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State Dept - Highlights 

China's Ivory Commitments

Director Rathke (May 29): "The United States commends the Government of the People's Republic of China for destroying over 600 kilograms of ivory in Beijing today and for its commitment to eventually halt the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products.

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Secretary Kerry (May 29): "Nearly 130,000 courageous UN peacekeepers from 122 countries serve the cause of peace, nearly two-thirds in conflict areas where they operate under robust and demanding mandates often at great personal risk."

An Engine for Innovation

On June 1, Fulbright Foreign Students who participated in the Millennial Trains Project will participate in a panel discussion to showcase the importance of international exchange programs in fostering innovation among emerging leaders around the world.

2015 Investment Climate Statements

May 29: The U.S. Department of State releases today the first of its 2015 Investment Climate Statements, providing country-specific information and assessments on investment-related laws and other pertinent factors for doing business abroad. 2015 Inv

Under Secretary Stengel's Travel

Under Secretary Richard Stengel will travel to Paris, France, June 1-3 for discussions with international partners on the trafficking of looted antiquities.

Conviction of Rafael Marques

Director Rathke (May 29): "The United States is deeply disappointed by the conviction of Rafael Marques for libel, and is concerned about the negative impact this decision will have on the freedoms of expression and press in Angola."

Inauguration of Nigerian President-elect Buhari

May 29: Secretary Kerry leads the official U.S. delegation on behalf of President Obama for the inauguration of Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari.

Daily Press Briefing: Iraq

Director Rathke (May 29): "We will do everything that we can to support Iraqi forces, including the tribes of Anbar, as they try to secure the province from ISIL."

Assistant Secretary Richard's Travel

Assistant Secretary Anne Richard will lead the U.S. delegation to the regional migration meeting in Bangkok on May 29. She will then travel to Malaysia and Indonesia.

USAID Provides Emergency Food Assistance to Sudan

May 27: Food supplied through USAID's Office of Food for Peace will support the UN World Food Program's efforts to feed millions of Sudanese children and displaced persons suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

Ethiopia's Elections

Deputy Spokesperson Harf (May 27): "The United States commends the people of Ethiopia for their civic participation in generally peaceful parliamentary and regional elections on May 24."

Security Sector Reform in Lesotho

Director Rathke (May 27): "The United States is concerned that no one has been held accountable for the August 2014 political unrest and violence between the military and police..."

Humanitarian Assistance for Ukraine Crisis

May 27: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw announced May 23 in Kyiv that the United States is providing $18 million in additional U.S. humanitarian assistance to help those affected by Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Daily Press Briefing: North Korea

Director Rathke (May 28): "We remain concerned about North Korea's nuclear and proliferation activity and we're coordinating with our partners to address that, and at the same time we remain extremely concerned about the grave human rights situation in North Korea.

Assistant Secretary Talwar's Travel

Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Puneet Talwar will travel to Hawaii and Singapore May 26-31.

Assistant Secretary Rivkin's Travel

Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin will travel to Vietnam and Taiwan, May 26 – June 3, where he will focus on strengthening economic ties as the foundation to our robust overall relationships with these economies.

Crisis in Burundi

Deputy Spokesperson Harf (May 25): "The United States continues to monitor the situation in Burundi closely and is prepared to take additional measures against those who commit, incite or ‎promote violence or other human rights abuses and violations.

Russia's "Undesirables" Law

Deputy Spokesperson Harf (May 23): "We are deeply troubled by a new law in Russia that allows the government to ban the activities of 'undesirable foreign or international organizations' in Russia and criminalizes any 'cooperation' with groups with that designation.

Daily Press Briefing: Secretary's Travel

Director Rathke (May 27): "Secretary of State John Kerry will travel Abuja, Nigeria on May 29th to lead the official U.S. delegation on behalf of President Obama for the inauguration of Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari."

Beatification of Monsignor Romero

Secretary Kerry (May 23): "We could pay no more profound a tribute to the life and memory of this champion of truth than to do as he taught us, today, tomorrow, and for generations to come."

Violence and Human Rights Violations in Mali

Deputy Spokesperson Harf (May 23): "The United States condemns the ongoing violence in northern Mali, including reports of summary executions of civilians in Tin Hama, and other human rights abuses and violations."

Daily Press Briefing: Iraq

Director Rathke (May 26): "We are encouraged by reports that Iraqi forces have begun to consolidate, to reorganize, and the Government of Iraq is committed to ejecting ISIL from Ramadi. And we share their determination and are going to support them."

Conclusion of the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference

Under Secretary Gottemoeller (May 22): "Though this conference concludes today, it is clear that the NPT remains the enduring cornerstone for the global nonproliferation regime and will continue to serve as the focus for our efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

U.S.-Cuba Talks

Assistant Secretary Jacobson (May 22): "These are the first steps in the long process of normalization that will allow us to better represent U.S. interests and increase engagement with the Cuban people."

Eastern Partnership Summit

Deputy Spokesperson Harf (May 22): "We are committed to supporting further initiatives that promote democracy and good governance, strengthen energy security, fight corruption, and support economic and social development in Eastern Partnership countries.

Ambassador Sung Kim's Travel

May 22: Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Sung Kim will travel to Seoul, the Republic of Korea and Beijing, China, May 25–29, for meetings with senior officials on North Korea policy.

Daily Press Briefing: Syria

Deputy Spokesperson Harf (May 22): "Our position certainly hasn't changed, that there is no future for Bashar al-Assad. He has lost all legitimacy to lead."

U.S.-Cuba Talks

On Friday, May 22, the heads of delegations will hold sequential press availabilities -- first Cuba, then the United States -- at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT. Watch these events live at

U.S. Passport Information Available in Spanish

May 21: Spanish language information regarding the application for a United States passport is now available via a direct link from the Bureau of Consular Affairs' website: www.Travel.State.Gov/Pasaporte.

Launch of Impact Economy Forum

May 21: Secretary Kerry today announced he will convene a global Impact Economy Forum, focused on clean energy investments and climate change, this fall.

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