Today, the United States is imposing financial sanctions and visa restrictions on Iranian individuals and entities under human rights-related authorities. These actions with respect to 12 Iranian individuals and entities by the Department of State and Department of the Treasury send a message of support to the Iranian people that we will continue to support their demands for transparent and accountable governance and speak out for those who are being silenced by this regime. Our pressure on Iran to treat its own people with dignity and respect will not cease.
The People’s Republic of China is one of the rapidly dwindling number of countries that welcomes Mahan Air, which ferries weapons and terrorists around the world for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such cooperation has consequences.
Through the American people’s generosity and the U.S. Government’s action, the United States continues to demonstrate global leadership in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The American people have given more than $10 billion that will benefit the global COVID-19 response, and we continue to ensure that the substantial U.S. funding and scientific efforts on this front remain a central and coordinated part of the worldwide effort against COVID-19.
The United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing nearly $23.4 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help end the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries, the second-largest outbreak of the disease on record.
The United States remains deeply concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in Syria. This Council knows full well that the virus is worsening the existing humanitarian crisis, and that the country’s already fragile health system, continuing displacement, high population density, and low levels of sanitation heighten the risk of a severe outbreak. Left unaddressed, an exacerbation of COVID-19 in Syria could threaten stability throughout the entire region.
The United States condemns Taiwan’s exclusion from the World Health Assembly. At a time when the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, we need multilateral institutions to deliver on their stated missions and to serve the interests of all member states, not to play politics while lives are at stake.
We applaud the Government of France and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals for the arrest of Félicien Kabuga, who is charged with playing a key role in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. We commend law enforcement officials worldwide who contributed to the arrest.
The Department of State has made the promotion and protection of religious freedom a priority, especially in China, where people of all faiths face severe repression and discrimination. As part of that mission, on May 17, we marked the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who has not appeared in public since the PRC government abducted him in 1995, at age six.
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad departed on May 17 for travel to Doha and Kabul. In Doha, Ambassador Khalilzad will meet with Taliban representatives to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Taliban agreement and press for steps necessary to commence intra-Afghan negotiations, including a significant reduction of violence.
The below is attributable to Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.