Brian Neubert: Good afternoon to everyone from the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Media Hub. I’d like to welcome our participants dialing in from across the continent and thank all of you for joining this discussion. Today we are very pleased to be joined from Washington by two senior officials from the African Affairs Bureau, from the East Asia Pacific Bureau as well as from the Economic Bureau.
FOREIGN MINISTER FREELAND: So what we’re going to do now just so everybody knows, we’ll have some brief opening remarks open to the press from me, Rex, Minister Kono, Minister Kang, and Boris. And then we will bid our journalistic pals farewell. For me and Boris that’s a particular sadness, as we used to be members of the press ourselves. And then we will proceed to our deliberations.
FOREIGN MINISTER FREELAND: Sorry to be a bit late. We had a lot we had to pack into the day. And thanks to everyone for joining us. I’d like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples including the territories of Musqueam, the Squamish, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells will travel to New Delhi, India, January 17-18. She will participate in the Raisina Dialogue conference on global issues, hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Government of India. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Wells will also meet with Indian government officials and members of the U.S. business community.
President Donald J. Trump hosted President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan today at the White House to discuss enhanced strategic partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev thanked President Trump for his hospitality and offered an invitation for President Trump to visit Kazakhstan in the future. The two leaders reaffirmed the independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Kazakhstan, as well as its role in advancing global peace and prosperity.
For more than a quarter century, the United States has seen the strong, sovereign, and independent nation of Kazakhstan as a valued friend and a strategic partner in Central Asia. And we're honored, and we are truly honored to be the first country to recognize Kazakhstani independence on Christmas Day 1991. That's a long time ago, but not that long. You've made incredible strides.
Kazakhstan is doing very well. They're really -- they've turned things around. They have a lot of advantages over some nations, frankly, and they have some tough situations. But the President is highly respected and has done a great, great job. And it's an honor to be with you.
The United States welcomes the arrival of four mobile cranes at Yemen's Hudaydah port. Upon installation, these cranes, purchased by the World Food Programme with U.S. Government funding, will offload essential supplies for the people of Yemen.
SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, first let me thank Foreign Minister Freeland for agreeing to cohost this event, and also thanks to Canada for allowing us to meet in Vancouver as well. North Korea is just one of many security issues of which the United States knows we can rely on our neighbor and friend, Canada, for close alignment
President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar to discuss ways to strengthen United States-Qatar bilateral relations on security and economic issues. President Trump reiterated his support for a strong, united Gulf Cooperation Council that is focused on countering regional threats. The President thanked the Emir for Qatari action to counter terrorism and extremism in all forms, including being one of the few countries to move forward on a bilateral memorandum of understanding. The leaders discussed areas in which the United States and Qatar can partner to bring more stability to the region, counter malign Iranian influence, and defeat terrorism.