Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson announced today his appointment of Ambassador Kurt Volker to serve as the United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Ambassador Volker, who has served previously as the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, and as Director for NATO and Western Europe on the National Security Council, will take responsibility for advancing U.S. efforts to achieve the objectives set out in the Minsk agreements.
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: Hi, everybody. I just want to highlight very briefly, and then Secretary Tillerson will go on, and then afterwards we’ll both answer a few questions.
President Donald J. Trump met in Hamburg, Germany today with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to coordinate on key policy areas ahead of tomorrow’s G20 Summit. The leaders conferred on a range of shared foreign and security policy priorities, including re-energizing implementation of the Minsk Agreements, de-escalating the conflict between Qatar and some of its Gulf and Arab neighbors, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The United States is deeply concerned by the July 5, detention of prominent human rights defenders from Amnesty International Turkey and other respected institutions. As with past arrests of prominent human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and activists, we underscore the importance of respecting due process and individual rights, as enshrined in the Turkish Constitution, and consistent with Turkey’s own international commitments.
The United States welcomes the unanimous decision of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) granting jurisdiction for the prosecution of those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 to the Dutch courts. We have full confidence in the ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to arrive at a just and impartial decision.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you. I greatly appreciate it. This is a beautiful room, I must say.
President Donald J. Trump met today in Warsaw with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia to discuss issues of mutual interest and ways to further deepen already strong United States-Croatia relations. Reaffirming our commitment to supporting stability and security in the western Balkans, President Trump urged President Grabar-Kitarovic to do everything possible to advance regional reconciliation.
Before I depart for the G20 summit in Hamburg, I would like to comment on the current situation in Syria, which is a topic the President will raise in his meeting with Russian President Putin.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will accompany President Donald J. Trump on travel to Hamburg, Germany, July 5–9.
Ambassador Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, delivered remarks this afternoon at an emergency UN Security Council meeting on North Korea. Ambassador Haley, with her counterparts from Japan and the Republic of Korea, jointly requested the emergency meeting in response to North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile launch.