Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s Visit to the United Kingdom and Italy

27 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry traveled to the United Kingdom and Italy from July 20 to July 26, 2021, to engage with G20 and international counterparts.  This effort raises the climate ambition ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) this November in Glasgow, UK.

Secretary Kerry delivered remarks on the urgency of global climate action in London at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on July 20.  A video of his remarks is available here .  Secretary Kerry then attended the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate, and Energy in Naples, Italy from July 21 to July 23, where he participated in a series of bilateral and multilateral discussions on the need for increased action to address the climate crisis and the importance of a successful G20 Leaders’ Summit and COP26.  The G20 Energy-Climate Joint Ministerial Communique  included positive progress in key areas, including: the recognition of the leadership role of the G20 with respect to addressing climate; the importance of keeping the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature rise limit within reach; the recognition of the 2020s as a critical decade for climate action; the submission of enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by COP26; the development of net-zero long-term strategies by COP26; and the importance of green COVID-19 recoveries featuring clean energy innovation and deployment, among others.

Returning to the United Kingdom, Secretary Kerry participated in a ministerial meeting from July 25 to July 26 hosted by COP26 President Alok Sharma to discuss key elements of climate ambition and negotiations under the Paris Agreement.

U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Lenderking’s Travel to Saudi Arabia

27 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking arrived in Saudi Arabia today, where he will meet with senior officials from the Saudi and Republic of Yemen Governments.  Special Envoy Lenderking will discuss the growing consequences of the Houthi offensive on Marib, which is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and triggering instability elsewhere in the country.  The Special Envoy will address the urgent need for efforts by the Republic of Yemen Government and Saudi Arabia to stabilize Yemen’s economy and to facilitate the timely import of fuel to northern Yemen, and the need for the Houthis to end their manipulation of fuel imports and prices inside of Yemen.  Finally, Special Envoy Lenderking will meet with representatives from the international community and the UN Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen to discuss the importance of an inclusive peace process and a rapid appointment of a new UN Envoy.  Now is the time to stop the fighting and enable Yemenis to shape a more peaceful, prosperous future for their country.

For any questions, please contact NEA-Press@state.gov and follow us on Twitter @StateDept_NEA.

The United States and India: Deepening our Strategic Partnership

27 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

“The United States and India are working together on so many of the most important challenges of our time and ones that are having a profound impact on the lives of our citizens. The partnership between the United States and India is vital, it’s strong, and it’s increasingly productive.”

Secretary Antony J. Blinken, May 28, 2021

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will travel to New Delhi, India, July 27-28 to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to strengthening our partnership and underscore cooperation on our shared priorities. Secretary Blinken will meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar to discuss a wide range of issues, including continued cooperation on COVID-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis.

Deepening the U.S.-India Partnership

  • The United States and India have a strong strategic partnership founded on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The United States supports India’s emergence as a leading global power and vital partner in efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability, and growing prosperity and economic inclusion.
  • The United States and India cooperate on a wide range of diplomatic, economic and security issues, including defense, non-proliferation, regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, shared democratic values, counterterrorism, climate change, health, energy, trade and investment, peacekeeping, the environment, education, science and technology, agriculture, space, and oceans.
  • In 2008, the United States and India signed an agreement, making India a full partner in the governance and funding of the Fulbright Program. An increase in exchanges under the agreement has allowed for the development of new and innovative programs, and India now has the largest Fulbright Scholar (faculty) program in the world. In FY 2019, this funding provided opportunities for 61 U.S. Scholars, 66 Indian Scholars, 80 U.S. students, including 29 English Teaching Assistants, and 55 Indian students, including 13 Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.
  • The United States and India are working to expand cooperation in international organizations. The United States welcomed India joining the UN Security Council in January 2021 for a two-year term.
  • In October 2020, India hosted the third 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, and the United States looks forward to the next 2+2 later this year.

The Indo-Pacific Front and Center

  • India is a leading global power and a key U.S. partner in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. At the inaugural Quad Leaders’ Summit in March, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi joined their Japanese and Australian counterparts in pledging to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combat the climate crisis, and address shared challenges, including in cyber-space, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maritime security.

Deterring Our Adversaries and Defending Our Interests

  • U.S.-India defense cooperation is reaching new heights, including through information sharing, liaison officers, increasingly complex exercises like Malabar, and defense enabling agreements, such as the secure communications agreement COMCASA. As of 2020, the United States has authorized over $20 billion in defense sales to India.
  • Through the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative, the United States and India work together on co-production and co-development of defense equipment.
  • The United States and India are also closely coordinating on regional security issues, such as Afghanistan.

Combating the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • The United States stands with the people of India as they continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States has contributed more than $200 million for India’s COVID-19 relief and response efforts since the pandemic began, including more than $50 million in emergency supplies  and training for more than 218,000 frontline health workers on infection prevention and control, benefitting more than 43 million Indians.
  • Earlier this year, the United States and India initiated renewal of a memorandum of understanding to collaborate through an International Center of Excellence in Research focused on infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and other emerging threats.
  • The United States and India are partnering to strengthen the global response to COVID-19, on issues ranging from addressing infectious disease outbreaks to strengthening health systems to securing global supply chains.
  • U.S. pharmaceutical companies have coordinated with Indian companies since the beginning of the pandemic. This cooperation includes voluntary licensing and technology transfer agreements to increase global manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines, therapies, and conducting clinical trials.

Tackling the Climate Crisis

  • U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry traveled to India in April of this year and met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They discussed the importance of two of the world’s largest economies leading together to address the climate crisis.
  • At the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April, President Biden and Prime Minister Modi launched the U.S.-India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership to strengthen cooperation on strong actions in the current decade to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to help each country achieve its respective climate and clean energy goals.
  • Under the new Agenda 2030 Partnership, the United States and India look forward to launching the new Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue, led by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and relaunching the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership, led by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, later this year.
  • The United States looks forward to further cooperation with India on tackling the climate crisis and raising global ambition ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK, in November.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Nepali Prime Minister Deuba

27 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today.  Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Deuba emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Nepal partnership and discussed the recent U.S. donation of 1.5 million vaccines and other COVID-19 assistance to Nepal.  The Secretary and the Prime Minister also discussed our cooperation to combat the effects of climate change.

Deputy Secretary Sherman’s Meeting with Omani Deputy Foreign Minister Al Harthy

27 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met today in Muscat with Deputy Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalifa Al Harthy to discuss advancing peace and security in the region and our shared commitment to bolstering the U.S.- Oman bilateral relationship, including advancing new opportunities for trade and investment. The Deputy Secretary also thanked the Deputy Foreign Minister for Oman’s role in mediating peace in the region and underscored the importance of an immediate, comprehensive ceasefire to help bring the war in Yemen to an end.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Peru President-Elect Castillo

27 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Peruvian President-Elect Pedro Castillo and offered congratulations to the people of Peru for an electoral process indicative of a strong and vibrant democracy.  He thanked Peru for its support in addressing the Venezuela crisis and expressed his hope that Peru would continue to play a constructive role in addressing the deteriorating situations in Cuba and Nicaragua.  Secretary Blinken offered continued U.S. support for pandemic recovery and highlighted our donation of two million vaccine doses, as well as hospitals, ventilators, cold storage units, and protective equipment.  He emphasized the United States remains a steadfast economic partner to Peru and reinforced our shared commitment to promoting inclusive economic prosperity, protecting the environment, addressing the climate crisis, improving public health, and ensuring educational opportunities for all.  He applauded Peru’s efforts to combat illegal logging, illegal mining, narcotics smuggling, human trafficking, and corruption.  Secretary Blinken celebrated the enduring partnership and long history of close cooperation between our two nations during Peru’s bicentennial.

 

U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland’s Visit to Tripoli

26 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

U.S. Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland visited Tripoli, Libya July 26 where he met with interim Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba, attended a signing ceremony for a new 5G telecommunications contract between Libyan company Hatif and U.S. company Infinera, and held other meetings with Libyan and international representatives.  Ambassador Norland underscored the need for Libya’s leaders to make key preparations to ensure successful nationwide elections in December, including determining a constitutional basis and the election law that will govern them.  He emphasized that Libya’s leaders must make the necessary compromises to meet the Libyan peoples’ expectation of free and fair elections, an essential step towards a stable, unified, and democratic Libya.  Ambassador Norland also reaffirmed that stability and continued progress on the political and security track will lead to greater economic opportunities, foreign investments, and prosperity for Libyans.  Ambassador Norland was accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury Eric Meyer.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Tunisian President Kais Saied

26 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:  ‎

Secretary Antony J. Blinken spoke with Tunisian President Kais Saied today. The Secretary underscored the United States’ strong partnership and continued support for the Tunisian people as they face the dual challenges of an economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. He encouraged President Saied to adhere to the principles of democracy and human rights that are the basis of governance in Tunisia. The Secretary urged President Saied to maintain open dialogue with all political actors and the Tunisian people, noting that the United States would continue to monitor the situation and stay engaged. 

 

Joint Statement on the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Dialogue

26 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq.

Begin Text:

The delegations of the Republic of Iraq, led by Dr. Fuad Hussein, Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the United States of America, led by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, co-chaired the final session of the Strategic Dialogue, initiated on June 11, 2020, in accordance with the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq (SFA).  The Iraqi delegation also included representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The two sides reaffirmed the importance of these discussions, which focused on strengthening the long-term strategic partnership defined by the SFA and on key issues of mutual concern: regional stability, public health, climate change, energy efficiency, energy independence, humanitarian aid, human rights, economic cooperation, and cultural and educational exchanges, among other issues.  Iraq provided a detailed accounting of its efforts to promote the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons to their home regions, and the United States pledged its continued support in this regard.

The two delegations reaffirmed the principles agreed upon in the SFA.  The United States reaffirmed its respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and laws and pledged to continue providing the resources Iraq needs to preserve its territorial integrity.  The Government of Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to protect Coalition personnel advising and enabling the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and reasserted its position that all Coalition Forces are in Iraq at its invitation.  The two delegations also emphasized that the bases hosting U.S. and other Coalition personnel are Iraqi bases and are operating per existing Iraqi laws; they are not U.S. or Coalition bases, and the presence of international personnel in Iraq is solely in support of the Government of Iraq’s fight against ISIS.  The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no U.S. forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021.  The United States intends to continue its support for the ISF, including the Peshmerga, to build their capacity to deal with future threats.

The two delegations confirmed their commitment to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of the press, through strict adherence to due process of law, national constitutions, and their respective international human rights obligations and commitments.  Both sides confirmed that free and fair elections will strengthen Iraq’s sovereignty, democracy, and development.  The Iraqi side provided a detailed account of its plans to promote voter participation and ensure the safety of voters, candidates, poll workers, local monitors, civil society groups, and international observers.  Both delegations stated their appreciation for the international community’s support, expressed through UN Security Council Resolution 2576 (2021) and concurred that the presence of both a UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) monitoring team and EU observation mission represents a good-faith effort by the international community to support the call of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government for free and fair elections in October.  Iraq welcomed long-running U.S. support for UNAMI, and recent U.S. financial contributions to UNAMI’s electoral-assistance, including for its election monitoring team.

Both sides intend to pursue cooperation in working with international organizations and through intergovernmental processes, including the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Glasgow this fall.  The United States expressed its support for Iraq’s effort to promote economic reform and enhance regional integration, in particular through energy projects with Jordan and the GCC Interconnection Authority.

The two delegations reaffirmed their determination to preserve and strengthen the strategic relationship, across the full spectrum of bilateral issues, for the sake of their respective national interests and their shared interest in regional stability.  The United States and Iraq confirmed that they would resume their discussions through the various coordinating committees enumerated in the SFA.

End text.

Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Aleisha Woodward Travels to Rome, Italy

26 Jul

Office of the Spokesperson

Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Aleisha Woodward will travel to Rome, Italy, from July 28-30, 2021, to lead the U.S. delegation to the G20 Culture Ministerial.

At the G20 Culture Ministerial, the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary will engage in discussions with senior cultural officials and representatives of international organizations on related U.S. priorities. She will reaffirm the United States’ commitment to protecting and preserving cultural heritage, combatting looting and trafficking, recognizing the importance of cultural heritage to Indigenous communities, raising awareness about the effects of the climate crisis on culture and heritage, and building capacity in the culture sector through education and training. She will also meet with foreign counterparts for bilateral discussions and with U.S. and Italian Fulbright alumni.

Throughout the trip, the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary will emphasize the importance of multilateralism when addressing issues of culture and heritage, including the existential threat the climate crisis has on the world’s heritage.

Contact ECA-Press@state.gov for press queries.