Briefing With Spokesperson Heather Nauert

Special Briefing
Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Andrews Air Force Base
Joint Base Andrews, MD
April 26, 2018


MS NAUERT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was just sworn in moments ago by Justice Alito at the Supreme Court not long after he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate. No other secretary in recent history has gone on a trip as quickly as he has. Secretary Pompeo is now on his way to Joint Base Andrews, where we’ll be taking off. I’d like to provide you the details of his trip.

First, he’s heading to NATO and we will arrive there in the morning, and that’s when he will reaffirm the importance of our NATO alliance. A lot of meetings that he has planned, including a bilateral meeting with the foreign minister of Turkey, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, and then also the Italian Foreign Minister Alfono. They’re going to talk about Afghanistan. They’re going to talk about Russian deterrence and NATO’s invaluable role in Afghanistan as well.

Next, we will head to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, of course, is a key partner and longtime friend of the United States. The Secretary looks forward to meeting with King Salman and also the foreign minister. We will also stop for a meeting at our embassy with mission personnel. I know the Secretary looks forward to meeting our colleagues in Saudi Arabia.

After that, we’ll head to Israel, where our relationship has never been closer than it is right now with that country. There, the Secretary will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Lastly, we will go to Jordan, our close friend and invaluable ally in the region. He there will meet with King Abdullah and also the foreign minister and visit our mission personnel.

After that, we will head back to the United States, and that is where the 70th Secretary of State looks forward to starting his first full day at work next week at the State Department.

QUESTION: Any decisions about --

MS NAUERT: Questions?

QUESTION: -- of how you picked the stops? I mean, NATO obviously was planned, but why the others?

MS NAUERT: NATO was, of course, planned. Acting Secretary John Sullivan now becomes the deputy secretary once again. He had been planning to go to NATO for that meeting. Now, Director Pompeo will go. The other trips, other locations were selected because of the importance of these key allies and partners in the region and all the events going on in the world today.

Okay, all right.