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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Travel to Morocco, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates

Office of the Deputy Secretary

From December 11-13, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, in place of Secretary Clinton due to illness, traveled to Marrakech, Morocco to participate in a meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People. This latest meeting provided an opportunity to consult with like-minded governments in the region and around the world on how best to continue support for the Syrian opposition and on efforts to end the bloodshed. While in Morocco, he also met with King Mohammed VI, as well as senior Moroccan Government officials, to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

He then traveled to Tunis, Tunisia to co-host the 9th Forum for the Future Ministerial with the Government of Tunisia on December 13. This year’s Forum welcomed increased levels of civil society, private sector, and government participation and focused on the key themes of women’s empowerment, freedom of expression and association, and economic governance and entrepreneurship. Deputy Secretary Burns also met with senior Tunisian Government officials to discuss progress in the country’s transition to democracy as well as bilateral and regional issues.

Deputy Secretary Burns concluded his trip in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and participated in the 3rd ministerial meeting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) on December 14. The centerpiece of the meeting was the announcement by Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed of the opening of the first-ever International Center of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism, which the GCTF set in motion at its September 2011 launch. The Center will provide a venue for training, dialogue, collaboration, and research to counter violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations by bringing together the experts, expertise, and experience that exist in countries around the globe. The Deputy Secretary also met with senior Emirati Government officials to discuss regional and bilateral issues.

12/14/2012 Global Counterterrorism Forum Plenary
12/13/2012 Forum for the Future
12/12/2012 Remarks to the Friends of the Syrian People
12/12/2012 Press Availability at the 4th Ministerial of the Friends of the Syrian People Meeting

Press Releases
12/14/2012 U.S. Appreciation for the UAE Hosting the Global Counterterrorism Forum
12/14/2012 Ministerial Plenary Co-Chairs Fact Sheet: About the GCTF
12/14/2012 Ministerial Plenary Co-Chairs Fact Sheet: International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism
12/14/2012 Ministerial Plenary Co-Chairs Fact Sheet: The Deliverables
12/14/2012 2012 G8-BMENA Forum for the Future
12/14/2012 Statement of the G8 Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Initiative
12/12/2012 U.S. Provides Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Syrian Crisis

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