Secretary Blinken’s Call with ROK Foreign Minister Kang

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. During the call, the Secretary and the Foreign Minister affirmed the enduring strength and importance of the U.S.-ROK Alliance, the linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and across the world. Secretary Blinken highlighted the importance of continued trilateral U.S.-ROK-Japan cooperation, underscored the continued need for the denuclearization of North Korea, and stressed President Biden’s commitment to strengthening U.S. alliances.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. During the call, the Secretary and the Foreign Minister affirmed that the U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and across the globe. Secretary Blinken highlighted the importance of continued U.S.-Japan-Republic of Korea cooperation and stressed President Biden’s pledge to strengthen U.S. alliances and engage with the world again.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Mexican Foreign Secretary Ebrard

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary Antony J. Blinken spoke with Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard today. Secretary Blinken emphasized our shared interest in security and economic integration, as well as our focus on an orderly and humane approach to migration. The two discussed the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for continued cooperation between our two countries to protect our populations and economies. Secretary Blinken noted the bonds between the United States and Mexico and reaffirmed our commitment to the nearly 200-year-old bilateral relationship.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Canadian Foreign Minister Garneau

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The following is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

In his first call as Secretary of State, Secretary Antony J. Blinken spoke with Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau today. Noting the close partnership between the United States and Canada on a wide array of issues, Secretary Blinken said that he looks forward to working closely with Foreign Minister Garneau to revitalize our economies and strengthen the broader North American partnership and to address shared challenges, including COVID-19 and climate change, among many others.

Secretary Blinken to Deliver Remarks to the Media in the Press Briefing Room

27 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will deliver remarks to the media tomorrow, January 27, 2021, at 3:30PM in the Press Briefing Room at the Department of State.

Out of an abundance of caution, in order to practice safe social distancing practices, the Secretary’s remarks to the media will be pooled press coverage only.

The event will be streamed live on https://www.state.gov/.

For further information, please contact the Office of Press Relations at PaPressDuty@state.gov.

Commission launches debate on responding to the impact of an ageing population

27 Jan
The European Commission presented a green paper to launch a broad policy debate on the challenges and opportunities of Europe's ageing society. It sets out the impact of this pronounced demographic trend across our economy and society and invites the public to express their views on how to respond to this in a public consultation, which will run for 12 weeks.

G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Arrest and Detention of Alexey Navalny

26 Jan

Office of the Spokesperson

The text of the following statement was released by the G7 foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union.

Begin Text:

We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, are united in condemning the politically motivated arrest and detention of Alexey Navalny.

We are also deeply concerned by the detention of thousands of peaceful protesters and journalists, and call upon Russia to adhere to its national and international obligations and release those detained arbitrarily for exercising their right of peaceful assembly on 23 January. The violent suppression by police forces of the right of individuals to express their opinion is unacceptable. These events confirm a continuous negative pattern of shrinking space for the opposition, civil society, human rights defenders and independent voices in Russia.

It is deplorable that Mr Navalny is being detained in relation to court decisions which the European Court of Human Rights determined in 2017 to be arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable. We the G7 Foreign Ministers call upon the Russian authorities for Mr Navalny’s immediate and unconditional release. Russia is bound by its national and international obligations to respect and ensure human rights.

G7 Foreign Ministers recall their condemnation, in the strongest possible terms, of the poisoning of Mr Navalny in August 2020 with a chemical nerve-agent of the “Novichok” group, a substance developed by Russia.

We reiterate that any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms against the use of such weapons. We, the G7 Foreign Ministers, again urge the Russian authorities to investigate and credibly explain the use of a chemical weapon on its soil in the light of Russia’s obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The confirmed use of chemical weapons against an opposition politician, as well as Mr Navalny’s latest detention further undermine democracy, independent voices, and political plurality in Russia. We urge Russia to fulfill its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to guarantee the rights it sets forth, including the right to freedom of expression, to all individuals within its territory and jurisdiction.

We will continue to monitor closely Russia’s response to international calls for the immediate release of Mr Navalny and any protesters and journalists who have been detained arbitrarily, as well as a criminal investigation into Mr Navalny’s poisoning. We remain strongly committed to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and to our support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Russia, as well as to bolstering our support to Russian civil society.

End text.

GOP In Disarray

26 Jan

The past few days have shown the extent to which the Republican Party is in disarray and deeply divided. Trump is threatening to primary fellow Republicans, top Republican leaders are publicly feuding with top Trump allies in Congress, another Republican senator retired, and Republicans are even censuring members of their own party. Sad.

Trump is threatening to primary Republicans who put the country first and vote to convict Trump for inciting and encouraging an insurrection.

The Hill: “Allies of former President Trump are waging an intense pressure campaign aimed at convincing GOP senators to vote against his conviction in next month’s impeachment trial. The message to wavering GOP senators is that anyone who votes to convict Trump is guaranteeing a tough primary challenge that could end their political career.”

Republicans in Arizona reinstated a Trump ally as state chair and voted to censure fellow Republicans.

Arizona Republic Editorial: “Apparently, the Arizona Republican Party has decided that it no longer wants to be affiliated with … Republicans. There is really no other explanation for the party on Saturday re-electing Donald Trump cultist Kelli Ward as the state chairperson and, then, passing resolutions to censure Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain.”

A top Trump ally in Congress and a leading House Republican are feuding, holding a petty public event and attacking the other for wearing makeup.

Fox News: “One of former President Trump’s top supporters in the House of Representatives is targeting one of Trump’s biggest House GOP critics. GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is heading to House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney’s home state of Wyoming on Thursday, where he’ll hold an event outside the state capitol in Cheyenne.”

HuffPost: “Rep. Liz Cheney’s Office Slams Rep. Matt Gaetz — For Wearing Makeup, Of All Things”

Another Republican has retired over the direction Trump has taken the Republican Party, creating more uncertainty for the party’s future.

Politico: “Portman’s exit signals uncertainty for Senate GOP”

Politico: “Ohio Republican Rob Portman will not seek a third Senate term in 2022, a blow to both Republicans’ hopes of taking back the Senate and the chamber’s dwindling number of centrists… Portman said in an interview in November he was planning on running in 2022. But the GOP is now undergoing a major reckoning after Trump’s attacks on the election inspired an attack on the Capitol by his supporters.”

The post GOP In Disarray appeared first on Democrats.

Decree Ordering Long-Awaited Palestinian Elections ‘Crucial Step’ towards Building Democratic State, Special Middle East Coordinator Tells Security Council

26 Jan

Despite reprisals between Palestinians and Israelis, and the ongoing ravages of COVID-19 on a region struggling to staunch its spread, achievement of an  elusive two-State vision remains possible, the senior United Nations official for Middle East peace told the Security Council today, hailing a 15 January decree announcing the conduct of Palestinian elections in 2021 as “a crucial step” towards Palestinian unity and the building of a democratic State.