On this International Day of Democracy, we reflect on our nation’s unwavering commitment to the unalienable rights that create the foundation of our democracy. In the United States, those rights are defined by respect for individual liberty and human dignity. A vibrant, diverse, and independent civil society is the cornerstone of ensuring these fundamental freedoms.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker will travel to Berlin and Moscow September 16 to 18 for meetings with senior officials and to attend key events.
Ambassador James S. Gilmore III will lead the U.S. delegation to the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to be held in Warsaw, Poland, September 16-27, 2019. This annual meeting will bring together hundreds of civil society representatives and government officials from North America, Europe, and Central Asia for talks to advance human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The United States and Canada held the eighth round of negotiations to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime September 10-11 in Cranbrook, British Colombia. The negotiating teams discussed issues related to ecosystem cooperation, flood risk management, and hydropower.
Moderator: Thank you, and greetings to everyone from the London Hub for International Media Engagement. I’d like to welcome our participants dialing in from around the world and thank all of you for joining the discussion today.
Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, will be in Israel on September 12 to deliver a keynote address at the closing session of the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s annual World Summit.
The United States joins the Interim Government of Venezuela and ten other countries in invoking the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR). This Venezuelan-led request is proof of the region’s support for the Venezuelan people and recognition of the increasingly destabilizing influence that the former regime of Nicolas Maduro is having on the region.
This past weekend, many in Cuba, and many Cuban Americans, joyfully celebrated the Feast of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre (La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre), the patron saint of Cuba. On this occasion, we again call on the Cuban regime to end its repression of the Cuban people, including its suppression of religious freedom.
The Department is publicly designating Vladimir Petrovich Yermolayev, the Head of the Investigative Committee in the city of Surgut, Russia, and Stepan Vladimirovich Tkach, Senior Investigator at the Investigative Committee of Surgut, Russia, under Section 7031(c) of the FY2019 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, due to their involvement in gross violations of human rights. Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.
Today, the President signed an Executive Order modernizing and strengthening sanctions authorities to combat terrorism. Today’s Executive Order is the most significant update of terrorist designation authorities since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and will enable the United States to more effectively sanction the leaders of terrorist organizations and those who train to commit acts of terrorism.