Joint Statement on Syria

31 Aug

Office of the Spokesperson

Representatives of the Arab League, Egypt, the European Union, France, Germany, Iraq, Jordan, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, the United Kingdom, and the United States met August 30-31 at the envoy level  in Geneva to discuss the crisis in Syria.

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We reaffirmed our commitment to reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis consistent with UN Security Council resolution 2254, including continued support for implementing and sustaining an immediate nation-wide ceasefire, the Constitutional Committee, free and fair elections, the end of arbitrary detention, and the release of all those unjustly held. We reiterated the need to create secure conditions for the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons, consistent with UNHCR standards; and support the provision of sufficient and sustainable aid to the displaced and their host countries and communities until such conditions are in place. We noted with concern the continuing threat posed by Daesh and reiterated our commitment to the mission of the Global Coalition Against Daesh, and to the fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

We called on all parties, in particular the government-nominated bloc, to resume meetings of the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned Constitutional Committee under UN auspices in Geneva and to advance an inclusive political solution that will protect the territorial integrity, unity, and sovereignty of Syria and the rights and dignity of all Syrians. We reiterated that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and reaffirmed our continued support of UN Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and his tireless efforts to advance a UN-facilitated political process consistent with UNSC resolution 2254.

We remain deeply concerned about the dire humanitarian situation in Syria and the ongoing suffering of the Syrian people. We emphasized the importance of continuing to provide life-saving and early recovery humanitarian assistance across Syria through all modalities, including expansion and extension of the UNSC resolution 2642 cross-border aid mechanism, for which there is no alternative that can match its scope and scale. Furthermore, we underlined the necessity to continue to press for accountability for all atrocities and international crimes perpetrated in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons, as well as to press for a full accounting of the missing.

Special Advisor on International Disability Rights Minkara’s Travel to Germany, Thailand, and Malaysia 

31 Aug

Office of the Spokesperson

Special Advisor on International Disability Rights Sara Minkara will travel to Berlin, Germany August 31 to attend the G7 Global Inclusion Summit September 1-2.  The summit, hosted by Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities, will cover the topics of health, artificial intelligence and digitalization, and disability and climate action.  As the U.S. representative at the summit, Special Advisor Minkara will deliver statements on these topics and take part in meetings on disability-inclusive democracy.  Special Advisor Minkara will then travel to Thailand September 4-10 to attend the APEC Women’s Economic Forum in Bangkok and engage disabled persons organizations and provincial government on disability rights issues in Chiang Mai.  Special Advisor Minkara will then travel to Malaysia September 11-17 to meet with civil society, government, and international organization representatives for discussions on addressing challenges facing persons with disabilities.

In each country Special Advisor Minkara will underscore the importance of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities and the value they bring to all sectors of society when fully included.

Follow Special Advisor Minkara on the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s Facebook and Twitter @StateDRL and Instagram @usa_humanrights.

For media inquiries, please contact DRL-Press@state.gov.

Uzbekistan Independence Day

31 Aug

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Uzbekistan as you celebrate 31 years of independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity on September 1.

Uzbekistan is a valued partner and plays an important role in ensuring Central Asia’s strategic autonomy, including through the C5+1 diplomatic platform. The United States supports Uzbekistan’s reform agenda and appreciates its commitment to expand and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. We welcome Uzbekistan’s decision to endorse the Global Methane Pledge and look forward to supporting its clean energy transition. We also remain grateful for our close cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and are pleased to have delivered recently two million doses of vaccine to Uzbekistan through the COVAX facility. On this special day, I heartily reaffirm the United States’ friendship with Uzbekistan and wish its people a prosperous year to come.

Security Council Presidential Statement Calls for Bolstered Efforts, Better Coordination to Prevent Conflict, Sustain Peace in Africa

31 Aug
Welcoming progress in Africa to prevent conflict, make and keep peace and foster development, the Security Council today called for intensified efforts, support and a more coordinated approach among all relevant partners — including the continent’s countries, the African Union and subregional organizations — particularly through enhanced efforts to improve capacity-building in addressing those challenges.

Congress Must Investigate And Hold Twitter Accountable After Recent Whistleblower Allegations

31 Aug

Last week, it was reported that Twitter’s former head of security had filed a whistleblower complaint against the company with multiple government agencies alleging “egregious deficiencies, negligence, willful ignorance, and threats to national security and democracy.

The whistleblower alleges that Twitter has been lying about the use of bots and that they are being used to manipulate news stories and the political process.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

“Among Mr. Zatko’s claims are that Twitter executives, including Chief Executive Parag Agrawal, deliberately undercounted the prevalence of spam on the platform.”

CNN also reported that the whistleblower alleged that, “one or more current employees may be working for a foreign intelligence service.”

MAKE NO MISTAKE: House Republicans will work on behalf of the American people to conduct a thorough and swift investigation into these allegations against Twitter and hold them accountable for any and all wrongdoing. For far too long Big Tech has operated with unchecked power. It is time that their unchecked power comes to an end.

 

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REMINDER: Republicans Keep Lying About Their Extreme Records

31 Aug

MAGA Republicans are desperately doubling down on their weak attempts to erase their extreme positions on abortion and other issues that are important to voters in the midterms. But as much as they may want to hide their wildly unpopular views, the American people have taken notice.

More and more Republican candidates have tucked tail and run rather than own up to their extreme positions on abortion.

Washington Post: “Republicans in key races scrap online references to Trump, abortion”

Politico: “Republicans fight abortion backlash with ads — and stealth website edits”

And it doesn’t stop there — GOP candidates across the country are continuing to rewrite their unpopular records ona number of different issuesincluding abortion.

Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano recently deleted over a dozen videos from his Facebook page that espoused many extreme positions, including ones that downplayed the climate crisis.

Maryland GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Cox has deleted his account on a social media platform used to spread white nationalist hate speech. His extreme stance on the 2020 election being stolen was also totally erased from his website.

In Wisconsin, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels has attempted to distance himself from Donald J. Trump by initially wiping his website of any mention of Trump’s endorsement before being called out.

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LOCAL NEWS: Biden Calls Out Extreme MAGA GOP, Touts Safer America Plan In PA

31 Aug

Yesterday, President Biden traveled to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he emphasized that while MAGA Republicans voted against funding law enforcement, Democrats are investing in making our communities safer.

Here’s a look at what voters across Pennsylvania are reading this morning about the president’s visit:


Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Biden touts public safety policy in visit to Wilkes-Barre

“Biden spent several minutes at the end of his rally contrasting his work to add 100,000 police officers to America’s communities, strengthen gun control and advance mental health issues with the rioters who stormed the capitol and those who defend them. … He framed his policy as supporting robust community policing, while hedging with language about bad policing being held accountable.”

WGAL: Biden touts Safer America Plan during visit to Wilkes-Barre  

“Biden came to Wilkes University to tout his Safer America Plan. He and Democrats are trying to gain the upper hand over Republicans on which party can best tackle crime and protect communities from gun and drug violence. The president called for $13 billion to hire and train 100,000 new police officers, money for enhanced mental health counseling in schools and communities, and harsher punishments for dealing fentanyl.”

PA Homepage: President Biden delivers remarks in Northeast PA  

“President Biden discussed his ‘Safer America Plan’ which funds the police, invests in crime prevention, and takes additional steps on keeping dangerous guns out of the wrong hands.”

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader: ‘We beat the NRA … And I’ll do it again’

“Biden is the first president in nearly 30 years to garner bipartisan support on a comprehensive gun violence prevention package. He signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law in late June. Gov. Tom Wolf advocated for the package as it moved through Congress, and shared his relief when it was signed into law.”

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