Secretary Blinken’s Call with Italian Foreign Minister Di Maio

31 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Di Maio discussed the importance of continued coordination to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine and affirmed the consensus among Allies and partners to impose severe costs on Russia for such actions. They reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. They highlighted their solidarity with Lithuania in the face of escalating political pressure and economic coercion by the People’s Republic of China, which risk U.S. and European prosperity and security. They also discussed Libya’s ongoing efforts to organize national elections without further delay.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Canadian Foreign Minister Joly

31 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly on shared priorities, including a strong, united response to further Russian aggression against Ukraine, and a willingness among Allies and partners to impose massive consequences and severe costs on Russia for such actions. The Secretary and Foreign Minister also discussed the Indo-Pacific.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg

31 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary Blinken spoke today with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg about upcoming engagement with Russia in the NATO – Russia Council and the U.S. – Russia Strategic Stability Dialogue. The Alliance stands ready for meaningful dialogue with Russia, while standing united to deter further aggression against Ukraine.

LOCAL NEWS YEAR IN REVIEW: President Biden and Democrats Delivered Big for Working Families

31 Dec

This year, President Biden and congressional Democrats took office and quickly delivered for the American people while helping our country recover from a once in a generation pandemic and corresponding economic crisis. In 2021 alone, Democrats passed both the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – two of the most important pieces of legislation in decades that will rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out. 

In local news across the country, Americans have spent the last year reading about how President Biden and Democrats have delivered big for working families. Here’s just a small sampling of what they’ve been reading this year:

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN: President Biden and congressional Democrats’ American Rescue Plan put money in pockets of working families, funded our vaccination program, and kick started our economic recovery. 

Across local front pages:

On local TV:

In local headlines:

PRESIDENT BIDEN’S BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LAW: President Biden and congressional Democrats accomplished what Donald Trump and Republicans never could: they worked across the aisle to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will rebuild roads and bridges, replace lead pipes, and create good-paying jobs. 

On front pages:

Democrats barnstormed the country with events to tout the law:

In Pennsylvania:

In North Carolina:

In Georgia:

In Ohio:

In Arizona:

In Michigan:

In Wisconsin:

In local headlines:

ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK: Thanks to President Biden’s swift action, nearly 6 million jobs have been created, over 200 million Americans are vaccinated, and average weekly unemployment claims are the lowest since 1969. Americans have more money in their pockets – retail sales are up by $90 billion and the US is on pace for the fastest economic growth in 40 years.

In local headlines:

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The post LOCAL NEWS YEAR IN REVIEW: President Biden and Democrats Delivered Big for Working Families appeared first on Democrats.

International Travel Challenges During COVID-19

31 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

International Travel Challenges During COVID-19 U.S. citizens who choose to travel internationally should be aware that they may face unexpected challenges related to COVID-19 as they attempt to return to the United States or attempt to travel from one overseas location to another.  U.S. citizens who do choose to travel internationally should make contingency plans, as they may have to remain in a foreign country longer than originally planned, which will be at their own expense.  The Department recommends international travel insurance with coverage for COVID-related trip cancellation and medical benefits.  In general, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover overseas medical costs.

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs provides country-specific information and advice regarding COVID-19 on each U.S. Embassy’s website.  We update these resources whenever we receive new information, and encourage U.S. citizens to review Travel Advisories and U.S. Embassy COVID-19 information pages before travel. U.S. citizens should also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for regular updates and follow TravelGov on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Before boarding a flight to the U.S., all air travelers aged two and older, regardless of nationality or vaccination status, are required to show documentation of a negative viral test result taken within one day of the flight’s departure to the United States, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19.  This includes U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs).

In addition, some countries have imposed other travel requirements. These may include quarantine on arrival, mandatory COVID-19 testing requirements, proof of vaccination, travel restrictions, and closed borders. Some countries have also imposed travel restrictions requiring mandatory quarantine for those testing positive on departure, which could delay a traveler’s ability to travel to another country. Foreign governments in any country may implement restrictions with little notice.

U.S. citizens planning to travel overseas or currently overseas and planning to return to the United States should also contact their airline for specific information about testing requirements for travelers. Airlines may adopt and modify their own specific policies to implement the CDC’s testing rule.

More information on international travel can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/your-health-abroad.html and here: https://cdc.gov/travelrequirements.

For press inquiries, please contact CAPRESSREQUESTS@state.gov.

Security Council Committee on Libya Meets with Libyan Investment Authority, 16 December

31 Dec

On 16 December 2021, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011) concerning Libya met with a delegation from the Libyan Investment Authority, an entity subject to the assets freeze measures imposed in resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011), as modified by resolution 2009 (2011), to discuss issues related to the assets freeze.

Stand News Arrests and Closure

30 Dec

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

The Hong Kong government’s December 29 raid and arrest of seven senior staff at Stand News have forced yet another of the few remaining bastions of free and independent media in Hong Kong to cease operations.  Journalism is not sedition.  We call on PRC and Hong Kong authorities to cease targeting Hong Kong’s free and independent media and to immediately release those journalists and media executives who have been unjustly detained and charged.

Freedom of expression, including media freedom, and access to information provided by an independent media are critical to prosperous and secure societies.  These freedoms enabled Hong Kong to flourish as a global center for finance, trade, education, and culture.  By silencing independent media, PRC and local authorities undermine Hong Kong’s credibility and viability.  A confident government that is unafraid of the truth embraces a free press.

Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2617 (2021), Security Council Renews Mandate of Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate for Four Years

30 Dec

The Security Council, acting through its written silence procedure today, renewed the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the expert body that supports the United Nations counter-terrorism architecture until 31 December 2025, with an interim review slated to be conducted in December 2023.

Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds Two Entries to Its Sanctions List

30 Dec

On 29 December 2021, the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities approved the addition of the entries specified below to its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List of individuals and entities subject to the assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo set out in paragraph 1 of Security Council resolution 2368 (2017), and adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with French, German, and UK Foreign Ministers

29 Dec

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, and UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss.  They discussed the importance of continued coordination to deter any further Russian aggression against Ukraine and affirmed the consensus among Allies and partners to impose massive consequences and severe costs on Russia for such actions.  They reaffirmed their unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.  The Secretary and his counterparts also discussed their shared concerns about the pace of developments in Iran’s nuclear program as time runs short for Tehran to return to the JCPOA.  They highlighted their solidarity with Lithuania in the face of escalating political pressure and economic coercion by the People’s Republic of China and rejected those practices.  They also discussed Libya’s ongoing efforts to organize national elections and agreed on the importance of the electoral process advancing without delay.