In Syria, the fight continues against Daesh in the Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV). Over the past two weeks, the Syrian Democratic Forces have completed clearance operations in Kharayij and Al Bahrah, north of Abu Kamal, as well as back-clearing more than 100 square kilometers between the Euphrates River and the Syria-Iraq border.
Madam Director, the United States warmly welcomes you back to the Permanent Council. Earlier this week I had the opportunity over a few days to strengthen my understanding of ODIHR’s activities and exchange views with ODIHR about how we can more effectively coordinate in our efforts. As a result, I have a much greater appreciation for the professionalism and dedication of your staff in carrying out your mandate in often quite difficult circumstances. I commend you on a well-run operation, which no doubt will continue to strengthen under your leadership.
The United States remains firmly committed to the core goal of achieving a comprehensive, peaceful, and sustainable settlement of the conflict based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova with a special status for Transnistria within Moldova’s internationally-recognized borders. We are firmly committed to a results-oriented 5+2 settlement process.
Mr. Chair, progress in implementing the Minsk agreements remains elusive. In its February 27 weekly report, the SMM recorded 52 sightings of weapons proscribed by the Minsk agreements within the established withdrawal lines: six in government-controlled areas and 46 in areas controlled by Russia-led forces.
So, we often talk about a buy with and through effort and it was truly the case where the government of Iraq partnered with everyone else to be able to do with this humanitarian assistance challenge that we knew is coming. The same thing is starting to happen now on the reconstruction side of the effort. So, what we have seen is that we have grown in capability and capacity and by the middle of 2016 we knew it had to be done as we were –as we saw the campaign unfold and we move forward, so was quite apparent to us what had to happen but we had to work with all the parties to bring them together in a coherent manner.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Hello. Good evening, everyone. I’m just going to set the ground rules and introduce our speaker. You may quote him, and attribution is to a senior administration official. This briefing is embargoed until the end of the call, at which point the embargo lifts and you're free to publish. And I have nothing further, so with that I will introduce our speaker.
As we commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8th, the United States renews our steadfast commitment to addressing inequalities between women and men at home and abroad and reaffirms the importance of advancing the status of women and girls globally.
The Department of State has designated Ahmad Iman Ali and Abdifatah Abubakar Abdi as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under Section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224. E.O. 13224 imposes strict sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.
Secretary Rex Tillerson met with AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki today to reaffirm the United States’ and AU’s mutual respect and strong commitment to the shared goal of a stable and prosperous Africa. Their conversation builds upon the momentum created by their previous meeting in November on the margins of the annual U.S.-AU High Level Dialogue in Washington D.C.
MODERATOR: Would you join me to welcome the two foreign ministers. May we rise, please? I thank you very much. Ameseginalehu*. Your Excellency Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, foreign minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Your Excellency Rex Wayne Tillerson, U.S. Secretary of State; ambassadors, ministers, all protocol observed, welcome to Addis Ababa, the political and diplomatic hub of Africa.