Secretary Tillerson met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on March 12 in Abuja to strengthen the U.S. partnership with Nigeria. He recognized Nigeria's leadership in the Lake Chad Basin Multinational Joint Task Force which seeks to defeat Boko Haram and the ISIS affiliate in West Africa.
Sixteen days ago, we sat around the negotiating table with our Security Council colleagues, and we agreed to a 30-day ceasefire in the brutal bombardment of civilians in Syria. The negotiations were long and difficult. Every minute we delayed meant more innocent people were killed. But the Russian delegation stalled and drew out the talks.
The United States was in touch with our Allies in the United Kingdom ahead of today’s announcement, including in a call between Secretary Tillerson and Foreign Secretary Johnson this morning. We have full confidence in the UK’s investigation and its assessment that Russia was likely responsible for the nerve agent attack that took place in Salisbury last week.
MODERATOR: Gentlemen of the press, we are delighted to have hosted the American Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson, who just left our president a short while ago. Now he is here with our minister of foreign affairs, and they are going to address the press. Here, Mr. Secretary of State and our minister, we have both Nigerian journalists and American journalists. So after your initial remarks, they will then ask questions – two from the American side and then two from the Nigerian side.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs James A. Walsh will lead the U.S. delegation to the 61st UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), March 12-16, in Vienna, Austria. At the CND, the United States will push to secure international control of carfentanil, a particularly lethal fentanyl analogue that is contributing to thousands of deaths in the United States; and will also sponsor a resolution aimed at mobilizing a global response to the opioid crisis.
The U.S. Mission hosted members of the UN Security Council, the Republic of Korea, and Japan today for a briefing from U.S. National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster. General McMaster briefed the U.S. strategy and emphasized that maintaining the global maximum pressure campaign until North Korea denuclearizes is an essential element of making these historic talks a success. General McMaster and Ambassador Haley urged the international community to maintain maximum pressure on the North Korean regime and asked Council members to devote the political will and resources necessary to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions to hold the regime accountable.
Secretary Tillerson met with Chadian President Idriss Deby today in N’Djamena to affirm the United States’ strong partnership with Chad and close collaboration on regional security, counterterrorism, and refugees. The Secretary thanked President Deby for his leadership and recognized Chad’s contributions to regional security and stability including Chad’s participation in the UN Multidimentional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, the Multinational Joint Task Force, and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.
I have known President Deby for many years and I appreciate him receiving me and his hospitality that he extended today. My visit follows the dedication of a new U.S. embassy building here in N’Djamena last October. This dedication and my visit both demonstrate the United States commitment to deepening our relationship with Chad. As I told President Deby, the United States values Chad as a strategic partner in this region.
President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with President Emmanuel Macron of France about the President’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. President Trump underscored that his decision is necessary and appropriate to protect national security.
FOREIGN MINISTER YOUSSOUF: (Via interpreter) The Secretary of State has had two crucial meetings with myself and with the President of the United States. The Secretary of State is here at the beginning of his five-nation African tour, and Yibuti is extremely proud to be on the list of countries that the Secretary of State is visiting.