On January 31, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced the closing of the DRC’s voter registration process. This marks another important step toward elections in December 2018 and the DRC’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power. The overwhelming response to CENI’s voter registration campaign is a reflection of the Congolese people’s demand for democratic elections. The next steps will be for CENI to finalize the registry in accordance with calendar deadlines and consider an external audit to increase transparency and confidence in the new registry.
SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, first let me thank Foreign Secretary Videgaray for hosting today’s trilateral, and thank Foreign Minister Freeland for making the trip down to Mexico City. In 2017, my very first bilateral visit as Secretary of State was to Mexico City, and about this time a year ago we were standing here holding a press conference. As it turns out, my very last trip of 2017 as Secretary of State was to Ottawa.
I want to congratulate Tom Shannon on his distinguished career, a record of service that spans almost 35 years. His time was well spent.
SECRETARY TILLERSON: Thank you, thank you so much. And thank you, Greg, for that very kind, warm introduction, inviting me back home today. And I want to thank those at the Clements Center of National Security and the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law for hosting the event as well.
The United States is gravely concerned by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga’s self-“inauguration” on January 30. We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s Constitution and the rule of law. Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as President of the Republic of Kenya on October 26, 2017 in a poll that was upheld by Kenya’s Supreme Court. Grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms.
MS NAUERT: Good afternoon, everyone. How are you all today? Good. It’s great to see you all, thank you so much for coming. On this Thursday, I brought with me our Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan. He is here to provide a few remarks, not only about the decision to retire for the Under Secretary Tom Shannon – his intent to retire, which was announced earlier today – he’d like to say a few words about that.
MODERATOR: So thank you all for being here. Today, we’re joined by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran Andrew Peek, and Director for Afghanistan John Ginkel to discuss the deputy secretary’s recent trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. We’ll start with remarks from the deputy secretary and then begin with the Q&A. We’ll take one question from each journalist and then other questions as time permits. When you ask your question, please also let us know who you are and which outlets you work with, and please keep the questions focused on the topic at hand, which is Iraq and Afghanistan. Today’s briefing is on the record, and will last approximately 30 minutes, and with that, I will turn it over to the deputy secretary.
The history of the Holocaust is painful and complex. We understand that phrases such as “Polish death camps” are inaccurate, misleading, and hurtful.
I’d like to thank INSS for inviting me to speak at this conference. This is my fifth visit to Israel, and it’s a pleasure to be back. The past few days I’ve been in Jerusalem leading the American delegation for our annual counterterrorism dialogue. And let me just say what an honor it was to represent the United States in the capital of Israel.
This February, we celebrate National African American History Month to honor the significant contributions African Americans have made to our great Nation — contributions that stand as a testament to their resolve, resilience, and courage. Over the course of our Nation’s history, African Americans have endured egregious discrimination and bigotry. They have, nevertheless, always been determined to contribute their earnest efforts to America’s greatness.