The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to expose and disrupt the financing of the Taliban and Haqqani Network by designating six individuals as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. Four of the individuals – Abdul Samad Sani, Abdul Qadeer Basir Abdul Baseer, Hafiz Mohammed Popalzai, and Maulawi Inayatullah – were designated for acting on behalf of the Taliban, while the remaining two – Faqir Muhammad and Gula Khan Hamidi – were sanctioned for acting on behalf of the Haqqani Network.
QUESTION: Mr. Tillerson, did you propose a safe zone to the Turkish foreign minister in Syria?
SECRETARY TILLERSON: We discussed a number of possible options, but we didn’t propose anything.
In 2017, the Maduro regime held fraudulent gubernatorial and mayoral elections and unconstitutionally revoked the legitimate governing power of the freely elected National Assembly. Now, the illegitimate Constituent Assembly has called for presidential elections by the end of April, which would neither be free nor fair.
BORDER SECURITY: Securing the Southern and Northern border of the United States takes a combination of physical infrastructure, technology, personnel, resources, authorities, and the ability to close legal loopholes that are exploited by smugglers, traffickers, cartels, criminals and terrorists.
The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad. I could not be prouder of the work we do to inform citizens, respond in emergencies, and provide Americans with the very passports they need to travel overseas. In addition, our employees overseas and here in the United States also play a critical role in protecting our borders. I’d like to take advantage of the new year to reflect for a bit on the important work we do to strengthen U.S. national security, particularly as it relates to how we execute our responsibility to enforce our immigration rules. As the agency that issues and refuses both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas overseas, we recognize that every visa decision is a national security decision that affects individual Americans. During President Donald J. Trump’s first year in office, the Bureau of Consular Affairs has taken a number of steps together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the intelligence and law enforcement communities to enhance our ability to make sure that people who mean us harm do not get visas to the United States.
President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel met today in Davos, Switzerland to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel.
We have discussions going with Israel on many things, including trade. But the big move and something that was very historic and very important was the fact that we will be moving our embassy, as you know, to Jerusalem. And as we also know, that is way ahead of schedule, by years, and we anticipate having a small version of it opened sometime next year. So that's a long time ahead of schedule.
Over the course of 2017, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS made great strides in Iraq and Syria, with the liberation of Mosul, Tal Afar, Hawija, and Raqqa. These successes were made possible by the courage and sacrifices of the Iraqi and Syrian people, and also by the military, political, and financial support provided by the 74 members of the U.S.-led Global Coalition.
The U.S.-India partnership is as consequential as any relationship in international affairs. Our strategic partnership is designed to strengthen both countries and to have a beneficial impact on the Indo-Pacific region.
The United States strongly rejects the call by Venezuela’s illegitimate Constituent Assembly for snap presidential elections before April 30.