The United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Syrian People

30 Jun

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

At today’s fourth Brussels Conference on “Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region,” hosted by the European Union, Special Representative for Syria Engagement Ambassador James Jeffrey announced more than $696 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Syria in response to the ongoing crisis caused by the Assad regime, Russian, and Iranian forces.  This brings the total U.S. humanitarian response to more than $11.3 billion since the start of the Syria crisis.

The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance – both in Syria and around the world.  This assistance is a component of our National Security Strategy, which directs us to continue to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, while ensuring increased global burden-sharing, and to support displaced people close to their homes to help meet their needs until they can safely and voluntarily return home.  We appreciate the European Union’s support in hosting the conference and laud all donors who made contributions today, while encouraging others to do more.  The international community, both traditional and new donors, must remain committed to meeting the growing needs of the Syrian people, a responsibility the Assad regime has proven unwilling to uphold. Instead, it has prioritized funding its reckless and destructive military campaign, payouts to regime loyalists, and the ongoing arbitrary detention of as many as 130,000 Syrian civilians, including women and children.

Today’s announcement of additional assistance through the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is part of ongoing U.S. efforts to provide life-saving food, nutrition, shelter, education, medical care, livelihoods, safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, and improved sanitation as well as mental health and psychosocial support to assist millions of Syrians in need, including those fleeing the devastating bombings by the Assad regime and its allies in northwest Syria. It also supports much-needed counseling and other protection programs for the most highly vulnerable groups, including children, women, persons with disabilities, and the elderly.  This life-saving aid will be provided through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Organization for Migration (IOM), World Food Program (WFP), non-governmental organizations, and others.

The international community relies on cross-border and cross-line access to deliver humanitarian assistance, and Syrians rely on this aid to survive.  In total, 6.5 million Syrians remain displaced within Syria and an additional 5.6 million have fled to neighboring countries.  From December to March, in response to bombing by the Assad regime, Russian, and Iranian forces, nearly one million people in northwest Syria – more than 80 percent of whom were women and children – fled in fear for their lives.  Following an early March ceasefire, over 270,000 people returned to areas of origin in northwest Syria, but approximately 700,000 remain forcibly displaced.

The United States strongly supports UN Secretary General Guterres’ recommendation to restore cross-border access between northeast Syria and Iraq to deliver aid and medicine.  Russia and China cynically conspired to hamper the international community’s ability to deliver humanitarian aid to vulnerable areas in Syria through UN Security Council Resolution 2504, which reduced humanitarian border crossings into Syria from four to two, decreased the authorization process for six months, and stopped 40 percent of the medical aid to northeast Syria, thereby increasing an already significant gap in meeting humanitarian needs at a time of a global pandemic.

The United States supports freedom of movement for all, including forcibly displaced persons and conflict-affected Syrians, as well as the safe, voluntary, and dignified return or resettlement and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons in a process that is free from coercion.  We reaffirm our commitment to a credible and inclusive Syrian-led, UN-facilitated political solution pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

 

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On China’s Threats to Impose Visa Restrictions on U.S. Officials

30 Jun

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on Hong Kong prompted the United States to retool its relationship with the territory. The Chinese Communist Party’s threats to retaliate by restricting visas for U.S. citizens exposes once again how Beijing refuses to take responsibility for its own choices. If China wants to regain the trust of Hong Kongers and the international community, it should honor the promises it made to the Hong Kong people and to the United Kingdom in the U.N.-registered 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

 

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U.S. Government Ending Controlled Defense Exports to Hong Kong

29 Jun

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to eviscerate Hong Kong’s freedoms has forced the Trump Administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory.  As Beijing moves forward with passing the national security law, the United States will today end exports of U.S.-origin defense equipment and will take steps toward imposing the same restrictions on U.S. defense and dual-use technologies to Hong Kong as it does for China.

The United States is forced to take this action to protect U.S. national security. We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China. We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People’s Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary.

It gives us no pleasure to take this action, which is a direct consequence of Beijing’s decision to violate its own commitments under the U.N.-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration.  Our actions target the regime, not the Chinese people.  But given Beijing now treats Hong Kong as “One Country, One System,” so must we.  The United States is reviewing other authorities and will take additional measures to reflect the reality on the ground in Hong Kong.

 

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On China’s Coercive Family Planning and Forced Sterilization Program in Xinjiang

29 Jun

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression. German researcher Adrian Zenz’s shocking revelations are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity. We call on the Chinese Communist Party to immediately end these horrific practices and ask all nations to join the United States in demanding an end to these dehumanizing abuses.

 

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On the Occasion of the Republic of Djibouti’s National Day

27 Jun

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

On behalf of the government and people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Djibouti as you celebrate the 43rd anniversary of your nation’s independence. Djibouti continues to be an important partner of the United States as we work together to foster prosperity and peace in the Horn of Africa. In these difficult times, as the Horn faces the simultaneous challenges of COVID-19, a desert locust infestation, and devastating flood damage, Djibouti has played a leading regional role in addressing these threats. The U.S.-Djiboutian partnership is vital to bringing security and development to the region. We look forward to continuing our important work together for the mutual benefit of the people of Djibouti and the United States.

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