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    by Published on 01-28-2019 06:26 AM

    U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo makes Remarks Before a Procedural Vote at a UN Security Council Meeting on Venezuela

    United Nations, New York City - - (January 26, 2019) - - Today, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo made the following remarks before a procedural vote at the United Nations Security Council Meeting concerning Venezuela:

    Washington, DC - - (January 22, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the video and text of remarks U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivered to the World Economic Forum. The published content is as posted and outlined herein:

    MR BRENDE: Mr. Secretary, it is with deep appreciation that I welcome you to our annual meeting here in Davos. In the 49-year history of the forum, we have only done video links less than 10 times, always under exceptional circumstances. With the current U.S. Government shutdown, we fully understand that the cabinet has to be standby in D.C. So we are really pleased that you can be with us today to share U.S. perspective on international diplomacy, and to also challenge us to think out of the box when it comes to the theme of this annual meeting: “Globalization 4.0: Shaping A New Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

    The U.S. perspective is critical to shaping this conversation in Davos this week, since President Trump is, after all, the person most identified in the world today who questions the status quo.

    We will hear from you for brief opening remarks where we look forward to hearing your vision regarding the future global architecture, which will be followed by a discussion.

    Secretary, the floor is yours, and welcome.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, and thank you, Borge, for your kind introduction. And thank you to the World Economic Forum for the invitation to speak today. It’s 18 degrees Fahrenheit here in Washington, D.C. You see the Lincoln Memorial to my back. So while I’m not here in person, I at least feel like I’m in Davos with the weather.

    It’s interesting times that we live in. Over the past few years, all around the world, voters have tuned out politicians and political alliances that they thought weren’t representing their interests. A few examples of new directions that people have taken: Brexit; the election of President Macron in France; the rise of the Five Star Movement in Italy; Mahathir’s comeback in Malaysia; and of course, Borge, as you referenced, the election of President Donald Trump.

    In Ohio, Rio de Janeiro, and in Rome, people are asking questions that haven’t been asked, or at least haven’t been taken seriously, in an awfully long time. Is economic globalization really good for me? Are our political leaders adequately protecting us from threats like terrorism? Are they working to secure our national interests abroad?

    You all know this: New winds are blowing across the world. The central question is this: Do they signal fair weather or foreshadow a storm? Is this pattern of disruption a force for good or not?

    I’d argue that this disruption is a positive development. We are embracing time-tested truths. Truths like this: Nations matter. No international body can stand up for a people as well as their own leaders can. Strong borders are key to strong nations. This is how we keep our people safe and protect our sovereignty. Sturdy alliances built on key principles are key to shared security. We need all nations to contribute to security imperatives. President Trump also knows that economic security is national security. Robust defenses aren’t possible without healthy economies to undergird them.

    I’ll talk about this for a minute. It’s why pro-growth policies matter so much. I’ll spend a little time on this, and I’m confident that Secretary Mnuchin will understand if I step on his turf just a little bit here this morning.

    President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” was a call to return America to the principles that have made us the most prosperous nation in world history. It was a rejection of trade arrangements that discounted the interests of American workers. It was a rejection of red tape, which constricted entrepreneurs here in America. This is the lifeblood of our economy. It was a rejection of all high taxes that tell American families that government knows how to spend their money better than those families do.

    And perhaps more than anything, President Trump’s election was a rejection of low expectations. I remember that mantra – I’m sure many of you do – the idea that 2 percent was the new normal for economic growth. Well, so much for that. Today, thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth policies, our real GDP growth here in America has exceeded 3 percent over each of the last four quarters.

    And that’s not all. Wage growth is up. This matters to hardworking Americans. Job openings outnumber the number of unemployed for the first time on record. The women’s unemployment rate recently reached its lowest rate in 65 years. Manufacturing – that’s what I did before I entered politics – added 284,000 jobs in 2018, the most since 1997. It was said this couldn’t be done. Small business optimism is at a record high.

    There’s more to that story. But the important point is this: The unleashing of animal spirits has allowed our economy to grow, even as the global slowdown looms.

    This economic blueprint – low taxes, streamlined regulations, and trade reform – can work for you and your countries as well. The time is now to adopt these policies. I remember President Reagan’s maxim, “peace through strength.” This wasn’t exclusively military strength. It was the strength created by a free and robust economy that not only creates wealth, but also freedom.

    As you all know, we face many new threats, some of them not so new. They range from North Korea’s nuclear program, to Iran’s foreign adventurism, to China’s state-centered economic model, its belligerence toward its neighbors, and its embraces of a totalitarian state at home. Radical Islamic terrorism remains a persistent threat that we will continue to fight together.

    In all of these areas we’re making progress. But none of this progress could have happened without beautiful coalitions in which America has played a central role. Collectively, we have exerted maximum pressure on North Korea, and that pressure has gotten Kim to the negotiating table. The United Nations did amazing work, acting as the center of gravity for sanctions that built out this global coalition. We’ve also assembled a global coalition of nations to confront Iran and support the aspirations of the Iranian people.

    And we’re rebalancing the relationship with China, alongside partner nations in Asia and all around the world. It should not go unnoticed that we’ve also defeated the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq, alongside more than six dozen nations in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

    There’s a lot more work to do, and with your help, I know we’ll achieve it. The United States looks forward to partnering with you to take on the challenges of our time.

    And Borge, I’m now looking forward to our conversation today. Thank you all very much for the opportunity to make these remarks.

    MR BRENDE: Thank you, Secretary. We’re very pleased that you have joined us, and it does look brisk there. And you also mentioned China in your short intervention, and I know from all participants here in Davos there is huge interest in the Sino-U.S. relationship. We see that growth is slowing in China. We also know that there will be a trade delegation visiting DC later this year. So from your perspective as Secretary of State, how do you see the role of China in the world today as an emerging regional and global power, and also in relationship to the U.S.-Sino relationship?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Borge, there are those who say that conflict, superpower conflict between our two countries, is inevitable. We don’t see it that way. We want to find places where we can work together. You talked about the trade delegation coming. I am optimistic that we’ll receive them well and that we’ll have a good outcome from those conversations. But remember, the course of the relationship will be determined by the principles that America standbys – stands by: free and open seas, the capacity for nations to take their goods around the world, fair and reciprocal trade arrangements where every country has the opportunity to compete on a fair, transparent, and open basis. These principles of democracy, these things that have created so much wealth for the whole globe, will drive the relationship between the United States and China in the years ahead, and we hope that China will adopt policies that are consistent with that. If they do, I am very confident that our two nations can thrive and prosper together.

    MR BRENDE: Thank you, Secretary. It’s interesting to hear that you are optimistic. I know that you are an optimistic person. Last year in Davos, the big discussion was the future of NAFTA. There you found a solution. So when you’re saying “optimistic,” you think we will say another breakthrough this year on the trade side between the U.S. and China? I think a lot of our business CEOs are very curious about that here.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I don’t want to get ahead of the conversations, the negotiations that are taking place. There’s lots of hard work to do. There are certainly issues around trade balances; those certainly matter. But the central premises of the trade arrangements, the structures at the WTO, the tariff levels that will be set, the capacity for American businesses to operate in China without risk that their trade secrets and their intellectual property will be stolen, the understandings that investments in our two countries will be reciprocal. A country – a Chinese company that want to – wants to invest here in the United States should have every opportunity to do so, so long as they’re coming here to compete fairly. In the same sense, American companies should be permitted to do that as well without having to have a mechanism by which the technology that they’re providing will be forced to be transferred.

    Those aren’t fair arrangements, they’re not reciprocal agreements, they’re not the way free and fair trade ought to be conducted, and so I am hopeful that each of those issues can be dealt with constructively and that China is prepared to compete on those terms. And if they are, I am very confident that there will be a bright future not only for the United States and its people but for the Chinese people as well.

    MR BRENDE: Thank you. You just came back from a very comprehensive visit to the Middle East. I think you visited most of the countries, and you also made a very impactful speech in Cairo. But looking now at all the challenges unfolding in the Middle East, being ISIS but also being the situation between Israel-Palestine, between the GCC countries – we also have Yemen and we have the situation with Iran – where do you see the Middle East moving and what is really the U.S. policy moving forward? How will the U.S. be a partner securing a more peaceful Middle East moving forward?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, Borge, that’s a great question. I just did get back from a trip. What I communicated every place I stopped and with each leader that I met with was that America is committed to helping the Middle East be secure and stable, that in fact we’ll be there and that we are a force for good in the region and we have been for an awfully long time.

    You just kind of canvassed the set of threats. In every one of those cases that you mentioned, there are two common themes. One is there are lots of countries that have a stake in those interests or in those challenges. We won’t do this alone. We will need coalitions built out to ensure that there’s Middle East stability. Our effort to develop our MESA program, where we have countries in the region determined to protect themselves together with America as their partner in that fight, is an important component of how America will approach this set of problems.

    But also with respect to many of the problems that you identified there, Borge, the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran is very real. You mentioned Yemen. You mentioned Syria. I think you talked about the challenges of Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon. It’s still the case that Iran is striving to reduce Iraqi freedom, sovereignty, and independence. Those are places where Iran is truly the malign actor, and it’s why we’re so happy that the coalition that we’ve built out – and we’ll have a ministerial in Warsaw in the middle of next month to talk about this and other issues in the Middle East – is so central to creating the stability that the people of the Middle East so richly deserve. There are diplomatic and political solutions to most of these problems, and we need all of our diplomats from all across the region working to solve them.

    MR BRENDE: Do you think we will see an end of the Yemen conflict this year?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I’ll speak with Martin Griffiths later today. I am very hopeful that we can make progress there. We made a big step forward with the agreement surrounding the port in Hodeidah. We got real commitments from all of the parties. It was most unfortunate that the Houthis made a major break on January 10th to that ceasefire by using an Iranian-designed instrument of war to kill people after these agreements were reached back in December in Europe. I hope that we can find that path forward. I know that the Gulf states that are involved there are committed to achieving that outcome. I am hopeful that we can find a path forward there. We are committed in the United States to working with UN Envoy Griffiths to achieving that end.

    MR BRENDE: We also know that you, Secretary, work very closely with special advisor of the President Jared Kushner on the peace plan for Israel and Palestine. Do you see any progress there, and you are hopeful to get some momentum post the Israeli elections?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Borge, I am. We’ve been working on this for a long time. Mr. Kushner has been in the lead along with Jason Greenblatt in developing our program. We’ve begun to share elements of this across the region. It won’t be a U.S.-driven process. Ultimately, the Israelis and the Palestinians will have to come to an agreement. But we think that the foundations that we have laid and the work that we’ll do immediately following the Israeli elections will set conditions where we can have a constructive conversation.

    Borge, you know this problem has troubled the region for decades and decades now. It seems to me that we’re at a point in time where there are ways that we can resolve the primary differences and encourage those two places, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to come together to resolve their differences and get a solution there that has bedeviled the world for an awfully long time.

    MR BRENDE: Secretary, know that you personally have shown a lot of leadership when it comes to North Korea and the DPRK. History was made last June when President Trump met with Chairman Kim Jong-un, which a lot of hope for improvements of the security situation in the Korean Peninsula was established. Expectations, as I said, were high. We know that the President will meet with Chairman Kim Jong-un late in February. I think there is a lot of curiosity. Maybe you can shed some light on the next steps you envisage when President Trump meets again with the chairman, and maybe you can also let us know where it’s going to happen.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Borge, I don’t have any news to break today on that front, but I can say this: The negotiations have been underway for some time now. There’s lots of discussions that have taken place. When Kim Yong-chol visited Washington last week, we made further progress not only in the discussions that he had with the President, but Special Representative Biegun had the opportunity to meet with his newly designated counterpart as well, where they were able to discuss some of the complicated issues towards achieving what the two leaders laid out back last June in Singapore.

    And so we have a handful of weeks before the two leaders will meet together again. A set of discussions that took place in Sweden over the weekend have now wrapped up. Again, a little bit more progress. There remains an awful lot of work to do, but good things have happened already. The North Koreans aren’t conducting missile tests. The North Koreans aren’t conducting nuclear tests. There are many steps yet along the way towards achieving the denuclearization that was laid out in Singapore and in achieving the security and stability and peace on the peninsula that the two leaders agreed to as well. We’re determined to work towards achieving that. I believe at the end of February we’ll have another good marker along the way.

    MR BRENDE: Thank you. When Professor Schwab and I met with you in your office in December, planning for your visit here in Davos, we also touched on a possibility for private sector to contribute, if there was a breakthrough. Any further reflections on that?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: We did have a good conversation about that, Borge. There’s not much role for the private sector today, but if we’re successful, if we can make a substantial step towards achieving the denuclearization and create the right conditions, it’ll be the private sector that sits there, looming in the background, that I know the North Koreans understand they need, whether that’s power for the people of the country, whether it’s to install the infrastructure that is so desperately needed in North Korea. Those things will certainly have a government component to them, but there’ll be an enormous private sector push that will be required to achieve the economic growth in North Korea that will ultimately lead to the stability that we’re all looking for.

    And so the specter, the specter of private sector companies who are prepared to invest in North Korea and to assist North Korea if we’re able to achieve that full denuclearization that I know the entire world wants, the private sector will be an important player in achieving the final elements of the agreement as well.

    MR BRENDE: So now I want to turn over to another easy topic, U.S.-Russia relationship. At several junctures in the previous three decades, we sensed opportunities for collaboration between Russia and the U.S., but it seems like that optimism be losing ground to geopolitical realities present at each of those junctures. Do you, Secretary, feel that the U.S. and Russia are doomed to Cold War rivalry?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Borge, you haven’t given any easy ones today. But it’s not the case that we are doomed to a Cold War rivalry. These two nations are the two largest possessors of nuclear capability in the world. Russia is a formidable power in that respect and we understand that, and so we need to ensure that there are conversations taking place so that we can prevent both proliferation and the risk that comes with the possession of those nuclear weapons.

    But it has – I must say, it’s been a struggle. We’re looking for Russia to begin to change its behavior, whether that’s its behavior in Ukraine or the work that it did to influence elections here in the United States and that it’s done to influence elections all across the world. These aren’t the behaviors of nations that want to be part of the international community. And we hope that they’ll return to the right course of actions, set a course of actions that lead them down the path of the rule of law and order and liberty. If they do those things, I’m confident that our two nations can prosper and grow alongside of each other. We are not destined to be antagonists. We can do better than that, but it will take a Russian change in their outlook and behavior in the world in order to achieve that.

    MR BRENDE: Secretary, you were recently also in Brussels and made a speech there about multilateralism and the necessity to reform international organizations. To be more concrete, what will it take from the UN and international organizations? What kind of reforms do they have to undertake to have the full support of the administration?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Borge, I don’t have the time today to sort of go into each of them one by one, but I can certainly tell you about the central principles that underlaid the remarks that I made in Brussels that are part of President Trump’s policies. What we’re looking for in these institutions is to make sure that they are fit for purpose, that they are achieving ends that are good for the peoples of the countries that are part of these coalitions.

    And that requires them going back, I think, to first principles. It’s not a matter of taking these institutions down, indeed, quite the contrary. The way to preserve these institutions is to make sure that they’re performing in a way that reflects well on the goals that the people of those nations want them to achieve. And if you go back to the place that these institutions were when they were originally created, and then revisit them and say: Does that make sense, whether that’s 70 years on or 25 years on, depending on the institution? Does it work? Is it achieving its ends? So what the United States is simply looking for is we’re going back to ask those hard questions that, frankly, just haven’t been asked for too long. Do these institutions deliver and are they delivering in a way that is reflective of the world order as it sits today? If they’re not, we need to change them, we need to update them. We need to bring them into his century.

    And then a second piece. In each of these, it can be the case that from time to time, roles get out of balance in these institutions. Countries grow; countries move on. They change their views. We need to make sure these institutions have burdens shared correctly amongst them. If you don’t, it’s not just bad for the country that is sharing or carrying too much of the burden, it’s also not good for those who are freeriding, who aren’t participating in a way that’s consistent with their needs from that institution. We need every bit of every one of those institutions to look at itself and say: Do we have our costs allocated directly? Are we sharing burdens appropriately? Are we all benefitting from this in a way that makes sense? And when we do that – when every country does this, not just the United States of America – these institutions will be updated and reformed in a way that is reflective of today, and it’ll be a good thing to make sure that these institutions continue to live on in the decades which follow.

    MR BRENDE: Thank you. Second-last question. Last year, when President Trump was on this stage, I would boil down his message to: America First does not mean America alone. Do you feel, Secretary, that your message this year, which encourage such fundamental changes to the international system, is being well received within the Concert of Nations? Or put differently, is America somewhat isolated on the global stage today?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Borge, I don't think we’re remotely isolated. I, in my remarks, went through the various coalitions that we’ve been part of building out. There are lots of folks who continue to see America as the beacon that we hope it is. When you say isolated, I think that has negative connotations. It is the case that sometimes leadership and asking hard questions drives others to be a little concerned. Perhaps they’re not quite ready to stare these problems in the face, but we are, President Trump is. We know that these challenges must be confronted. You can’t continue to let these institutions not perform at a level of excellence that the people around the world demand of those institutions.

    And so every place I’ve gone, everywhere I’ve carried this message, the private responses have been to me: We appreciate America taking on these challenges. We’re glad that you’re confronting these, and we want to be with you in achieving the ends that you’re trying to achieve.

    MR BRENDE: Thank you. One last easy one. When is the shutdown over?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: (Laughter.) We all hope that it’ll end fairly quickly. Political fights in the United States are a time-honored tradition, as those of you who’ve studied our history know. I hope that we get this one resolved in relatively short order. I’m always optimistic. I’m counting on the fact that we’ll get it resolved pretty quickly.

    MR BRENDE: Secretary, again, we really appreciate it, you joining us here today. It was well received among the participants. Of course, we’re looking forward to welcome you in the real Davos next year. We know that you had a huge agenda today. Really pleased to also listening to all your candid and insightful answers. So Mike, thank you for your friendship, and welcome back to Davos next year, Secretary. (Applause.)

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, all. And thank you, Borge.

    by Published on 01-13-2019 01:44 AM

    Celebrating the Life and Work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    NEW!!! Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park to open thanks to grant from The Delta Airlines Foundation. Read Article : HERE

    Comments and questions: Pastor Clarence William Page, High Point, NC 336-889-2450


    by Published on 01-09-2019 07:22 AM

    President Donald J. Trump’s Address to the Nation on the Crisis at the Border

    Issued on: January 8, 2019
    Oval Office
    9:01 P.M. EST

    THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans: Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.

    Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

    America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

    Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

    In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.

    This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

    Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States — a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.

    This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

    My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem. Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the Department of Homeland Security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.

    The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband, and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy. Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support.

    Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

    Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.

    The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year — vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.

    Senator Chuck Schumer — who you will be hearing from later tonight — has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past, along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected President.

    Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

    The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.
    My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and re-opens the government.

    This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited Congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

    Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.

    America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.

    Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered, and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history. In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading, and dismembering his neighbor. In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.

    Over the last several years, I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices, and the sadness gripping their souls.

    How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?

    To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask: Imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken?
    To every member of Congress: Pass a bill that ends this crisis.
    To every citizen: Call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.

    This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.

    When I took the Oath of Office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do, so help me God.
    Thank you and goodnight.

    END 9:11 P.M. EST

    Credit: The White House (Speech delivered January 8, 2019) - - (There was a response by elected Congressional officials)

    by Published on 01-08-2019 04:28 PM

    Remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo And Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi At a Press Availability

    Amman, Jordan - - (January 8, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following remarks by U.S.Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi at a press availability:

    FOREIGN MINISTER SAFADI: (In Arabic.) It is a tremendous pleasure – (in Arabic) – it’s a tremendous pleasure to welcome my dear friend, the Secretary, here in Jordan. If I may, I’ll speak in Arabic, and there is going to be translation.

    (In Arabic.)

    (Via interpreter) Welcome, Mike, to Jordan, which comes at a very important time, your visit, not to mention a deep conversation on important pivotal regional aspects to achieve prosperity in the region. You have already conducted fruitful conversations on informing – enforcing our mutual relationship on all aspects – security, defense, et cetera. Not to mention we’re adamant to reinforce this cooperation with the USA, which is an ally and a friend. We appreciate their support, not to mention or particularly the five-year program and the first to be endorsed by the Trump administration that participated to a great extent in helping us to face our economic (inaudible) support.

    There is a huge expanse, or we are going to focus on the Palestinian aspects, not to mention attaining the comprehensive peace, and freezing the process is a very grievance. We have to have horizons of cooperation, meaning the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s going to go on its cooperation with international cooperation and the USA to achieve a comprehensive resolution with two states, independent Palestinian states, as per the resolution with the Eastern Jerusalem as a capital and to live in peace vis-a-vis the Israeli country and in peace and understanding.

    I have conducted also political relationships in the Syrian crisis, not to mention we have a thorough conversation on future coordination in light of the U.S. decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria bilaterally and through the small group. We will continue to consult on how to achieve progress towards a political solution on the basis of UNC – United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, that preserves territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria, that Syria accepts and that restores to Syria its security, stability that leads to the departure of all the foreign forces from Syria and allows for the return of the refugees. In light of the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from Syria, we discussed the area of Tanf, and with a view of ensuring arrangement that that will ensure security of the border and deal with the Rukban* encampments, which we believe must be de-established.

    Trilateral Jordanian-U.S.-Russian agreements is necessary to achieve these objectives. The enduring defeat of Daesh in Syria is a key common objective. The U.S.-led coalition has made great progress towards defeating the evil. Jordan and the U.S. have fought side-by-side against terrorism, not to mention we’ve strengthened this partnership. His Majesty King Abdullah II had repeatedly emphasized the need for a holistic approach against terrorists and their ideology of hate, which is outside our common humanity and has nothing to do with our Islamic faith and its values of peace and respect for the other. This is a strategy to which we remain committed.

    Mr. Secretary, we look forward to continuing to work together as solid allies and partners in pursuit of a Middle East free from crises and full of opportunities where peace and cooperation prevail and where regional relations are based on non-interference in the international affairs of others, and are in conformity with international law. Once again, I welcome you to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Welcome to you, and the floor is yours, sir.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Foreign Minister. Thank you, Foreign Minister Safadi. It’s an honor to meet with you today. I’m looking forward to meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah in just a little bit. I’m very pleased to be back here in Jordan, especially as our countries celebrate our 70th anniversary this year of diplomatic relations. I was here – I was here in this room on my very first trip as Secretary of State. I came here before I went to my office in Washington.


    SECRETARY POMPEO: Indeed. It’s an indication, too, as my first stop on a multi-country trip, of the importance of the relationship between our two countries. Jordan is one of the United States’ enduring strategic partners in the region. It’s one of the many reasons we’re proud to help support you through the five-year foreign assistance MOU, of which you spoke. It’s worth over $6 billion, and it will be an important part of strengthening our relationship for the years ahead. Your nation plays a critical role in regional security and stability, including through its efforts to peacefully resolve the Syrian conflict, fight the spread of radical Islamic terrorism, and countering the Iranian regime’s malign activities in the region and the world.

    We had a good conversation today. I reaffirmed our commitment under President Trump to working with King Abdullah’s government on many of our shared priorities. The United States remains firmly committed to Jordan’s domestic stability and security, and we will undertake that work in a true spirit of partnership. Just last year, our nations unveiled a new counterterrorism training center less than 50 miles south of where we stand even as I speak. The State Department, too, was proud to fund and construct that facility through our Antiterrorism Assistance Program. It is sharpening our terror-fighting tools and helping Jordan build its already strong capacity to fight terrorism.

    We also look forward to working continually to counter Tehran’s malign influence in the region. Jordan made a powerful statement by recalling its ambassador to Tehran last year in protest of the Iranian regime’s flagrant transgressions of security and sovereignty. I also want to thank the Government of Jordan for its helping in – help to combat Iran’s attempt to evade sanctions.

    And finally, I also expressed today my deep gratitude for King Abdullah’s leadership. He has continued to establish Jordan as a durable partner and leader in the region. We’re pleased to see your prime minister recently visit Iraq, as well as Iraqi President Salih’s visit to Jordan in November. We welcome this kind of engagement between nations of the region and we hope to see it replicated elsewhere.

    His majesty the king is also undertaking important domestic initiatives, including economic reforms and protection of religious rights. And we know Jordan is also hosting over 650,000 thousand Syrian refugees, and we thank you and your people for their generosity.

    On behalf of President Trump, we look forward to maintaining our joint efforts here in the Middle East, and I want to thank you again for hosting me here today. It’s great to be back.

    FOREIGN MINISTER SAFADI: Thank you, Mike. It’s a pleasure to have you. We have a very short time, as the Secretary and I are heading for a meeting with his majesty, so we’ll take two questions. The first question is to Amar Rajah from Jordan TV. Amar.

    QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Amar Rajah from the Jordan Television. You spoke about the importance of deriving at a political solution to the Syrian crisis. What are the necessary steps to achieve that?

    FOREIGN MINISTER SAFADI: (Via interpreter) As I said, to resolve the Syrian crisis is a strategic goal on which we both agree. Undoubtedly, we need a political solution, which calls for working jointly. We – I spoke about an international role, not to mention coordination. We are also coordinating with the Russia and the international community. Undoubtedly, there has to be an Arab role to participate in the solution deriving (inaudible) of the area within an Arab matrix.

    As for Rukban, we discussed it at length with His Excellency the Secretary, not to mention the importance of ensuring the security of those areas, Tanf and Rukban, not to mention the return of their citizens in order to ensure appropriate administration at the border. We are (inaudible) with our allies, the U.S., not to mention coordinating with Russia, deriving at tri-parted discussions (inaudible).

    Next question, LA Times.

    QUESTION: Yes, hi, thank you. You both have spoken here about Syria, and so I’d like to ask a little bit about how we see that crisis, that situation continuing in the weeks and months to come. Minister – Secretary Pompeo, how do you intend – think you can – or intend to maintain the anti-Iran coalition with your allies here in the region, even as these same allies are welcoming Syria back into the fold, back into the Arab League and such? And at the same time, you are receiving pretty significant pushback from Turkey, which is another key player in this.

    And Mr. – Minister Safadi, you spoke a little bit about the role of Jordan that you see in here, as the Americans leave. How do you see that? Are you worried about their departure? Is it premature? Do you see Jordanian troops having a role in this?

    And then separately, you spoke about the Palestinian peace process. You mentioned the – East Jerusalem as a capital and a two-state solution, neither of which this administration has very wholeheartedly embraced. So now the – all eyes turn to the Golan Heights, where Bibi Netanyahu is asking for U.S. recognition of their sovereignty over that. What do you think should happen with the Golan Heights? Thanks.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I’m going to try to take the first question first if that’s okay. The counter-Iran revolution is – our coalition is as effective today as it was yesterday, and I’m very hopeful it will continue to be effective and even more effective tomorrow. This is not just about a particular tactic that we take amongst the coalition. This is about a combined understanding that the most significant threat to the region is Daesh and the Islamist revolution, and their revolutionary efforts in the region. There is – I won’t speak for Foreign Minister Safadi, but there is enormous agreement on the risk that that poses to Jordan and to other countries in the neighborhood, and that battle continues.

    Our – the President’s decision to withdraw folks from Syria in no way impacts our capacity to deliver on that, and you’ll see in the coming days and weeks, we are – are we doubling not only our diplomatic but our commercial efforts to put real pressure on Iran to achieve what it is we set out for them back in May. And these are simple asks we ask of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to behave like a normal nation, and the coalition is just as committed to it today as it was yesterday.

    FOREIGN MINISTER SAFADI: Thank you, Secretary.



    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, go ahead.

    FOREIGN MINISTER SAFADI: Let me just say something on Iran. We all have problems with Iran’s expansionist policies in the region. We all want to make sure that whatever threat there is mitigated. All Arab counties, and I think the United States too, would want healthy relations based on the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of the other, and respecting the sovereignty of other countries. If that is achieved, if everybody abides by international norms of behavior, then there’ll be no problem. So for as long as there are policies that are counter to these principles, then we will continue to have issues with their policy.

    On the withdrawal, I just have to say that the United States and Jordan have always been strong allies. We’ve always coordinated and we trust that we’ll continue to coordinate, and our security is something that has always been taken into account by our allies in Washington, and we trust that we’ll be – we’ll continue to have this kind of relationship.

    This is a solid partnership, particularly when it comes to defense and security against Daesh, against ISIS. We (inaudible) side by side, we’ll continue to do that, and we’re fully confident that our allies and us will be able to address whatever new developments in a way that is mutually beneficial for both of us.

    On the peace process, look, I mean, Jordan has been consistent all through. His majesty has been more than clear that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the key conflict in the region, and its resolution is the only path to comprehensive peace, which we all want. All Arab states, Jordan included, have said we wanted comprehensive and lasting peace with Israel, but we also said in order for that to happen, the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, but particularly their right to statehood and freedom on June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as capital, is a must. So we’re going to continue to do that, and again, as friends, as allies, we might have agreements and disagreements, but you can count on us always having frank and open and thorough discussion too as to see how we can overcome differences and move collectively in an effective manner towards our common goal of global peace and stability.

    The Golan Heights is in occupied Syrian territory. International law is clear on that. It has to be treated as such, and therefore our position is that Israel needs to withdraw from that territory, again, within the framework of a peace agreement that will deliver the comprehensive peace that we want. The Arab Peace Initiative has been on the table since 2002 as an offer, as an invitation for Israel to come and sit on the table with a view to reaching a comprehensive peace that will also address Israel’s rights to security and acceptance and normal ties with the Arab world. This is our position and we continue to stand by it because we believe it’s the only way to achieve the comprehensive peace that we all want.

    I want to thank you so much. We’ve got to run. We have a meeting with his majesty now, so thank you all and (ends in progress).

    Credit: U.S. Department of State

    by Published on 01-07-2019 09:56 PM

    Department of Homeland Security on MYTH/FACT: Known and Suspected Terrorists/Special Interest Aliens

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