Moderator: Greetings to everyone from the U.S. European Media Hub in Brussels. I would like to welcome our participants dialing in from across Europe and thank all of you for joining this discussion.
Today we are very pleased to be joined from Baghdad by Colonel Ryan Dillon, the spokesperson for the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve
This week, Iran’s Minister of Justice, Seyyed Alireza Avaei, is set to address the UN Human Rights Council. Mr. Avaei is responsible for some of the worst human rights violations in Iran, including preventing political freedoms and promoting repression, violence, and extrajudicial killings of political prisoners.
Thank you, Mr. President. And I want to thank the penholders, both Sweden and Kuwait, for their work and their sacrifice and their time in the negotiations. And as we look at the negotiations, I think it’s also important that we bring this Council some of the voices of the Syrian people in eastern Ghouta who have suffered so much while waiting for this Security Council to act.
The United States respects the decision by Venezuelan opposition parties, most recently the Democratic Unity Roundtable, to reject President Maduro’s terms and conditions for April presidential elections. We reject ruling party calls to replace the democratically elected National Assembly simultaneously, rather than in 2021, as provided for under the 1999 Constitution. Deepening the rupture of Venezuela’s constitutional and democratic order will not solve the nation’s crises.
The United States welcomes the Saudi-led coalition's efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The coalition released a humanitarian operations plan on January 22, 2018, and as part of that plan, it has agreed to transfer $930 million to United Nations agencies in support of the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan by March 31.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the largest North Korea-related sanctions tranche to date, aimed at disrupting North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels to further isolate the regime and advance the U.S. maximum pressure campaign.
Ambassador Nikki Haley will travel to Honduras and Guatemala February 26 - March 1 to underscore the United States' strong ties and partnership with those countries.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. will travel to Ecuador, Colombia, and Chile February 25-March 3. The Under Secretary will underscore long-standing U.S. support for bilateral priorities and reaffirm U.S. engagement to promote a safe, prosperous, and democratic hemisphere.
My Dominican colleague mentioned a few moments ago the dialogue that the Dominican government generously and ably hosted for the Venezuelan government and opposition leaders to try precisely to find an appropriate way out of the current difficulties they’re encountering and put the country back on track and restore democratic order there.
Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan will travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to meet with Haitian President Jovenel Moise and Caribbean leaders attending the twenty-ninth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from February 26-28.