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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Issue 10 - August 16, 2010

Office of Public Liaison
Bureau of Public Affairs


In this issue:

  • Ramadan Message
  • Middle East Peace Talks
  • Urging Iran to Respect the Fundamental Freedoms of its Citizens
  • New START Treaty Ratification
  • Flooding in Pakistan
  • Flooding and Mudslides in South and Central China
  • Deputy Steinberg and Deputy Lew to Participate in CSIS Statesmen's Forum - Iraq
  • Conversations with America: PEPFAR
  • Country Reports on Counterterrorism
  • “To Walk the Earth in Safety” Land Mine Report


Secretary Clinton's Statement in Commemoration of Ramadan

Date: 2009-01-27 00:00:00.0 Description: Official photo of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton State Dept PhotoWashington, DC, Aug 11 – “ On behalf of the United States Department of State, I wish all Muslims around the world a happy and blessed Ramadan.

Ramadan is a time for self-reflection and sharing. American Muslims make valuable contributions to our country every day and millions will honor this month with acts of service and giving back to their communities.

Along with dozens of our Embassies, I will host an Iftar in Washington, DC, for Muslims and non-Muslims to join together and reflect on our common values, faith and the gifts of the past year. At our Iftar, we will also celebrate dozens of young American Muslims who are helping shape the future of our country with their energy and spirit. These young business and social entrepreneurs, academics, spiritual leaders, and other young Muslims around the world are leading the way to a new era of mutual respect and cooperation among all the citizens of our world.

During this month of peace and renewal, I wish the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world Ramadan Kareem.”


Special Envoy Mitchell Returns to Middle East to Urge Peace Talks

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK, August 10 -- Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He characterized the meeting with President Abbas as “serious and positive.” During remarks before his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said, “…we share your objective as you know and we will continue our efforts with you and with President Abbas to try to bring that about to move forward toward our common objective of comprehensive peace in the region…”
Video: Meeting with Abbas»  Video: Before Meeting with Netanyahu»

Urging Iran to Respect the Fundamental Freedoms of its Citizens

WASHINGTON, DC, August 1 0 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rereleased a statement urging Iran to respect the fundamental freedoms of its citizens. Secretary Clinton said, ” The United States is deeply concerned that Iran continues to deny its citizens their civil rights and intimidate and detain those Iranians who seek to hold their government accountable and stand up for the rights of their fellow citizens. We remain troubled by the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who garnered international attention for her verdict of death by stoning….” Secretary Clinton closed by stating, “The United States will continue to stand with people around the world who seek to exercise their universal rights and speak out in defense of human liberties.”  Read More»

New START Treaty Ratification

Washington, DC, Aug. 11 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a press briefing to discuss ratification of the new START treaty which will verifiably limit the strategic nuclear forces of Russia and the United States and will establish equal limits on both countries' strategic warheads, delivery vehicles, and launchers. In the briefing, Secretary Clinton emphasized that “in the weeks and months since the treaty was submitted to the Senate, it has earned bipartisan support from senators on both sides of the aisle as well as statesmen in and out of government from both parties. They understand that once the new START treaty is ratified and enters into force, it will advance our national security and provide stability and predictability between the world's two leading nuclear powers.” The Secretary expressed that she is looking forward to working with members of the Senate to move the treaty out of committee and on to consideration by the full Senate and she is confident about the prospects for ratification.
Read More»  More on the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)»

U.S. Response to Pakistan's Floods

Washington, DC, Aug. 4 – The United States has responded immediately and generously to Pakistan's call for assistance following the tragic and devastating floods that started on July 29. U.S. support to Pakistan consists of financial assistance and the immediate provision of urgently needed supplies. The United States immediately committed $10 million in aid; U.S. humanitarian relief experts have been deployed to the field; U.S. helicopters have already airlifted hundreds of people out of danger and delivered critical supplies including hundreds of thousands of halal meals. The United States has sent boats to help with the search and rescue and water purification units to provide clean water for thousands of people as well as temporary bridges to replace the bridges damaged by the floods. All of this has been done in close coordination with the Government of Pakistan and their disaster management specialists. This represents just the start of our efforts. We will continue to help Pakistan in the days and weeks ahead.

How you can help: Text "SWAT" to 50555 from your phone to give $10 and help these flood victims.

Flooding and Mudslides in South and Central China

Washington, DC, August 10, 2010 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement on the recent flooding and mudslides that have devastated much of South and Central China:

“I join the American people in expressing our deep regret over the loss of life and devastation wrought by recent flooding in south and central China and by the mudslides in Gansu Province this past weekend. The United States is providing support for the ongoing relief efforts through assistance to the Red Cross Society of China. To those affected by this tragedy and to all the people of China, we send our heartfelt condolences.”  Read More»


Deputy Secretaries Steinberg and Lew Discuss the Next Phase in America's Relationship with Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 5 –- Deputy Secretaries of State James Steinberg and Jacob Lew discussed the next phase in America's relationship with Iraq at a " Statesmen's Forum" hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Ambassador Richard Armitage, former Deputy Secretary of State and CSIS trustee, provided the introduction and welcoming remarks and the event was moderated by Stephen Flanagan, CSIS Senior Vice President and Henry A. Kissinger Chair. Expanding on President Obama's recent remarks at the Disabled Veterans of America Conference, Deputy Secretary Steinberg discussed the transition from a military to a civilian-led partnership under the leadership of the State Department. Deputy Secretary Steinberg also addressed the current state of government formation in Iraq, and then turned his remarks to detailing the United States' overarching interests in Iraq for the long-term, both bilaterally and regionally. Deputy Secretary Lew focused his remarks on the implementation of the U.S. strategy for a civilian-led mission in Iraq. Drawing on his recent trip to Baghdad, Mosul, Erbil, and Basra, Deputy Secretary Lew identified the challenges we face in the region and highlighted the steps the U.S. government, particularly the U.S. Department of State, has taken to ensure a smooth transition from military to civilian leadership. Deputy Secretary Lew emphasized the changing nature of U.S. programs in Iraq, programs that the U.S. will tailor to the needs of the Iraqi people.  


A Discussion on PEPFARDate: 08/10/2010 Description: Conversations with America: The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Live broadcast, August 10, 2010. - State Dept Image

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 10 - - Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio, President and CEO of the Global Health Council, held a conversation with Ambassador Eric Goosby, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The discussion was moderated by  Philip (P.J.) Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Public Affairs. The event was streamed live on DipNote, the Department of State's official blog. Members of the public had the opportunity to participate through the submission of questions, some of which were selected for response during the live broadcast.    Read More»  Video»  DipNote Blog: Submitted Questions»


"Citizens from dozens of countries around the world, the vast majority of them not from the United States, are being victimized by terrorism."

Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism

WASHINGTON, DC, August 5 – The U.S. Department of State released its 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism. U.S. law requires the Secretary of State to provide Congress, by April 30 of each year, a full and complete report on terrorism with regard to those countries and groups meeting criteria set forth in the legislation. Beginning with the report for 2004, it replaced the previously published Patterns of Global Terrorism . The first chapter of the report provides a strategic overview of the terrorist threat to the United States and U.S. interests abroad, as well as a description of the setbacks and advances of al-Qaida and its affiliates. The report also includes a country-by-country discussion of foreign government counterterrorism cooperation, as well as chapters on WMD terrorism, state sponsors of terrorism, safe havens, and designated foreign terrorist organizations.
Read More»  Full Report»  Remarks from Briefing with Ambassador Benjamin»

"To Walk the Earth in Safety" Annual Report

Washington, DC, Aug. 3 – The U.S. Department of State released the 9 th Edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety, a report summarizing the accomplishments of the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program, including the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program, the world's largest such operation to help countries safely dispose of landmines and excess arms and munitions. In 2009, the Department of State provided $130 million in mine clearance and weapons destruction assistance in 32 countries, as well as programs to assist conflict survivors and inform area residents of potential risks from unexploded munitions. The United States is the world's single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction. Since 1993, the United States has promoted peace and security through the commitment of nearly $1.8 billion for the safe disposal of small arms, light weapons, and munitions, as well as for removal of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in nearly 50 countries.
Read More»  “To Walk the Earth Safely” Full Report»

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