We are disappointed by the verdict sentencing prominent human rights activist Nabeel Rajab to two years in prison today in Bahrain. We reaffirm our previous calls for his release.
Today, the United States announced nearly $639 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the millions of people affected by food insecurity and violence in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. This additional funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance to over $1.8 billion for these four crises since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2017.
France, the United Kingdom and the United States have not taken part in the negotiation of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it. Therefore, there will be no change in the legal obligations on our countries with respect to nuclear weapons.
The United States strongly condemns today’s attacks in the Sinai that resulted in the deaths of at least twenty-three Egyptian soldiers. We express our condolences to the families of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to the injured. We continue to stand with Egypt as it confronts terrorism.
UNESCO has voted to designate the Old City of Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as part of Palestinian territory and a World Heritage site despite protests by the United States, Israel, and other countries.
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson announced today his appointment of Ambassador Kurt Volker to serve as the United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Ambassador Volker, who has served previously as the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, and as Director for NATO and Western Europe on the National Security Council, will take responsibility for advancing U.S. efforts to achieve the objectives set out in the Minsk agreements.
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: Hi, everybody. I just want to highlight very briefly, and then Secretary Tillerson will go on, and then afterwards we’ll both answer a few questions.
President Donald J. Trump met in Hamburg, Germany today with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to coordinate on key policy areas ahead of tomorrow’s G20 Summit. The leaders conferred on a range of shared foreign and security policy priorities, including re-energizing implementation of the Minsk Agreements, de-escalating the conflict between Qatar and some of its Gulf and Arab neighbors, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The United States is deeply concerned by the July 5, detention of prominent human rights defenders from Amnesty International Turkey and other respected institutions. As with past arrests of prominent human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and activists, we underscore the importance of respecting due process and individual rights, as enshrined in the Turkish Constitution, and consistent with Turkey’s own international commitments.
The United States welcomes the unanimous decision of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) granting jurisdiction for the prosecution of those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 to the Dutch courts. We have full confidence in the ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to arrive at a just and impartial decision.