Office of the Historian, Foreign Service Institute Release of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1981–1988, Volume IV, Soviet Union, January 1983–March 1985

16 Feb

Office of the Spokesperson

The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1981–1988, Volume IV, Soviet Union, January 1983–March 1985.

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the foreign policy decisions of the administration of President Ronald Reagan. The focus of the volume is on the development of the Reagan administration’s policies toward the Soviet Union from January 1983 to March 1985.

The documentation demonstrates how administration officials developed a four-part agenda to deal with the Soviet Union on arms control, human rights, regional issues, and bilateral relations, and then promoted U.S. positions on these various issues during meetings with Soviet officials. The volume documents several Cold War flashpoints during the contentious months of 1983: the announcement in March 1983 of Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the downing of the KAL 007 airliner by the Soviet Union on August 31, 1983, and the deployments of INF missiles to several NATO allied countries in late November 1983, which led to the Soviet walkout of arms control negotiations in Geneva. The volume also presents selective documentation related to the 1983 Soviet “War Scare” and the November 1983 NATO nuclear exercise, Able Archer (see Appendix A). Even with these challenges, Secretary of State George Shultz and others pressed to keep moving ahead with the four-part agenda and promote greater dialogue in U.S.-Soviet relations. This culminated in an agreement to open new arms control negotiations, the Nuclear and Space talks, on three tracks: START, INF, and Defense and Space, starting in March 1985.

This volume was compiled and edited by Elizabeth C. Charles. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1981-88v04. Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Printing Office online at http://bookstore.gpo.gov  (GPO S/N 044-000-02705-4; ISBN 978-0-16-095828-1), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800). For further information, contact history@state.gov.

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Portuguese Foreign Minister Santos Silva

16 Feb

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

 

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva today to discuss ways to revitalize the U.S.-Portugal relationship and further strengthen Transatlantic ties.  The Secretary emphasized the U.S. desire to work with Portugal, currently the President of the EU Council, to address shared challenges, including COVID-19, economic recovery, China, and Africa. 

Secretary Blinken’s Call with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi

16 Feb

Office of the Spokesperson

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.  Secretary Blinken affirmed the growing significance of the U.S.-Indonesia Strategic Partnership to the prosperity and security of both nations, and pledged to further strengthen the broad range of our bilateral ties.  They discussed the opportunities for increased trade and investment between the United States and Indonesia. Secretary Blinken agreed on the key role of ASEAN-centrality in the Indo-Pacific, and underscored the importance of protecting and preserving a free and open South China Sea. The two leaders expressed deep concern over the coup in Burma. Secretary Blinken also thanked Minister Retno for her important work to bring peace to Afghanistan, applauded her leadership as a positive role model for women and girls, and noted that as the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has unique insights that it can offer Afghans in their pursuit of a political settlement.

The Houthis Must Cease the Assault on Marib

16 Feb

Ned Price, Department Spokesperson

The United States urges the Houthis to halt their advance on Marib and cease all military operations and turn to negotiations.  The Houthis’ assault on Marib is the action of a group not committed to peace or to ending the war afflicting the people of Yemen.  UNOCHA estimates about one million Yemenis have sought refuge in Marib since the beginning of the war to escape Houthi violence.  Marib is controlled by the legitimate government of Yemen.  This assault will only increase the number of internally displaced persons and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, already home to the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

If the Houthis are serious about a negotiated political solution, they must cease all military advances and refrain from other destabilizing and potentially lethal actions, including cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia. They must commit to constructively participate in the UN-led political process and engage seriously in the diplomatic effort led by U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking.  The time to end this conflict is now.  There is no military solution.

Taeniasis: large-scale treatment shows interesting and far-reaching results

16 Feb

A three-year pilot project for the control of taeniasis in Madagascar has shown very interesting and far-reaching results. Eligible adults and children aged five and over in 52 villages in the District of Antanifotsy1 were treated with the medicine praziquantel2 (at a dose of 10 mg/kg). The medicine was well-tolerated, with no major side events reported throughout the duration of the project.

“This is the first such project for the control of taeniasis in Madagascar and we achieved a treatment coverage as high as 95%” said Dr Sylvia Ramiandrasoa, who managed the project. “The key factors that led to this achievement include a comprehensive social mobilization campaign comprising education and communication awareness and the proximity of community health workers with the communities which resulted in high treatment compliance.”

An average of over 73,000 people were treated, every year, for 3 years with a total of 221,308 treatments. Adults and children over 5 years of age were included. The outcome was a significant reduction in the prevalence of taeniasis, observed four months after the last mass treatment of communities in the villages.

“The lessons from this important project and its impact go beyond Madagascar” said Dr Bernadette Abela-Ridder, in charge of WHO’s Neglected Zoonotic Diseases programme. “They show that if we treat people with the right dose at regular intervals, few will get infected or develop neurocysticercosis.”

However, this reduction could not be maintained, and sixteen months after the last treatment, taeniasis returned to its original levels, but the outcome of the pilot project implies a ‘One Health’ approach3 is required to break the cycle of infection. This can effectively happen when regular treatment of people living in endemic areas is combined with pig vaccination and pig treatment.

People in one of the 52 villages in Madagascar’s Antanifotsy District waiting to be treated with praziquantel against taeniasis during a pilot project that ran from 2015-2017

Picture: WHO / People in one of the 52 villages in Madagascar’s Antanifotsy District waiting to be treated with praziquantel against taeniasis during a pilot project that ran from 2015-2017

 

The project, led by the Ministry of Health of Madagascar and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), started in 2015.

Taeniasis is prevalent in rural areas of Madagascar where people practice backyard pig rearing. The parasite that causes taeniasis, T. solium, was first described in the early 1900s in Madagascar.

Taeniasis/cysticercosis

Taeniasis - an intestinal infection caused by T. solium tapeworm - occurs when humans eat raw or undercooked, infected pork.

People who have tapeworms in the intestine will shed tapeworm eggs.

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  1. A rural District in Madagascar and considered the 8th largest, located about 112 kilometres from the capital, Antananarivo.

  2. Praziquantel (PZQ) is a WHO-recommended medicine for the control and treatment of schistosomiasis (bilharzia). It forms part of a class of medications known as anthelminthics. Studies have shown its potential as a highly effective taeniacide.

  3. The health of animals, people, plants and the environment is interconnected. One Health is an integrated approach that recognizes this fundamental relationship and ensures that specialists in multiple sectors work together to tackle health threats to animals, humans, plants and the environment"- Food and Agriculture Organization of the UNited Nations.(FAO).

Consultation: Draft Global Strategy on WASH and NTDs 2021−2030

16 Feb

In 2015, WHO and partners mobilized the WASH community to help accelerate and sustain efforts to control and eliminate NTDs  through a Global Strategy for 2015-2020. This was later supplemented by the publication of a toolkit, developed jointly with the NTD NGO Network (NNN), to help health and WASH partners with the practicalities of working together.

The NTD road map 2021-2030 was launched on 28 January 2021. It aims to strengthen programmatic responses to NTDs, and specifically encourages cross-sector actions in NTD control, elimination and eradication. The road map includes a cross-cutting target on “achieving universal access to at least basic water supply, sanitation and hygiene in areas endemic for NTDs by 2030”, and calls for strengthened coordination and collaboration with WASH stakeholders to ensure that services are delivered and sustained in communities that are most affected by NTDs.

WHO is now updating the 2015 Global WASH-NTD strategy to support the new NTD road map and to incorporate lessons learnt on WASH-NTD collaboration over the past 5 years. The draft Strategy document can be accessed here.

Interested stakeholders are invited to provide feedback using this online form and to circulate among their networks to facilitate broader, comprehensive feedback.

Feedback would be greatly appreciated by 3 March 2021.

 

 

Lithuanian National Day

16 Feb

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I send congratulations to all Lithuanians as you celebrate your independence on February 16.

The United States and Lithuania enjoy a strong bilateral relationship and historical ties as NATO Allies and friends, dedicated to our robust security partnership and to the ideals of democracy, human rights, and rule of law.  The people of Lithuania have provided a powerful demonstration of what democracy can deliver to its citizens.

As you commemorate the 30th anniversary of your courageous fight for the restoration and recognition of your independence, the United States stands with Lithuania in defending the truth of what happened then and supporting the democratic aspirations of your neighbors and others around the world, now.  Our bond will endure as we face together the challenges posed by the global pandemic, while continuing to foster strong political, economic, and security ties that will define our friendship for generations to come.

Congratulations and warm wishes to all Lithuanians.

 

Rocket Attacks in Erbil

16 Feb

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

We are outraged by today’s rocket attack in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. Initial reports indicate that the attacks killed one civilian contractor and injured several members of the Coalition, including one American service member and several American contractors. We express our condolences to the loved ones of the civilian contractor killed in this attack, and to the innocent Iraqi people and their families who are suffering these ruthless acts of violence. I have reached out to Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Masrour Barzani to discuss the incident and to pledge our support for all efforts to investigate and hold accountable those responsible.

 

Delegations Differ over Sanctions amid Growing Concerns over Humanitarian Impact, as Special Committee on United Nations Charter Begins 2021 Session

16 Feb

Amid growing concerns over unilateral coercive measures and their unintended humanitarian consequences, several delegations stressed today that sanctions remain a relevant tool for the maintenance of international peace and security, as the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization opened its 2021 session.

Improving Connectivity, Technical Infrastructure Critical to Meeting Needs of Most Vulnerable, Speakers Agree, as Social Development Commission Continues Debate

16 Feb

The protection of vulnerable communities took centre stage in the Commission for Social Development today, as representatives of Government and civil society alike explored ways to digitally connect the elderly, persons with disabilities, minorities, migrants and people living in rural, coastal or inland areas with the services they need to enhance their well-being.