MS PRYOR: Good morning. Welcome to the Department of State. We are honored and delighted that you have joined us today for the 13th annual Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Awards.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen yesterday in Washington, D.C., to discuss the conflict in Syria, including continued U.S. support for the UN-led political process under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254
The United States strongly supports the democratic transition in Venezuela led by Interim President Juan Guaido and the National Assembly and is pursuing several new diplomatic and economic initiatives in support of that transition.
Today, the U.S. Department of State’s South and Central Asia Bureau will launch Partnership 2020, an initiative to build research partnerships between U.S. and Indian institutions in key 21st century academic fields.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke yesterday with Masud Barzani, former President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and current leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The Secretary expressed appreciation for Barzani’s continued engagement as leader of the KDP and for his commitment to improving Baghdad-Erbil relations.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke yesterday with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi. The Secretary reiterated the United States’ support for a strong, sovereign, and prosperous Iraq, as outlined in our bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement. The Secretary underlined his support for an Iraq open to the region and the rest of the world.
Today, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), a new initiative supporting women entrepreneurs around the world.
The United States congratulates President Macky Sall on his election to a second term as President of the Republic of Senegal. We salute the Senegalese people and all of the presidential candidates for their demonstrated commitment to a peaceful election, which reflects Senegal’s strong democratic values and traditions.
MR PALLADINO: Hi, everybody. I’ve got water.
A couple things to start with today. So tomorrow, Kirsten Madison – she’s our assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs – she’s going to be addressing the U.S. state attorneys general, who are meeting in Washington this week. Assistant Secretary Madison will be discussing the State Department’s role in combating transnational crime, and this includes the flow of deadly illicit opioids from overseas into the United States.
The United States continuously seeks to shed light on abuses committed by the Assad regime, including its use of torture, and calls for the regime to allow for unhindered access of independent monitoring organizations to detention centers. Moreover, the United States supports effective mechanisms for holding those responsible for atrocities in Syria accountable.