying 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to defending the rights of women and girls around the world to live free from violence.  The United States recognizes the inherent dignity that every woman and girl possesses and is committed to defending the safety and security of women and girls around the world and to cultivating their development as future leaders of our world. 

U.S. – Turkmenistan Annual Bilateral Consultations

In a November 25 press statement, Secretary Pompeo congratulated the people of Suriname on the 44th anniversary of your independence on November 25. The Secretary said, “The United States values our longstanding collaboration on regional security and our cooperation under the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership, as we work to strengthen our joint disaster resilience capabilities." 

United States and Bulgaria Issue Joint Statement

On November 25, the United States and the Republic of Bulgaria issued a joint statement on the Strategic Partnership Framework. The United States and the Republic of Bulgaria have forged a strong and enduring relationship as friends, strategic partners, and Allies that share transatlantic commitments. Recognizing the significant challenges currently facing our two countries and the international order, we affirm the need to develop and solidify the cultural, economic, institutional, and military ties that bind us together to enhance our mutual security, prosperity, and opportunity. 

Romania’s Presidential Elections

In a November 25 press statement, the United States congratulated the Government of Romania and its citizens on a successful presidential election. We look forward to working with President Iohannis to strengthen our strategic partnership further.  

Secretary Pompeo Delivers Remarks to the Press

On November 26, Secretary Pompeo delivered remarks to the press on terrorism-related matters, the Iranian regime, freedom of the press, and human rights violations. 

Special Briefing on Middle East Peace and Security

On November 26, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker gave a special briefing on Middle East peace and security.  Assistant Secretary Schenker touched briefly on his travel to Paris and Rome for meetings with allies and partners on Middle East peace and security. He also touch on Israe, where I visited the week before.

Conclusion of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019

In a November 27 media note, the United States announced agreements reached at the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 that will help pave the way for the global harmonization of 5G, and the development of an ecosystem of applications and services that will fuel the growth of the digital economy for years to come.  

Special Briefing on Secretary Pompeo’s Upcoming Travel

On November 27, Senior State Department officials gave a preview of Secretary Pompeo’s upcoming trip to the United Kingdom, Morocco, and Portugal. A senior State Department Official said the after the Secretary attends the NATO Leaders Meeting in London with the President, he will travel to Morocco on December 4th to meet with King Mohammed VI and his government counterparts. Following his trip to Morocco, the Secretary will conclude his trip with a stop in Lisbon, Portugal on December 6, where he will meet with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva.  

Special Briefing on Venezuela

On November 27, Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams gave a special briefing on Venezuela. He touched on the detention of six Citgo employees in a Venezuelan, regional travel restrictions and visa denials against several dozen Maduro regime officials, and on the socioeconomic situation and U.S. sanctions.  

U.S. Support for Ukrainian Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity

In a November 27 press statement, the United States reaffirmed its unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the lead up to the December 9 Normandy Format Summit among Ukraine, France, Germany, and Russia — the first since 2016. 

Albania National Day

In a November 27 press statement, Secretary Pompeo said, “As Albania solemnly commemorates its Independence Day, we offer our deepest condolences for those who los their lives in this week’s earthquake. Today, our prayers are with their families, as well as those injured. On behalf of the American people, we wish all of those affected a speedy recovery.  Now, as in other difficult times, the United States stands with our friends in Albania.”

Mauritania Independence Day Message

On November 28, Secretary Pompeo congratulated the people and Government of Mauritania on the occasion of your 59th Independence Day. The Secretary said, “The United States is proud to have been the first country to recognize Mauritania’s independence, and our broad-based bilateral relationship has withstood the test of time."

Meetings with Global Leaders

On November 23, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Japanese Foreign Minister Motegiin in Nagoya, Japan on the margins of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.

On November 24, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan met with Republic of Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang.

On November 25, Secretary Pompeo met with Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah.

On November 25, a U.S. Delegation met with General Khalifa Haftar. 

On November 27, Secretary Pompeo spoke by phone with Colombian President Ivan Duque.

Thanksgiving

On November 28, the United States celebrated Thanksgiving.  We are thankful for those serving our country around the world, and wish all who are celebrating Thanksgiving a peaceful and joyous holiday.

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.