MR BROWN: Hey. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for this on-the-record briefing with Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ambassador Michael Kozak. Ambassador Kozak will discuss the administration’s actions that have deepened democracy in the Western Hemisphere with a particular focus on efforts in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Guyana, and Haiti in coordination with our partners in the Organization for American States and other regional groupings.
The United States welcomes today’s announcement from the European Union’s High Representative Josep Borrell regarding the body’s first designations under its cyber sanctions framework.
QUESTION: We’re across the nation on some amazing radio stations. Of course, we’re on your iHeartRadio app, and we’re at joepags.com. I’m Simon Conway, I’m in for Joe, and it is an absolute honor to welcome our Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the show. How are you, sir?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much. Today I’m here to present the – and testify about the President’s 2021 Budget. It requests nearly $41 billion for the State Department and USAID, enabling both agencies to protect U.S. citizens, increase American prosperity, and advance the development of democratic societies.
Today, at President Donald J. Trump’s direction, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of State announced designations on four individuals and ten entities actively supporting the murderous and barbaric Assad regime in Syria. Today’s designations employ a range of sanctions authorities to target the Assad regime, including the Caesar Act provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which authorizes sanctions on individuals providing support to the Syrian government.
Today, the State Department and Treasury Department continued the United States’ sanctions campaign against the Assad regime by releasing 14 new designations under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act and other authorities. This campaign began last month with the first round of Caesar Act designations.
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned one individual and nine entities for enriching the Syrian regime through construction of luxury real estate. This action is the Treasury Department’s second sanctions action pursuant to the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 (Caesar Act).
The Department of State has appointed Jim DeHart as the U.S. Coordinator for the Arctic Region. Serving as the principal advisor to the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary on all Arctic matters, DeHart will lead and coordinate the Department’s policy-making and diplomatic engagement on Arctic-related issues to advance U.S. interests in the region related to safety and security, sustainable economic growth, and cooperation among Arctic States to support and strengthen the rules-based order in the region.
New foreign assistance funding commitments continue to bolster the unparalleled global leadership of the United States in response to COVID-19. The U.S. Government (USG) has allocated $20.5 billion to benefit the international response, including commitments for the development of vaccines and therapeutics, preparedness efforts, and foreign assistance. We continue to ensure that the substantial U.S. funding and scientific efforts on this front remain a central and coordinated part of the worldwide effort against this deadly virus.
Moderator: Thank you. Good afternoon from the U.S. Department of State’s Brussels Media Hub. I would like to welcome all participants to today’s telephonic press briefing on the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.