The United States condemns the Russian Federation’s ratification of an agreement with the de facto leaders in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia regarding a joint military force. We do not recognize the legitimacy of this so-called “treaty,” which does not constitute a valid international agreement.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you, Klaus, very much. It's a privilege to be here at this forum where leaders in business, science, art, diplomacy, and world affairs have gathered for many, many years to discuss how we can advance prosperity, security, and peace.
I'm here today to represent the interests of the American people and to affirm America's friendship and partnership in building a better world.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Austin, Texas, and then to Mexico City, Mexico; Bariloche and Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Perú; Bogotá, Colombia; and Kingston, Jamaica on February 1-7. The Secretary will engage with regional partners to promote a safe, prosperous, energy secure, and democratic hemisphere. Throughout his travel, Secretary Tillerson will advocate for increased regional attention to the crisis in Venezuela.
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT: I give the floor to the representative of the United States.
Thank you Mr. President, and thank you Nicolai for the briefing that you gave. During the past year, as the representative of the United States, I have most often taken the position that this monthly session on the Middle East is miscast. As I have pointed out many times, this session spends far too much time on Israel and the Palestinians and far too little time on the terrorist regimes and groups that undermine peace and security in the region. Chief among them, Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah, and Hamas. That remains my view. And I expect in future months, I will continue to focus on those threats from the Middle East that draw too little attention at the UN.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to expose and disrupt the financing of the Taliban and Haqqani Network by designating six individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Four of the individuals – Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai, and Maulawi Inayatullah – were designated for acting on behalf of the Taliban, while the remaining two – Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi – were sanctioned for acting on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
QUESTION: Mr. Tillerson, did you propose a safe zone to the Turkish foreign minister in Syria?
SECRETARY TILLERSON: We discussed a number of possible options, but we didn’t propose anything.
In 2017, the Maduro regime held fraudulent gubernatorial and mayoral elections and unconstitutionally revoked the legitimate governing power of the freely elected National Assembly. Now, the illegitimate Constituent Assembly has called for presidential elections by the end of April, which would neither be free nor fair.
BORDER SECURITY: Securing the Southern and Northern border of the United States takes a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, resources, authorities, and the ability to close legal loopholes that are exploited by smugglers, traffickers, cartels, criminals and terrorists.
The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad. I could not be prouder of the work we do to inform citizens, respond in emergencies, and provide Americans with the very passports they need to travel overseas. In addition, our employees overseas and here in the United States also play a critical role in protecting our borders. I’d like to take advantage of the new year to reflect for a bit on the important work we do to strengthen U.S. national security, particularly as it relates to how we execute our responsibility to enforce our immigration rules. As the agency that issues and refuses both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas overseas, we recognize that every visa decision is a national security decision that affects individual Americans. During President Donald J. Trump’s first year in office, the Bureau of Consular Affairs has taken a number of steps together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the intelligence and law enforcement communities to enhance our ability to make sure that people who mean us harm do not get visas to the United States.
President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel met today in Davos, Switzerland to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.