WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today targeting al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leaders and facilitators by imposing sanctions on two individuals. Specifically, OFAC designated Hashim Muhsin Aydarus al-Hamid (al-Hamid) and Khalid Ali Mabkhut al-Aradah (al-Aradah), both Yemen-based tribal leaders who facilitated the transfer of weapons and money and the movement of individuals in support of AQAP.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis hosted Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canadian Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan for policy discussions over dinner yesterday evening at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Nine years ago, seven leaders of Iran’s Bahai community were arrested and convicted of espionage, insulting religious sanctities, and propaganda against the Islamic Republic for activities related solely to their belief in and practice of their faith. They were unjustly sentenced to 20 years in prison. Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Vahid Tizfahm, and Mahvash Sabet remain behind bars today, serving an unjust sentence for exercising their freedoms of religion, association, and expression.
The President has been briefed on the latest missile test by North Korea.
Pentagon Chief Spokesperson Dana W. White provided the following readout:
SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, it’s my pleasure to welcome all of you, Foreign Ministers, Permanent Participant Heads of Delegation, Arctic Council Observers, and honored guests. And I want to thank again the tribal leaders of the aboriginal groups for their greeting this morning and their very meaningful message to all of us, and we appreciate their opening this session for us.
Vice President Mike Pence met with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin of Ukraine today. The Vice President emphasized unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
President Donald J. Trump met today with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, following on the visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow last month.
SECRETARY TILLERSON: (Applause.) Thank you so much, Chief, and it is a pleasure to be here, and good evening to all of you, and I want to welcome myself and I want to welcome you to Fairbanks as well. (Laughter.)
I welcome President Trump’s announcement of his intention to nominate Mark Andrew Green as the new Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).