Good afternoon. It is an honor to be here in Ukraine, in Kyiv, and in particular, to be joined by so many students. It’s great to see you all here today. Thank you to the Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy Dr. Natalia Shulga, and to the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergiy Kyslytsya, and to the Diplomatic Academy for hosting me.
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs I. Steven Goldstein and Libyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Under Secretary for Political Affairs Lutfi Almughrabi will sign a landmark bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on cultural property protection on February 23, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at the U.S. Department of State.
The United States has full confidence that the Government of Latvia will take the necessary steps to uphold the integrity of its banking and financial sector. For many years, we have been working together with Latvia to combat corruption, money laundering, and other threats to international security.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General, for being with us today, as well as to Mr. Mladenov for his briefing.
We are meeting today in a forum that is very familiar to all of us. This session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many, many years. Its focus has been almost entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians.
The Department of State has designated Ansarul Islam as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) 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.
Four years ago, Ukrainians from all walks of life and all regions of the country came together on the Maydan, Kyiv's central square, to demand their government recognize the choice of the citizens of Ukraine to join Europe. Scores of Ukrainians—the “Heavenly Hundred”—gave their lives on the Maydan for the dream of a better Ukraine. The United States will continue to stand by Ukraine as it faces ongoing Russian aggression, which has claimed over 10,000 lives and displaced more than 1.6 million Ukrainians.
MS BRENNAN: Rex Tillerson admits he was an unconventional choice for Secretary of State. He had no prior government experience. But as CEO of ExxonMobil, he had crisscrossed the globe striking deals with foreign leaders.
SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, I want to thank Foreign Minister Cavusoglu for his hospitality during this visit, and I also want to express my appreciation to President Erdogan for the extensive amount of time he provided to me yesterday evening so we could have a very full discussion of both sides’ concerns but also a lot of discussion about the future and how we go forward from where we are today. I want to reaffirm the deep and important relationship between the United States and Turkey. Ours is not an alliance of convenience or of temporary interest. It is a time-tested alliance built on common interest and mutual respect.
The Republic of Turkey and the United States, as allies and strategic partners, reaffirm their mutual and unequivocal commitment to each other’s security and defense.
As Allies within NATO and strategic partners for over 65 years, both nations consider their relations as vital to furthering their shared goals and interests, as well as to the promotion of democracy, rule of law and individual freedoms throughout the world.
The Department of Justice announced that a grand jury in the District of Columbia today returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 Presidential election. The defendants allegedly conducted what they called “information warfare against the United States,” with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”