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“Secretary Pompeo holds a press conference”

“Secretary Pompeo holds a press conference”

good morning everyone thanks for joining me so bright and early today before I begin my formal remarks to thoughts I want to acknowledge the Navy personnel who were gunned down last week in Pensacola extend my personal condolences to their families into the community around Pensacola I’ve spoken about the governor and I spoken with Senator Scott as well we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re taking care of that community and working diligently the part of Defense will have some remarks I think sometime today talking about the things that we’re going to do to reduce the risk of something like this can never happen again and second I want to condemn them this morning or des nated terrorist attack near Bagram Air Force Base in the strongest possible terms sounds like more than four dozen civilians were killed the initial reports show that there were five coalition troops that were at least injured in the attacks as well attacks seriously damaged a hospital that was being rebuilt for the Afghan people this is precisely the kind of activity that we’re working to reduce through the efforts that were undertaking the people of Afghanistan deserve an end to these senseless acts of violence the United States stands with the Afghan people and their security forces and their desire to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan on a happier note I want to also take a moment to celebrate the release of COA Wong the Trump administration secured his release from an Iranian jail over the weekend bringing home wrongfully detained Americans is one of the very highest priorities of this administration now to current business as you all know yesterday the world marked international human right today the administration took a historic number of new actions this week to stand up for oppressed people all around the world and to take action against their oppressors since Monday the US government has dead designated an additional 68 individuals and entities in nine countries for corruption human rights abuses using the global Magnitsky active as you’ll recall that act authorized the Unites States government to call out corruption human rights offenders freeze their assets banned them from entering our great country the sixty of individuals and entities sanctioned this week hail from Burma from Cambodia from the Democratic Republic of the Congo from Latvia Libya Pakistan Serbia Slovakia and South Sudan the human rights abuses that we are attempting to stop include extradition extrajudicial killings max executions of unarmed detainees the murder of an investigative journalist and the use of rape murder and abductions as weapons of war notably we sanctioned for Burmese military leaders responsible for rape executions and systemic violence against the innocent reinga villagers and other religious and ethnic minorities we are the first and only country to take public action against the commander in chief of the Burmese military forces men on long and his deputy we call on others to do the same all together these designations constitute the most significant set of global Magnitsky sanctions taken today yesterday – the State Department designated to individuals for visa and eligibility for gross violation of human rights these actions are separate from the Gloam AG sanctions that I spoke of previously the first individuals former Saudi diplomat Mohamed el tybo he was the Consul General in Istanbul in 2018 when Saudi journalist Jamal khashoggi was murdered in the consulate the second individual was a Russian Aslan are asking off head of the Ministry of Interior affairs for the city of Grozny and the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation we believe him to be responsible for the summary execution of 27 human beings and finally I’d like to turn to the Islamic Republic of Iran as long as it’s malign behavior continues so will our campaign of some pressure today I’m announcing designation of three Iranian transportation companies that helped Iran import items for its weapons of mass destruction programs these programs involved the siphoning of funds away from the oppressed Iranian people and they augment the regime’s campaign of terror and intimidation home and throughout the world the companies designated today are as follows the Islamic Republic of Iran shipping lines it’s the shipping line of choice for Iranian proliferators and procurement agents bristles WMD designation was lifted in January 2016 under the jcpoa and that was an enormous mistake since then that entity is knowingly engaged in activities and transactions that materially contribute to Iran’s proliferation of WMDs to allow exporters of humanitarian goods sufficient time to find alternative shipping methods the designation will become effective 180 days on June 8th of next year second we’re designating a sale shipping company a firm based in Shanghai the sale knowingly transports illicit materials from Iran’s aerospace industries organization which oversees all of Iran’s missile industry it has also worked with at least two other Iranian organizations subject to UN sanctions similarly to the previous one this will take a place take effect 180 days from today we’re also designating Mahon air and three of its sales agents effective immediately you’ll note monitors previously designated under counterterrorism authorities back in October of 2011 for a surprise providing support to the IRGC forces but today’s designation recognizes the specific role Mahon air place in WMD proliferation through its shipments of you and restricted missile and nuclear items to Iran including controlled graphite and t700 carbon fiber in addition the United States is sanctioning an Iranian shipping Network that helped smuggle weapons into Iran excuse me from Iran to Yemen to support the IRGC goods force fighters today’s destinations put the world on notice those who engage in illicit transactions where these companies will risk exposure to sanctions themselves they also want to remind Americans and people of all nationalities about the massive risks associated with travel to Iran the State Department has previously issued a level for travel advisory for that country it’s our highest threat level Americans and particularly dual national Iranian Americans traveling to Iran face a very high risk of kidnapping arrest and detention all of the actions taken this week get to the heart of what makes America unique we’re a nation that out and only believes in inalienable rights of all people but was founded on protecting those rights we don’t just talk about them we take action in support of them we defend them around the world because it’s our duty to do so who we are we are for instance watching the trial in Cambodia of opposition leader Kim Seok ah we’re keeping an eye on all of the activity and the new government of Sri Lanka and much more with that I’ll take a handful of questions I am wondering if you have gotten any indication from Iran that the release of mr. Wang could herald a much broader dialogue on the issue of detainees hostages and then secondly I’m wondering if you can clarify something from yesterday you were fairly explicit or very explicit and in the press conference with foreign minister Lavrov that you had raised election meddling and warned Russia against it and the White House you went you went to the White House the White House statement said that the president had raised the same issue but then later foreign minister Lavrov suggested that the only way it came up in the White House meeting with President Trump was when he complained to the president about you bringing up the subject in your meeting earlier can you did the president make it clear to foreign minister Lavrov that you wouldn’t stand for election meddling or is he just playing the game it’s a first question first I do hope that the exchange that took place will lead to a broader discussion the consular affairs we still have Americans held in Iran too many for sure we are working to try and develop that to expand that to use this as an opportunity to continue that effort you know that Security Advisor former Speaker Brian our team here at the State Department both the professionals working on this as well as our on team are very focused on getting every one of these Americans back and so I hope that it portends well for this we’ve had some indication that that may be the case but I don’t want to overstate that I don’t want to give false optimism about that pathway American people should just know we’re serious about this we’re intent on it we will follow every even tiny opening we see to deliver and get these people back we’ll do so in a way that’s very consistent with what the administration has done we don’t send pallets the cash and send bags of money we don’t change our policy you see today we’re still announcing continuation of our maximum pressure campaign but if we can find an opening to deliver these people back to their families and back to America we will certainly do that with respect to the discussion of Russian meddling it happened in every meeting I was in I think I was in three here at the State Department of then over at the White House I will leave to the White House to give the details of what I said I never talked about what the president says in those private settings but I can I can tell you that foreign minister Lavrov statement is not accurately a reflection of my recollection of that meeting and there was no mistake that President Trump made clear in the meeting that he had with foreign minister Lavrov and the rest of the Russian team that was there the president Trump personally in America finds their meddling in our elections unacceptable in the very same way that I had said it earlier to foreign minister Lavrov had been targeted assassinated and kidnapped by militia under the eyes of the security forces how do you view these actions and on Lebanon the international support group for is meeting today in France is the international community ready to provide the financial aids to Lebanon at this time so your second question with respect to financial assistance for Lebanon I know the meetings taking place we’re working on it we know that the financial situation there is very serious that the central bank is under under real pressure and that the Lebanese people are challenged they don’t have access to their their accounts in a way that is full and sufficient and adequate we need to continue to work on that but the responsibility lies with the Lebanese people the responsibility for how the government of Lebanon will be formed and shaped falls to the Lebanese people to demand a Lebanese sovereignty Lebanese prosperity Lebanese freedom from influence from outside entities we have a designated terrorist organization their Hezbollah and I know that the people of Lebanon understand the risk that that presents to their freedom their capacity to deliver for themselves this is not an American proposition that is the proposition of the Lebanese people and we do stand ready to do the things that the world can do to assist the Lebanese people of getting their economy right in getting their government righted and we’re very hopeful that the Lebanese people will be successful in that as for Iraq we’ve we’ve watched the protests there we’ve watched Iraqi Shias take action in Karbala and Joff they – much like we just talked about the Lebanon the Iraqi people want a sovereign independent Iraq that’s what the United States has supported for an awfully long time now great risk in cost to the United States of America we’re continuing our counterterrorism campaign in Iraq and stand ready as the Iraqi government asks us to to support the Iraqi people in ensuring that the influence from those who don’t want the sovereign free and independent Iraq don’t have their way inside of that country um one of the sanctions company that you just announced it’s a Chinese company based in Shanghai as you have know our China is one of the signatories of jcpoa and china has been opposing the US withdrawal from jcpoa if I may what is the u.s. message to China regarding the Iran related issues that the u.s. I still believe in a dialogue with China to handle such global security issues the reason I asked is for the first time in recent years the annual high-level falador on dialogue between US and China to talk about diplomatic and security issues did not happen this year or at least there’s no side to take place this year thank you so I actually spoke with my Chinese counterpart over this past weekend one of the issues we discussed was closely related to this substance is part of our Iranian maximum pressure campaign we are working to make sure that every nation complies with this with a set of US requirements and China is no exception and so we’ve talked to them about this we’ve asked them not to take Iranian crude oil and we will continue to impose our sanctions regime on those countries that are violating especially when the violations relate to their WMD programs that’s important for the Middle East it’s important for our friend and ally Israel it’s important for the United States and for the whole world and so these sanctions are aimed not at China not at the Iranian people but at the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran that is engaged in activity that poses threats around the world and we were we will continue to build out this effort to seek to convince the Iranian leadership to conform their actions to be a normal nation that’s what this is about we will continue to work with all the nations that are impacted by this including China Thank You secretary um thank you for doing this yesterday um at your joint presser with mr. Lavrov you mentioned that you’re looking to cooperate more on Libya as well um there was an American drone down by the Russians and we reported that US is looking to get back the remains of it did this come up have you discussed this and the US and Russia are sort of at the opposite odds of the conflict in Libya how are you going to cooperate I will leave to the department defense to talk about the specific issue there with respect to the incident that you’re referring but more broadly on Libyan our efforts are very clear there is a political process I think you heard foreign minister Lavrov say yesterday if he didn’t say it in the public meeting he has said it before there is a deep recognition that a political resolution is the only way to take the level of violence down and create security for the people of Libya there’s no military solution to this there’s no there’s no capacity for any of the forces that are competing there to resolve this in a way that they can create create victory on the battlefield that leads to a political resolution that has stability it’s just that there’s no one that that I’ve spoken to in Europe in Russia in the Middle East that believes that that’s possible so we want to work with the Russians to get to the negotiating table have a series of conversations that ultimately lead to a disposition that creates what the UN has been trying to do for an awfully long time foreign minister Lavrov told me directly yesterday he is prepared to be part of that to continue it I reminded him that there is a weapons embargo that is still in place in Libya and that no nation ought to be providing incremental material inside of Libya and that we have reached out not only to the Russians but to others who are providing weapons systems there and saying it’s not in the best interest if we’re going to get to a political resolution that is not the appropriate path for it only creates more risk more violence and moves us further away from the political resolution that Libya so desperately needs and will ultimately be the pathway to getting a Libya with a governing coalition to get the outcome right there thank you all very much have a great day you [Music] you

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