Following his re-election, we look forward to continuing to work with President Abdelfattah al-Sisi to advance our strategic partnership and address our common challenges, while encouraging respect for and protection of basic rights and freedoms.
The United States congratulates Carlos Alvarado Quesada on his election as the next President of Costa Rica in free, fair, and peaceful voting that continues to be a model for the region.
The United States strongly encourages the government of Ukraine to repeal legislation that requires the asset declarations from civil society and international members of state-owned-enterprise supervisory boards. Ukraine’s asset declaration system should hold public officials accountable and not place unnecessary burdens or pressure on civil society.
Today, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations secured Security Council support for the largest-ever UN sanctions designation package on North Korea. The UN Security Council's 1718 North Korea Sanctions Committee unanimously approved 49 new UN designations - 21 shipping companies, one individual, and 27 ships - all aimed at countering North Korea's illegal maritime smuggling activities to obtain oil and sell coal, and preventing certain entities and ships from aiding them in these efforts.
Russia’s action today to expel American diplomats marks a further deterioration in the United States-Russia relationship.
Since January, immigrant visa interview appointments for Cuban nationals have been scheduled at U.S. Embassy Bogota. This was due to a drawdown in staffing in Cuba to protect the safety of our personnel.
The mission of CENTCOM is to direct and enable military operations and activities with allies and partners to increase regional security and ability in support of enduring U.S. interests. General Votel is speaking to us on route to London, the United Kingdom. We will begin today with remarks from the General. After that, we will then open it up to your questions. Today’s call is on the record. It will last for 30 minutes. With that, I will now turn it over to General Votel for his opening remarks. General Votel, the floor is yours.
Thank you to the Secretary-General for being here and for his commitment to peacekeeping; for the briefing from Chairman Faki; and Ms. Touré, I have to tell you that your advocacy and your passion and the way you fight for the people is to be admired. It’s inspiring, but it’s to be listened to. You spoke of many truths today, and I think that we need to make sure that when those truths are spoken, it takes courage to say those truths.
Senior Bureau Official for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells arrived in Pakistan on March 28, 2018. In Islamabad, she will meet with U.S. Embassy staff and several senior Pakistani government officials, international organization leaders, and members of the private sector. While in Islamabad, Senior Bureau Official Wells will discuss our South Asia strategy and Pakistan’s stated commitment to eliminate all terrorist groups present in its country, as well as our shared interest in building economic and commercial ties that benefit both nations.
President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom. Both leaders agreed on the importance of dismantling Russia’s spy networks in the United Kingdom and the United States to curtail Russian clandestine activities and prevent future chemical weapons attacks on either country’s soil.