The below is attributable to Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino:
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Washington.
QUESTION: Yeah. Could you clarify a point from yesterday’s briefing about the forces that are to maintain the safe zone in Syria? I’ve got three questions. That – will the forces in the safe zone in Syria include U.S. and other coalition forces like Britain and France, even if their main mission, as Ambassador Jeffrey said, is to defeat ISIS?
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Jordan and Qatar March 25-April 10, as part of the overall effort to facilitate a peace process that brings all Afghan parties together in inclusive intra-Afghan negotiations.
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today, March 25 on the situation in Venezuela.
MR PALLADINO: Hi, everyone. Thanks for coming. A special guest today, we’ve got the Special Representative for Syria Engagement and our Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Ambassador Jim Jeffrey. He has a few remarks at the top, and then we’ll be happy to take some questions.
SECRETARY POMPEO: (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, everyone. It is truly wonderful to be here tonight.
I want to thank AIPAC President Mort Fridman, Board Chair Lillian Pincus, and your CEO Howard Kohr for inviting me to be a speaker here tonight.
The State of Israel took control of the Golan Heights in 1967 to safeguard its security from external threats. Today, aggressive acts by Iran and terrorist groups, including Hizballah, in southern Syria continue to make the Golan Heights a potential launching ground for attacks on Israel. Any possible future peace agreement in the region must account for Israel's need to protect itself from Syria and other regional threats.
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated its Advisory to the Maritime Petroleum Shipping Community to highlight risks associated with shipments to Syria. This advisory updates Treasury’s November 20, 2018 Advisory to include additional guidelines and risks associated with facilitating the shipment of petroleum destined for Syrian Government-owned and -operated ports, to include petroleum of Iranian origin.
I would like to wish a Happy Nowruz to the people of Iran, and to everyone who celebrates this ancient tradition that marks the arrival of spring and a New Year, including people in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the Kurdish people, and their communities in the United States.
I am pleased to announce that, together with our partners in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, including the Iraqi Security Forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces, the United States has liberated all ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq—100 Percent of the “caliphate.”