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Press Releases: On President Trump's Address to the UN General Assembly

il y a 3 heures 43 min
Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

Today, President Donald J. Trump presented to assembled world leaders his vision of security, prosperity and peace led by sovereign nations. That vision requires a recommitment to the founding principles of the United Nations — to promote peace in troubled times. The President has clearly illuminated the challenges facing the community of nations, including those posed by DPRK, Iran, and Venezuela. As stated by the President, the world needs a renewed and reformed United Nations to tackle these great challenges.


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Press Releases: UVA Darden School, Concordia and U.S. Department of State's Office of Global Partnerships Announce Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh as Winner of 2017 P3 Impact Award

mar, 09/19/2017 - 22:56
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society, Concordia and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships is pleased to announce during the 2017 Concordia Summit in New York City today, the winner of the fourth annual P3 Impact Award: Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh.

A model public-private partnership (P3) between the Bangladesh Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UNICEF, iDE, and Rangpur Foundry Ltd. (RFL), the partnership seeks to strengthen the sanitation system in Bangladesh and prevent the spread of disease by facilitating scalable, sustainable access to improved sanitation.

The partnership has, as of June 2017, trained 340 latrine producers — 32 percent of whom are women — who sold over 37,000 improved latrines. Long-term social and economic impacts include improved health and wages saved from avoiding illness, as well as increased skills and employment for latrine producers.

Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh and four award finalists were featured in a special edition P3 Impact Award article series within the Darden School’s thought-leadership publication, Darden Ideas to Action. The series features leading practices and actionable insights from the winner and finalists. It will also continue to be used to develop teaching cases and other materials to share and advance best practices with other public-private partnerships around the world. In addition, Sanitation Marketing Systems in Bangladesh will receive a full scholarship to attend a week-long Darden Executive Education course.

The 2017 award finalists included: The Accenture and Upwardly Global Partnership, CARE-Cargill Partnership: Nourishing the Future in Central America, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, and Partnering for Poultry.

For further information, please contact the Office of Global Partnerships at partnerships@state.gov or visit http://www.state.gov/s/partnerships/. For media inquiries, please contact Anita Ostrovsky at ostrovskya@state.gov.

Follow @GPatState, @IBiS_Darden, @ConcordiaSummit, and #P3Impact on Twitter for updates.


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Press Releases: Secretary Tillerson's Call With Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

mar, 09/19/2017 - 20:42
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert:

Secretary Tillerson called Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on September 19, to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Burma’s Rakhine State. The Secretary welcomed the Burmese government’s commitment to end the violence in Rakhine State and to allow those displaced by the violence to return home. He also urged the Burmese government and military to facilitate humanitarian aid for displaced people in the affected areas, and to address deeply troubling allegations of human rights abuses and violations.


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Press Releases: 100 International Women Leaders in STEM Connect in Silicon Valley for TechWomen 2017

mar, 09/19/2017 - 19:03
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

One hundred women leaders in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields from Africa, the Middle East and South and Central Asia arrived in the United States this week for the U.S. Department of State’s TechWomen 2017 exchange program. Through mentorships with U.S. women leaders in STEM fields, the TechWomen participants will gain access and opportunities needed to strengthen business ties and build stronger professional networks around the world. Upon their return home, participants will encourage more women and girls to pursue careers in science and technology.

The TechWomen participants will spend five weeks collaborating with over 30 U.S. private sector companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley before their program closes in Washington, D.C. Each mentorship group will create a mutually beneficial project related to their expertise, interests and the needs of the host company. Participants will return home to join other program alumnae and select visiting American mentors to implement their action plans and conduct workshops to share their insights with more women and girls.

In San Francisco, media are invited to attend an opening event for the TechWomen at Juniper Networks on September 19, a Pitch Event at Microsoft on October 13, and a Community Celebration at Twitter on October 16. The closing lunch at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on October 20 will also be open to the press. To RSVP to these events and for inquiries, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov. Join the conversations on Twitter at #TechWomen17.


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Press Releases: Harlem Globetrotters Sports Envoys Visit Estonia and Lithuania

mar, 09/19/2017 - 18:34
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

Members of the legendary American basketball team Harlem Globetrotters are traveling September 19-30 as U.S. Department of State Sports Envoys to Estonia and Lithuania. These Sports Envoys are helping to bolster the United States’ cultural and social ties with the government and people of two long-standing partners and strong NATO Allies.

Represented by Anthony “Buckets” Blakes and Crissa “Ace” Jackson, the Harlem Globetrotters are renewing their rich history and partnership with the State Department, serving as Ambassadors of Goodwill, an initiative that dates back to the 1950s. During this visit, the players will showcase their basketball artistry and entertaining humor, while also sharing an important message about bullying prevention and character building with youth through the Globetrotters’ signature programs.

Heading into their 92nd season in 2018, the Globetrotters are a uniquely American phenomenon. They have introduced millions to the sport of basketball, while building mutual understanding in more than 120 countries and territories on six continents.

Since 2003, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has sent more than 250 U.S. athletes to more than 85 countries on Sports Envoy programs.

For press inquiries in the United States, contact ECA-Press@state.gov. Follow the journey of the Harlem Globetrotters on Twitter @Globies and @USEmbTallinn (Estonia) and @USEmbVilnius (Lithuania). To learn more about State Department sports diplomacy, follow the program on Twitter @SportsDiplomacy.


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Press Releases: St. Kitts and Nevis Independence Day Message

mar, 09/19/2017 - 17:44
Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

On behalf of the United States we offer our best wishes to the people of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis as you celebrate 34 years of independence.

The United States is proud to be a longstanding partner and friend to the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Our history of collaboration on citizen security, energy, and economic development has been beneficial for both of our nations.

We wish your people a speedy recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and look forward to strengthening our partnership in the years ahead.


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Press Releases: State Department Terrorist Designations of Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie

mar, 09/19/2017 - 17:43
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

The Department of State has designated Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. E.O. 13224 imposes strict sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. These designations seek to deny Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie’s property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.

In July 2016, Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie were arrested during raids in South Africa for their links to ISIS. At the time of their arrest, the twin brothers had been plotting attacks targeting Jewish individuals and institutions and foreign embassies, including the U.S. Embassy in South Africa. Both Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie attempted to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS and recruited others to join the terrorist group. Tony-Lee Thulsie also communicated with individuals linked to ISIS to discuss how to build and obtain explosive devices for the purpose of carrying out attacks.

Today’s designations notify the U.S. public and the international community that Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Terrorism designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments.

A list of State Department-designated FTOs and SDGTs is available here: https://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/index.htm.


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Press Releases: Secretary Tillerson Launches PEPFAR Strategy for Accelerating HIV/AIDS Epidemic Control

mar, 09/19/2017 - 13:35
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 19, 2017

Today, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson released the new U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Strategy for Accelerating HIV/AIDS Epidemic Control (2017-2020), which reaffirms U.S. support for HIV/AIDS efforts in more than 50 countries, ensuring access to services by all populations, including the most vulnerable and at-risk groups.

The Strategy also outlines plans to accelerate implementation in a subset of 13 high-burden countries that have the potential to achieve HIV/AIDS epidemic control by 2020, working in collaboration with host governments; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund); the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; and other partners.

The latest PEPFAR data show that, largely through the U.S. government’s support, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is coming under control in five of these 13 countries: Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. These data also indicate that the previously expanding HIV epidemic in Uganda has now stabilized.

The United States remains the largest bilateral donor to the global HIV/AIDS response, support which is made possible through the goodwill, compassion, and generosity of the American people. Today’s announcements demonstrate the remarkable impact of these investments over the past fourteen years.

For more information, please contact David Haroz at harozd@state.gov, or visit: www.pepfar.gov.


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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Press Releases: On-the-Record Briefing With Acting Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs David Satterfield on Syria

mar, 09/19/2017 - 04:09
Special Briefing Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson The Palace Hotel
New York City
September 18, 2017

MS NAUERT: Hi, everyone.

QUESTION: Hi. How are you?

MS NAUERT: Oh my Gosh, such a steamy room here. (Laughter.) Let me just come on up with you and introduce you to our guest here. Come on up, Ambassador.

We just finished up a meeting of likeminded countries. I think you all have a list of the nations and the individuals that were represented here. Our Acting Assistant Secretary David Satterfield, Ambassador Satterfield, is going to provide a readout of that meeting and answer some of your questions. We don’t have too much time this afternoon or this evening, but want to give you what we can. Ambassador.

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Great. Thanks, you all, for coming. A year ago, this same collective of likeminded states from the region, from the international community met in this same place – I think in the same room – to review the situation in Syria. And every party present reflected on the distinct difference between this meeting and that meeting a year ago. The situation in Syria a year ago was marked with rampant violence, a humanitarian disaster, displaced person flight. It was a crisis, it was chaos, and it showed no prospect of improving in any of those dimensions. The need for a political resolution was clear a year ago, but that path to a political resolution couldn’t be advanced while the violence was as profound as was the case then.

We contrast the situation then with the situation now. Because of the role of the de-escalation zones, because of the common work of the parties represented in the room today, violence is down dramatically. The generation of new internally displaced persons is dramatically reduced and, equally important, those displaced outside of Syria’s boundaries have begun to return in significant numbers.

The process of stabilizing Syria in any meaningful sense – and this was a point underscored by the Secretary but reflected in the consensus of every remark by the participants in the room – is that military actions alone, security actions alone, while they bring violence ultimately down, do not produce a stable Syria. Only a credible political process that reflects the will of the majority of Syrians can achieve that goal, and we talked quite a bit – the Secretary led and his remarks were absolutely agreed to by everyone present. There’s got to be a political process if there is to be any international participation in the reconstruction of Syria.

To put this another way, the regime and the regime’s supporters cannot declare a victory solely based on a map and colors of positions on the ground. Without a political process, the international community – all of those states represented in the room today – are not going to contribute to a legitimization or authenticization or to the reconstruction of Syria. We are all committed to humanitarian aid, and that will continue to flow, of course. But the reconstruction of Syria depends very much on that credible – credible political process.

Now, that political process is focused on Geneva and the role of the United Nations. There was much discussion at the meeting today of how do we generate focus on Geneva, on the political track. Everyone underscored in their remarks words like pragmatic, practical, realistic. But in saying pragmatic, practical, and realistic, everyone also caveated this does not mean accepting a fait accompli by the regime and its supporters. It means we work to move as rapidly as we can from a military or security resolution bringing down violence as the key to opening the next step, and frankly, it’s a more difficult step, and that’s the political engagement.

The defeat of ISIS is well underway. The reduction of ISIS in terms of territory the so-called caliphate holds in Syria and in Iraq has progressed dramatically. It is moving faster than any of us expected. We can see the path forward to an ending of the territorial caliphate. That’s the easy part, in many ways. The hard part is that political process that I continue to underscore, that the Secretary underscored, that the parties in the room absolutely believe is essential. How do you get it started? How do you move it forward?

Well, that process is critical not just to us, to the likeminded. It ought to be critical to the regime and it ought to be critical to supporters of the regime such as Russia. Without the political process, to go back to a comment the Secretary and everyone in the room made, you’re not going to get international participation in Syria, and that’s vital. The regime needs it. Russia needs it. All of those engaged should see the advisability of a credible process moving forward.

Now, the question will come: Where does the U.S., where do those in the room envision that process ending? We’ve made clear many times that we do not believe at the end of this process that Assad should remain, that he has lost his legitimacy and his right to rule. But that is a decision for the Syrian people to make. That is the outcome of the process. The process itself has to begin, has to be launched.

I can’t close this without underscoring more clearly the consensus view: defeat Daesh, priority; end the violence, priority; basic stabilization to address the humanitarian situation in Syria produced by the violence; allow the return of displaced persons both within Syria to their homes but also from outside Syria back into the country.

But as we move on that path, and the movement there is quite rapid, switch to the political process as quickly as we can. Give that empowerment and move that forward as rapidly as the security campaigns are moving. See at the end a intact, nonpartitioned, independent Syria, a Syria which is not a proxy for any external state – Iran or anyone else. That was the universal goals and the priorities, the sequencing expressed by everybody in the room.

MS NAUERT: Thank you, sir. I’ll just take a few questions, then. Hi, John.

QUESTION: So the --

MS NAUERT: If you could all just tell me your organizations at the beginning.

QUESTION: Yeah. Thank you. John Hudson of BuzzFeed News. If that was the priority, to have an independent Syria free of proxies of any external state, wouldn’t it behoove to have Iran or Russia present at the meeting, or is that – is it going to be difficult making headway without them there? And then just secondly, when you say “no reconstruction until Assad is gone,” what sort of funds and resources is that preventing the U.S. and some of the partners from dedicating?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: First a comment and then a correction. But the comment is, look, this is a likeminded group. All of the parties in the room have a consensus, a remarkably consistent consensus view, that these are the priorities: switch from defeating ISIS, stabilization, then move on to the political process, independent Syria, free as a non-proxy of external parties. That’s where we want to get. It’s not easy. This is a difficult thing to move ahead and everyone acknowledges that.

But we do have certain resources, and the biggest resource, the biggest lever, if you want to call it that we have, is that without a political process, a credible political process, one supported by the majority of the Syrian people, you’re not going to get the kind of investment by the international community that’s really necessary for the reconstruction of Syria.

The correction is you said until Assad is out. It is a credible political process that is required that is the key. The outcome to that process may be protracted, but it’s the process itself that’s the key to unlocking the door, not the actual outcome of the process.

QUESTION: And what sort of funds would be unlocked?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: There are considerable resources in the international community which would be available for the reconstruction of Syria. Why? Why would the international community make this investment? Very simple answer. Because uniformly, everyone in the room today, led by the Secretary, expressed the obvious: If Syria does not rebuild, if it isn’t truly stable, and that’s not something that can be achieved militarily, you’re going to have a resumption of violence. It may be under a different name. It won’t be Daesh, it won’t be Nusrah, it won’t be al-Qaida, but it will be something else. This is how you get at the root generator of violence and instability, by true stabilization.

And that’s why we believe – certainly everyone in the room, which represent the majority of developed countries in the region – are absolutely committed to significant investment assuming that credible political process is launched and moves forward.

MS NAUERT: Felicia.

QUESTION: Hi. Felicia Schwartz with The Wall Street Journal. I guess the Secretary was asked at the beginning of the meeting about what happened in Deir ez-Zor and if it killed the deconfliction agreement. How – did that come up in the talks? And --

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The Secretary noted to the group we are working closely on deconfliction of operations in the Deir ez-Zor and Euphrates Valley area. We are confident that the deconfliction process can work, can succeed and move ahead. That is what we are committed to. That is what our Russian counterparts tell us they are committed to.

QUESTION: What if this happens again, if there’s another strike? (Inaudible.)

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: I’m not going to – I am not going to go into hypotheticals. We believe we have an effective deconfliction mechanism. That mechanism is underway. We think it can work.

QUESTION: And as to the --

MS NAUERT: Michelle.

QUESTION: You started this off – thank you, I’m with CNN – by talking about the differences between this year and last year. But given all that has happened in the fight against ISIS, would you say at this point that you’re really any closer to starting the political process anyway?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Absolutely. That political process, I said at the beginning of my remarks, couldn’t begin a year ago. Violence consumed everything. Humanitarian crisis, flight of displaced persons – that consumed all of the bandwidth. We are dramatically in a better place on all of those issues today, and it is why at this meeting the focus really could be both looking back at how much had been achieved and, based on that achievement, now switch attention to the political track. This is not a discussion or a consensus that any of us could have held a year ago.

MS NAUERT: Sir, in the back of the room.

QUESTION: Yes, (inaudible), Al Jazeera. Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Being realistic and practical, does that include admitting the right of Bashar al-Assad to run for the election, presidential election? And secondly, did you discuss the French proposal about creating a contact group, and would you accept any Iranian role in such a proposed contact group?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: We have made – the U.S. and many of the parties in the room, who can speak for themselves, have made clear their view that at the end of the day we do not believe that the majority of the Syrian people wish to see Bashar al-Assad continue in power. The U.S. view is he has lost his legitimacy, has lost his right to be in power. But that is the product, the end state, of a political process. And it’s the launch of the political process that has to begin now that takes you, takes Syrians, to that end state.

However the end state is achieved, through whatever modalities or means, it’s the process that has to be the focus. Now, in Geneva is the place where that process, under UN auspices, now needs to really take life and to take off. And no, there were no discussion of other fora in this session.

MS NAUERT: Josh, Matt, you have a question?

QUESTION: Yeah. This is extremely brief. I’m just trying to figure out – I mean, since the Geneva communique was issued five years ago or whatever it was, the political process has always been a priority and it’s never gone anywhere.

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: It’s never --

QUESTION: Why is it – why is it somehow different today?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Well --

QUESTION: The commitment to a political process has always been there for the likemindeds.

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: It was a commitment, very frankly, that the circumstances on the ground could not enable with the kind of life that we now believe is possible. It is the very change in circumstances in Syria and the fact that we do believe – and the we is the collective we of those sitting in that room – that there are powerful incentives for all involved in the political process and those associated with them to move forward now in a genuine fashion, because without it there is not going to be an international legitimization of the situation in Syria or the development reconstruction assistance which is vital, vital for everyone.

QUESTION: Right. But when the Geneva accord – communique was entered into in 2012, wasn’t the situation in Syria now much like it was then?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: No, I would say absolutely not. There is a certain resolution on the ground after a great deal of suffering and disruption which we believe provides a greater incentive for all parties concerned to look seriously now at Geneva, if for no other reason than without it they are simply not going to get the things that are needed for basic stabilization.

MS NAUERT: (Inaudible) Josh.

QUESTION: You talked about the need for an intact, nonpartitioned, independent Syria. What do you then say to the Kurds who, let’s face it, did a lot of the hard fighting for us for the last several years and are now seeing their aspirations for independence being suppressed in multiple parts of the region?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Well, we would certainly not agree with that characterization. There was discussion --

QUESTION: Which part of the characterization are you disputing?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The suppression of Kurdish desires for independence. There was discussion during this meeting which was focused on Syria – I want to underscore that – but there was discussion of the Kurdish referendum. And I’ll be very clear that there was uniform consensus in the room that now was not the moment for this referendum, announced and advocated as it has been, to proceed. I think there is an international consensus on that point. But frankly, this was a Syria discussion, not a Kurdish-focused discussion.

MS NAUERT: Just a couple more questions now. Carol.

QUESTION: I was wondering if there was any discussion today about the Russians saying that they wanted to expand their footprint and move eastward, something – towards the Iraq border, something that the U.S. has opposed before. Was that kind of the expansion of the – of Russia and the Syrian army moving towards Iraq or moving east, was that discussed at all?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Carol, there is a campaign underway, as you know, in and around Deir ez-Zor. That campaign will continue as part of the defeat ISIS strategy down the Eastern Euphrates or the Middle Euphrates Valley, whatever you want to refer to it as. That’s a campaign that Russia is engaged in; it’s a campaign we are engaged in as well. When I speak of de-confliction, that is precisely Deir ez-Zor and the movement east or southeast down the Middle Euphrates Valley that we’re talking about in de-confliction.

There’s not a contest here. It is part of defeating ISIS in the remaining key territory ISIS controls and from which it continues to launch, continues to direct its disruptive activities.

QUESTION: If they keep moving forward, will the United States – what will the United States do? Anything?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: We are engaged in working with Russia, de-confliction with Russia, as we each move on defeating ISIS. It’s not a rivalry. It’s not a contest.

MS NAUERT: Okay. Miss.

QUESTION: Thanks. Hi, I’m Laura Rozen from Al-Monitor. Thanks for doing this. Following up a little bit on what Matt was asking, so what are you all asking the Syrian opposition to do since the likeminded countries have more influence with them when they show up in Geneva? And are you asking the HNC to fold in with the Moscow and Cairo groups?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: What we are urging the opposition to do is to be credible in its positions, to work together, to come to Geneva with positions that reflect what we believe to be consensus views, to be able to play the role coherently, and to the extent that the opposition can focus on Geneva as the venue for advancing their political goals, we think they can be more influential in achieving the results they want for themselves and above all for the Syrian people that they represent.

MS NAUERT: And last question. Sorry, Dave from AFP.

QUESTION: Hi, Dave Clark from AFP. In your answer to Matt’s question, you said that the political situation is much different than it was five years ago when these goals were set out. But the only thing that’s changed on the ground is that Russia, Iran, and the U.S. have made military advances in various sections of the country. You say there’s no military solution to this, but if there is an opportunity now, isn’t it because of military successes by outside powers?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: There is a recognition in Syria, we believe, by all parties that the violence has to come to a close, and that through the ending of violence, a political process must begin. Five years ago, there were a mix of very different goals and objectives and tactics to get there. We are focused now, all of us in the room, on a practical, realistic approach that can yield both the end of violence and the political process that’s necessary for a truly stabilized Syria to begin.

The approaches taken, the efforts made five years ago did not, obviously, yield success. We believe the circumstances are such today that they can.

MS NAUERT: Thank you, everybody. Thank you, Acting Assistant Secretary for --

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Thank you.

MS NAUERT: -- Near Eastern Affairs Bureau David Satterfield.

QUESTION: Thank you.

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Thanks.

MS NAUERT: Thank you, everybody.

QUESTION: Thank you.


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Press Releases: Before the Ministerial Discussion on Syria

lun, 09/18/2017 - 23:54
Remarks Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State The Palace Hotel
New York City
September 18, 2017

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, is the deconfliction agreement dead after the strike this weekend?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: No, it is not.


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Press Releases: Secretary of State Tillerson's Participation in the Second U.S.-India-Japan Ministerial-level Trilateral Dialogue

lun, 09/18/2017 - 20:07
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 18, 2017

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono convened the second U.S.-India-Japan ministerial-level trilateral dialogue on September 18 on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The ministers discussed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region underpinned by a resilient, rules-based architecture that enables every nation to prosper. The ministers also affirmed the importance of the freedoms of navigation and overflight and the free flow of lawful commerce in the region and around the globe, including in the South China Sea. The ministers affirmed and applauded the international community’s firm resolve to oppose the DPRK’s unlawful acts, as reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 2375, and called for continuing international action to curtail the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The ministers expressed their commitment to maintaining regular dialogue among their three governments on topics of shared concern and to expand cooperation on regional connectivity, maritime security and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.


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Press Releases: Readout of Secretary Tillerson's Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

lun, 09/18/2017 - 05:30
Readout Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 17, 2017

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Heather Nauert:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met this evening in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The two recommitted to deconflicting military operations in Syria, reducing the violence, and creating the conditions for the Geneva process to move forward, pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.


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Press Releases: Supporting Good Faith Negotiations Among Venezuelans

sam, 09/16/2017 - 04:58
Press Statement Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

The United States reiterates its call for the complete restoration of democracy in Venezuela. We support earnest negotiations in good faith that will achieve this goal. We call attention to the importance of the Government of Venezuela fulfilling its previous commitments to a democratic path in order to advance the negotiation process.

The United States applauds the efforts of President Medina and the government of the Dominican Republic to foster a process that helps find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution to Venezuela’s political and humanitarian crisis.


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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Press Releases: United States and Brazil Hold Disarmament and Nonproliferation Dialogue

ven, 09/15/2017 - 22:53
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

The United States and Brazil held their 6th Disarmament and Nonproliferation Dialogue in Washington, DC. on September 15. The meeting is one of several ongoing exchanges held by the United States and Brazil to strengthen bilateral cooperation in nuclear disarmament and arms control, export control, as well as nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons nonproliferation.

Experts from both sides met to discuss a range of disarmament and nonproliferation challenges, and to identify strategic actions to best address them. The United States was represented by Acting Assistant Secretaries for Arms Control, Verification & Compliance, Anita Friedt, and International Security & Nonproliferation, C.S. Eliot Kang. Their Brazilian counterparts included Ambassador Maria Luisa Escorel de Moraes, Director of the Department of International Organizations at the Ministry of External Relations, and Ambassador Guilherme de Aguiar Patriota, Alternate Permanent Representative at the Brazilian Mission in Geneva.

The 2017 Dialogue placed special emphasis on U.S. and Brazilian efforts to counter and condemn the illegal pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, including by the DPRK and non-state actors. Both sides agreed to meet again next year.

For further information, please contact Maria Dudding at ISNPressQueries@State.gov or visit www.state.gov/t/isn, Twitter @StateISN and Facebook @StateDepartmentISNBureau.


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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Press Releases: United States and Cuba Hold Third Law Enforcement Dialogue in Washington, DC

ven, 09/15/2017 - 22:42
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

The United States and Cuba held the third Law Enforcement Dialogue in Washington, DC. on Friday, September 15. During the dialogue, the United States and Cuba addressed topics of bilateral interest on national security matters, including fugitives and the return of Cuban nationals with final orders of removal. The delegations also discussed the incidents affecting diplomatic personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco L. Palmieri, Department of Justice Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, and Department of Homeland Security Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement Policy Justin Matthes led the U.S. delegation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director of Bilateral Affairs for the United States, Yuri A. Gala López, and the National Defense and Security Commission Deputy Advisor, Abel Gonzalez Santamaria, led the Cuban delegation.


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Press Releases: Congratulations to the New Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Mari Alkatiri

ven, 09/15/2017 - 20:19
Press Statement Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

We congratulate newly-appointed Timor-Leste Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, and look forward to working with him, President Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, and Timor-Leste’s newly elected government to deepen the partnership between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste for the benefit of our two peoples.


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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Press Releases: Remarks With Secretary General of the Community of Democracies Thomas Garrett

ven, 09/15/2017 - 18:25
Remarks Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State Ninth Community of Democracies Governing Council Ministerial
Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Good morning, all, and welcome to the ninth ministerial of the meeting of the Community of Democracies. It’s really an honor for us to host this ministerial here in Washington in the United States for the first time, and so welcome to all of you, and we’re just delighted that you are here.

I also want to congratulate Thomas Garrett on his new role as secretary-general of the Community of Democracies. He is an excellent choice to hold this position at this very important time, and thank you, Secretary-General, for your dedication to leading this organization and for defending democracy.

We’re grateful to the foreign ministers, the government delegations, members of civil society, as well as business leaders, and most particularly, the young people who have traveled from around the world to be with us today. Thank you for making the effort to join us. The collective efforts of those in this room to defend democratic progress and resist anti-democratic trends are deeply appreciated, and the United States is proud to participate in this shared work that we’re all about.

We know that this ministerial could not come at a more critical moment. Across the globe, democratic nations and peoples are under threat. In East Asia, an increasingly aggressive and isolated regime in North Korea threatens democracies in South Korea, Japan, and more importantly and more recently, has expanded those threats to the United States, endangering the entire world. In the Middle East, Iran exports terrorism and violence, threatening democracies from Israel to Europe and other regions. In other regions, once-thriving democracies are retreating from or actively subverting democratic values, such as in Venezuela. And finally, we must support emerging democracies in the struggle to become nations that respect human rights regardless of ethnicity, such as the case in Burma.

The global challenge to the democratic ideal is real. That’s why we’re here today. That’s why this gathering exists. We know that democracy is the form of governance that produces peace, stability, and prosperity at home and abroad. We know that governments that uphold democratic principles and practices are safer, healthier, more secure, more prosperous societies, and are more inclined to respect the human rights of their citizens. Democratic governments are accountable to the people, and as a result, are less susceptible to corruption, more likely to support an independent and fair judicial system, and more likely to peacefully sustain a vibrant, diverse society.

As a Community of Democracies, we also know that our shared values translate to more dependable security partners and reliable allies in the fight against terrorism. We know that democracies are not flawless. All of us remain works in progress. Successful democracies require hard choices, hard work, and vigilance. But democracy is the only political system that contains an institutional capacity for self-correction, one that grants its citizens the right to participate in how and by whom they are governed. And that is why we support the expansion of freedom and democracy throughout the world.

At a time of growing efforts to undermine democracy, it is all the more critical that we work together to bolster and promote this form of governance. So despite the challenges of our day, now is not the time to step back from our democratic commitments. Now is the time to strengthen and sustain them. We cannot become complacent. Rather, we must continue our active advocacy and engagement. Two months ago, President Trump delivered a speech in the same city where this group was founded and where its secretariat is housed. Before the Polish people, the President reaffirmed this shared commitment to advancing freedom. He said, and I quote, “Above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the rights of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. That is who we are,” end of quote.

That is who we are as Americans. In our Declaration of Independence, our founders boldly stated that all are endowed by their creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Americans are committed to standing up for democratic principles, practices, and our partners around the world. It is not only central to our foreign policy; it is who we are as a people. And it is these shared values that bind us to our closest allies. That is why in every foreign policy challenge we face, we engage our democratic partners first.

As we consider the best offense posed by a hostile regime in North Korea, the least free nation on the planet, we first look to our regional allies, South Korea and Japan. By working with them and other democratic partners, we continue to build consensus at the United Nations Security Council to create a united international front that upholds our values and strives to make us safer. But North Korea is now a global threat, and it requires a global response from all nations.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, we continue to engage our partners regularly and particularly through the Organization of American States as we consider every diplomatic and economic tool to restore Venezuela’s democratic institutions.

In the Middle East, Iran oversees a threat network of proxies who export terror and violence. They destabilize countries throughout the region. In response, the United States works closely with our allies in Europe, and our ally Israel, to address these threats while also supporting a strong, more resilient democracy emerging in Iraq.

And when countries like Russia threaten their democratic neighbors by attacking the very foundation of our democracies, by meddling in our free and fair elections, we stand with our democratic partners. We call for greater vigilance and we work together to safeguard our democracies from interference in the future.

This is who we are as a Community of Democracies, working to advance our shared democratic principles to create a more free, a more prosperous, and a more secure world.

In June 2000, the Community of Democracies affirmed in the opening lines of the Warsaw Declaration, “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government, as expressed by exercise of right and civic duties of citizens to choose their representatives through regular, free, and fair elections with universal and equal suffrage, open to multiple parties, conducted by secret ballot, monitored by independent electoral authorities, and free of fraud and intimidation.” This belief in and dedication to democracy was once a radical idea, but today this is who we all are.

Today the Washington ministerial is the culmination of our tenure as president of the Community of Democracies, but it is also a reaffirmation of the importance of the Community of Democracies, and our commitment to the democratic ideal at a time when freedom needs defending. With growing attacks on civil society, threats to judicial independence, the undermining of effective democratic institutions, and disrespect for the citizens who are central to democracy’s success, it is even more important for our nations and for us as individuals to reaffirm our commitment to the Warsaw principles. The values and the principles we espouse lead to greater security and more prosperity. As we work together to protect our values, promote democratic institutions, and increase our resolve against the undemocratic regimes that threaten them, we all will be guided by these shared values.

So to conclude, let us together, government and civil society, do all that we can to live up to and be an example of the Warsaw principles, to live up to the principles of democratic governance and to do so for future generations and a more peaceful, prosperous, and secure world. I thank you for your kind attention. (Applause.)

And now it is my pleasure to welcome Secretary General of the Community of Democracies Thomas Garrett for his remarks. Welcome, Secretary General.

(Applause.)

SECRETARY GENERAL GARRETT: Thank you very much, sir. Excellencies, Governing Council members, representatives of civil society, our distinguished guests and colleagues, good morning and welcome to the Governing Council Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Democracies.

Let me begin by thanking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for hosting this ministerial. I also want to thank you, sir, for the stewardship shown by the United States in its presidency of the Community of Democracies. We especially want to commend to you the staff of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor here at State who led the U.S. effort in achieving an impressive set of accomplishments with the Community of Democracies these last two years.

Also working closely with the State Department and with the Governing Council was the staff at the Permanent Secretariat at the Community of Democracies in Warsaw. They have done and continue to perform outstanding service to this body.

And let me also express my most sincere appreciation to the Government of Poland, represented here by Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, for Poland’s long and sustained commitment to the Community of Democracies. We are actually very privileged today to have the two originating countries, America and Poland, represented here by their foreign ministers.

We are also joined today by civil society representatives from around the world. These people are our key partners at the Community of Democracies for freedom and justice. The former foreign minister of Poland, the late Bronislaw Geremek, who was a founder of the Community of Democracies said, “Regardless of the problems inseparably associated with democracy, it is a system which best fulfills the aspirations of individuals, societies, and entire peoples, and most fully satisfies their needs of development, empowerment, and creativity.” He believed then as we do at the Community of Democracies today that democracy is the only sustainable form of governance that can create the necessary conditions for development, respect for human rights, peace, and stability.

We know that there is no single model of democracy that all countries must follow. We also know that democracy does not belong to any one country alone, but democratic ideas and values, I believe, speak to every person. We also know that the work of democracy is never done. The struggle for democracy is long and sometimes uncertain. Because of this, I believe the need for this body, the Community of Democracies, is more urgent now today than ever before.

The Community of Democracies brings together young and old democracies to strengthen representative government by sharing experiences and through coordination of policies. Very often the help given appears modest. As former Secretary of State Condi Rice said recently, “Democracy assistance is not always dramatic, but I can tell you support to democracy is important.” Those united around freedom and democracy need to come to one another’s aid, need to come to one another’s support.

The 2000 founding of the ceremony of the Community of Democracies was a moment of optimism. I know that many of you were there. And it has been somewhat overshadowed since by a decade of conflict, of struggle against rising authoritarianism, with an erosion of democratic values, economic downturns, and the rise of violent extremism.

The U.S. presidency asked the Community of Democracies to think outside the traditional list of democracy programs in order to meet these challenges. And so the Community of Democracies put into action three priorities. The first was democracy and security; second was democracy and development; and third was strengthening of civic space.

So very briefly, let me just say that under the first priority a research project examined the correlation between democracy and security. Its findings were released this week in Washington, but among its findings were democracy is the best way forward to achieve peace and stability, which are foundations for growth and prosperity.

The second priority of the U.S. presidency was democracy and development. Goal number 16 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda encourages respect for human rights, the rule of law, equal access to justice for everyone and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. The Community of Democracies launched an initiative aimed at creating voluntary supplemental indicators for Goal 16. We will be working with all of you to use these voluntary indicators as a tool to assess progress towards the achievement of Goal 16 and democratic development.

Lastly, let me highlight the third priority of the Community of Democracies during this Presidency. To us there is a very clear and an essential relationship between democracy and civil society. Under the U.S. presidency, the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies adopted civil society standards, which reaffirmed the important role that civil society plays in all aspects of democratic governance and development, and committed to increase governmental support for civil society at a time when many countries are still imposing restrictions on civic space that are incompatible with democracy. With these standards we have, as a Community of Democracies, have committed to a long term effort to promote and to protect civic space.

Today is a special day in many ways. It is the ninth ministerial gathering of the Community of Democracies. It’s also the International Day of Democracy. The theme of this year’s International Day of Democracy is to strengthen democratic institutions to promote peace and stability. Reinforcing this, the priorities of the U.S. presidency and the work of the Governing Council, with civil society, came together through common action at the Community of Democracies. It’s through such common action that we can address complex challenges to democracy.

Members of the Governing Council, participating states, civil society, we the Community of Democracies must continue to support one another on this path to democracy, assisting with the consolidation of democratic institutions, widening the space for civil society, and strengthening the rule of law. We must continue to play a key role in shaping strategies for democratic governments with civil society to address the root causes of violent extremism, and to pursue strategies of security and peace in accordance with democratic values and principles.

So today, as we meet at the ministerial and as we celebrate the International Day of Democracy, let us state again our intention to continue working together – governments and civil society – to strengthen democratic institutions and to uphold the principles enshrined 17 years ago in the Warsaw Declaration. Again, let me welcome you to this Ninth Ministerial of the Community of Democracies, and thank you for your commitment and engagement. Thank you.


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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Press Releases: El Salvador's Independence Day

ven, 09/15/2017 - 17:27
Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

On behalf of the United States, we extend our congratulations on the occasion of El Salvador’s 196th anniversary of independence September 15.

The United States and El Salvador share a long history of friendship. Through our enduring cooperation, and as we affirmed at the June 15-16 Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America, the United States is committed to supporting El Salvador’s efforts to improve security, promote prosperity, and fortify democracy.

The United States wishes the Salvadoran people a happy Independence Day and a future filled with peace and stability.


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External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Press Releases: Chile National Day

ven, 09/15/2017 - 17:03
Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, congratulations to the Chilean people on the occasion of Chile’s anniversary of independence on September 18.

The United States values our close friendship with Chile, which was evident in the generous hospitality offered during our Vice President’s recent visit. We celebrate our strong commercial ties, people-to-people connections, and regional security cooperation, which define our excellent and enduring bilateral relationship. Chile is a leader in the hemisphere in promoting sound economic policies, science and innovation, and in safeguarding global peace and security.

We wish the people of Chile a happy Independence Day celebration with peace and prosperity throughout the year to come.


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Press Releases: Mexico National Day

ven, 09/15/2017 - 16:54
Press Statement Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State Washington, DC
September 15, 2017

On behalf of the Government of the United States, please accept our best wishes on the occasion of Mexico’s 207th anniversary of independence September 16.

The United States and Mexico are neighbors and partners, connected through family, educational, and cultural bonds, as well as important shared goals. We work together to secure our mutual border by dismantling transnational criminal organizations and reducing the flow of illegal weapons, migrants, and drugs. We strive to generate prosperity and advance rule of law and democracy in this hemisphere and beyond.

The United States of America wishes the Mexican people a happy Independence Day.


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