Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will travel to France, Turkey, Georgia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia November 13 – 23.
The United States stands with the Yemeni Jewish community in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Levi Salem Musa Marhabi.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome.
First, a few notes on travel: I had a very productive trip to Southeast Asia a week or so ago. And then I’ll be heading out again on Friday of this week, this time to France, to Turkey, to Georgia, Israel, Qatar, the UAE, and to Saudi Arabia.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Carol Thompson O’Connell and U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant to the Administrator for the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance Trey Hicks represented the United States Government in the virtual annual U.S. – EU Strategic Dialogue on Humanitarian Affairs from November 9-10.
The United Arab Emirates is a longtime vital U.S. security partner. Today, I directed the Department to formally notify Congress of our intent to authorize the UAE’s proposed purchase of several advanced capabilities that are worth $23.37 billion, for up to 50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, valued at $10.4 billion; up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems, valued at $2.97 billion; and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, valued at $10 billion.
Today, the United States is announcing a first-of-its-kind visa restriction on wildlife and timber traffickers. Wildlife and timber trafficking are serious transnational organized crime activities that threaten national security, undermine economic prosperity, fuel corruption, and spread disease.
Ambassador James F. Jeffrey, who has served for almost two and a half years as the Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, will retire from his roles this month. In August 2018 Ambassador Jeffrey came out of retirement at my request to serve as my point person on Syria, and he assumed the additional role of Special Envoy in the global fight against ISIS in January 2019. He achieved remarkable results in each capacity, advancing our efforts toward a political resolution to the Syrian crisis and creating the conditions for an enduring defeat of ISIS.
I am pleased to announce that I have designated Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the Department’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, to assume the additional role of the Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS following the retirement of Special Envoy James Jeffrey. With this additional responsibility, Ambassador Sales will lead and coordinate U.S. Department of State relations with the Global Coalition and efforts to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS.
The United States and Nigeria look forward to convening a virtual meeting with members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS on November 10 to affirm the Coalition’s commitment to countering the threat of ISIS and its branches worldwide, including in West Africa, and to supporting ongoing international efforts in the region.
Today, I am announcing the public designation of former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman due to his involvement in significant corruption. In his official capacity as President of Nicaragua from 1997 to 2002, Aleman was involved in corrupt acts such as misappropriating millions of dollars of public funds for the benefit of himself and members of his family. While this designation is based on acts during his time in office, Aleman’s corruption continues to reverberate in Nicaragua today.