We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, United Kingdom, on March 4, 2018. A British police officer who was also exposed in the attack remains seriously ill, and the lives of many innocent British citizens have been threatened. We express our sympathies to them all, and our admiration for the United Kingdom police and emergency services for their courageous response. This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War. It is an assault on the United Kingdom’s sovereignty and any such use by a state party is a clear violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and a breach of international law.
QUESTION: I – just logistically, in terms of the Secretary’s departure, I just wanted to know if you could give us an update – if there is one to give – about his status. I understand he was in the building yesterday; he had a meeting with staff. Is he in the building today? Is he planning to come every day until the 31st, until his last day? And what’s the situation there?
Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis met with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa yesterday at Al-Safriya Palace in Manama.
Thank you Cameron. It is an honor to be included in today’s event, as we mark the Seventh Anniversary of the start of the Syrian Civil War—and, this year, the 25th Anniversary of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The United States today renewed its support for two of Lebanon’s vital national institutions, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Internal Security Forces (ISF), in Rome at the conference in support of Lebanese state security services. U.S. delegate and Senior Bureau Official for Near Eastern Affairs, Ambassador David Satterfield, underscored that the LAF and ISF “are critical to Lebanese security and stability, and ultimately, to the survival of a stable, democratic, and prosperous Lebanon.”
Vice President Mike Pence spoke today with Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi of Iraq. The leaders discussed the Trump Administration’s deep commitment to protect persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq and the greater Middle East, a commitment which is shared by Prime Minister Abadi.
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated five entities and 19 individuals under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) as well as Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, “Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities,” as amended, and codified pursuant to CAATSA.
Director for Policy Planning Brian Hook will lead the U.S. delegation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission meeting in Vienna on March 16. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.
Thank you, Mr. President. And I thank my British colleagues for calling this important meeting.
We’re here today to discuss the use of a chemical weapon by one Council member in the territory of another Council member. Let me make one thing clear from the very beginning: the United States stands in absolute solidarity with Great Britain. The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent.
Four years ago this week, Russia held an illegitimate, fabricated “referendum” in Ukraine in a futile attempt to legitimize its purported annexation of Ukrainian territory. Crimean residents were compelled to vote under scrutiny by heavily armed Russian troops. Russia’s claim that Ukrainians made a free choice in that sham “referendum” has always lacked credibility.