Thank you, Mr. President. Special Representative Zerrougui, thank you for today’s briefing and for your tireless efforts that contributed to the DRC’s first peaceful transfer of power earlier this year.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Good afternoon, everyone. That voiceover intro is a little much. (Laughter.)
Secretary Pompeo will travel to Kuwait, Israel, and Lebanon March 19–23. The Secretary will participate in a series of bilateral meetings with high-level officials, attend the U.S.-Kuwait Strategic Dialogue and the recurring trilateral Head of State meeting with Israel, Greece, and the Republic of Cyprus, and engage in public events, including visits to religious sites and interactions with business leaders.
SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone. Today I’d like to make brief remarks on two foreign policy issues. But first, I want to offer my personal condolences to the nation of New Zealand in the wake of the grotesque mosque attacks in Christchurch. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and their families today.
Eight years ago today, tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets to claim the right to express themselves freely, call for reform, and demand justice. The Assad regime’s brutal response, and role in the conflict that followed, resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Today, the United States, EU, and Canada took coordinated action in response to Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine by imposing sanctions on individuals who orchestrated the unjustified November 25 attack on three Ukrainian naval vessels near the Kerch Strait.
In Beirut, the Secretary will meet with Lebanese leaders to discuss the political, security, economic, and humanitarian challenges facing Lebanon. The Secretary’s visit will underscore U.S. support for the Lebanese people and Lebanon’s legitimate state institutions.
Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six Russian individuals and eight entities in response to Russia’s continued and ongoing aggression in Ukraine.
MODERATOR: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today’s background call to preview Secretary of State Pompeo’s upcoming trip to Beirut, Jerusalem, and Kuwait City.
Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, traveled to London on March 14 to discuss the U.K.’s recent designation of Hizballah.