Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo remarks to the Media.
Everyone Hi, all the day. Very good. I’m good. And seeing as we’re down the Fourth of July or quickly approaching, I thought I’d lead off with some thoughts on America’s founding principles. For us this morning, the United States was the first nation established on the premise that government exists to protect our God given unalienable rights. I’ll have more to say about that in just a couple weeks. It was a revolutionary idea. We shouldn’t forget that as we talk about these complex foreign policy issues, the idea of government for the people by the people was and remains important and was unique. We’re always striving for a more perfect union. We don’t get it right every day, but we try to improving. We use our unmatched power to protect rights at home and abroad. Happy early fourth of July day. You will and to your families now turning to the substance of my remarks today and I won’t talk about one of the world’s most unfree countries. Yesterday, the Chinese Communist Party implemented its draconian national security a lot on Hong Kong in violation of commitments that it made to the Hong Kong people and to the United Kingdom in a U. N registered treaty and in contravention of Hong Kongers, human rights and fundamental freedoms free Hong Kong was one of the world’s most stable, prosperous and dynamic cities. Now that will be just another Communist run city where it’s people will be subject to the party elites whims. It’s sad indeed, this is already happening. Security forces are already rounding up on Congress for daring to speak and think freely. The rule of law has been eviscerated, and, as always, the Chinese Communist Party fears it’s own people. More than anything else, The United States is deeply concerned about the loss sweeping provisions and the safety of everyone living in the territory, including Americans. Article 38 of the new law also purports to apply to offenses committed outside of Hong Kong by non residents of Hong Kong, and this likely includes Americans. This is outrageous and an affront to all nations. On Friday, we implemented visa restrictions on those responsible for the Hong Kong crackdown. On Monday, we announced that we would end defence equipment and dual use technology exports of us Origen going to the territory. We will continue to implement President Trump’s directive to end Hong Kong’s special status. Other federal agencies are involved as well. I applaud FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s for destiny, designating Wall Way and ZTE as national security risks. We’re also continued Teoh Take Action to build on President Trump signing of the weaker Human Rights Policy Act today the United States Department of State, along with Treasury, Commerce and DHS. Oh issuing a business advisory to companies with supply chain links to entities, complicity in forced labor and other human rights abuses in Xinjiang and throughout China. CEO should read this notice closely and be aware of the reputational economic and legal rest of supporting such assaults on human dignity. I want to call attention to recent credible and deeply disturbing new reports that the Chinese communist parties imposing forced sterilization and abortions on Uighurs and other minorities in western China. This shocking news is sadly consistent with the CCP ease, decades long, callous disregard for the sanctity of human life. I call on all nations, women’s advocates, religious groups and human rights organizations to stand up for the Chinese people’s basic human dignity. Look, the Chinese Communist Party’s brutality affects the rest of the world to We welcome India’s ban on certain mobile APs that conservative appendages of the CCPS surveillance state India’s clean app approach will boost India’s sovereignty. It will also boost India’s integrity and national security. Is the Indian government sell itself has stated today. Canada’s National Day celebrations are dimmed by the CCP s recent decision to bring trumped up espionage charges against Michael Core Big and Michael Sparber. The CCP is propagandist have implied thes two Canadian citizens or hostages held in retaliation for Canada’s lawful arrest of Wall Ways executive. She is charged by Department of Justice with bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. I commend the Canadian government for standing firm and backing their independent legal system. Hostage taking for political gains puts China in league with the Iran’s and Venezuela’s of the world. The two mikes need to come home now in the Middle East. At the Force, a Brussels conference on Syria yesterday, the United States announced it almost $700 million in humanitarian assistance to support Syrians inside the country and displaced abroad, bringing our total funding to just over $11.3 billion since the conflict began. more than nine years ago in Iraq. I want to commend the government there for bringing all armed groups under its control, including those firing rockets at Iraqi government facilities. The presence of these lawless actors remains the single biggest obstacle to additional assistance or economic investment for the country. For the world to help Iraq, rock must first help itself. Baghdad’s actions are a step in the right direction, and we applaud them. I want to know three brutal honor killings that have taken place in Iran. 14 year old Romania Sharafi, 19 year old Fatima Bharti and 22 year old Rouhani Armory tour beheaded, and one was beaten to death with an iron bar at the hands of relatives. For 40 years, corrupt Iranian leaders have Condoned murder, dehumanized women and ignored cries for justice. When will they stop this unspeakable, wicked assault on human dignity? Staying on Iran? Because many of you saw yesterday, I spoke to the U. N. Security Council, urging them to retain the 13 year old arms embargo on Iran. These restrictions, as a result of the failed JCP away set to expire in October if Iran is allowed to buy weapons from the likes of China and Russia. More civilians in the Middle East will die at the hands of the regime and its proxies. It’s that straight forward Iran will become an arms deal for the Maduro’s and Assad’s of the world. Sworn enemies of Israel, like Hamas and Hezbollah, will be better armed. European nations will be put at risk. Our team was put together short video. That explains why this is so important. Like to show it to you now. So when you will hear about legal niceties and complexities and intra international fighting about what the right course of action is, remind yourself about what happens to the world. If this arms embargo is lifted in the end, that’s what matters. In the end, it’s what the U. N. Security Council has the capacity to ensure does not take place, remind you to go back and look at remarks from the previous administration about the fact that the United States has the unambiguous right, without the consent of any other nation. To ensure that this arms embargo stays in place, this administration to do everything we can to make sure that that happens to keep not only American people say, but to reduce instability in the Middle East, a little north of Iran. We applaud this week’s constitutional form in the Republic of Georgia. We call on Georgia’s parliament to honor the will of the Georgian people and pledges of Georgian official through the passage and implementation of international recommended election reforms. Good on them. And yesterday, for the third time in less than a year, I met with my counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kirghizia Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the C five plus one format. We share many goals, including peace in Afghanistan, strengthening regional trade, energy and security ties, and building resilient economies for each of those countries. As a sign of America’s focus on building genuine partnerships are Development Finance Corporation CEO Adam Bowler is today accompanying Ambassador Helios on on a trip to the region to scout out investment opportunities where American businesses can be successful and help these countries be sovereign and independent as well. Congratulations are in order for the Democrat Democratic Republic of Congo. In an unrest unprecedented ruling, President Xi Shi, Codey’s chief of staff, was convicted for corruption. No one, however high in office, should be above the law. And last week the people of Malawi elected Lazarus check where as their next president. This is only the second time, the second time that a court second time that in America in Africa rather than a court has overturned a presidential election tainted by irregularities in the only time that a re election process has resulted in an election oven opposite party candidate truly historic opportunity for the people of that country. This past week, the United States and Russia held the first round of nuclear arms control talks are two sides met in Vienna. They had positive, detailed discussions on a wide range of topics, including China’s secretive buildup. Beijing regrettably boycotted the talks, continuing its record of secrecy and rejection of multilateralism. And on Monday, the Bureau of Energy Resource is Lead. An interagency working group is part of the US Greeks strategic dialogue, where we’re working together to diversify energy sources in Southeast Europe, develop resource is together and promote regional energy security and finally to our hemisphere. All 21 0 s member states voted last week to condemn the Maduro regime’s attempt to suppress independent political parties in Venezuela. Our region has categorically rejected the attempts to create a phony, majeure friendly opposition. The United States also congratulates the people of Suriname in their elections and a peaceful transition of power to a new National Assembly. We look forward to working with that new government, In contrast, has now been four months since Chiana selection long past due for a peaceful transition of power care. Com in the O. A s have certified the recount results should get on with it. I have instructed my department assure those who undermine Ghana’s democracy are held accountable. Also today, the USMC it comes into effect, it will open up new opportunities for US, Mexico and Canadian business and consumers. Good news. Finally, a book in my remarks by marking another anniversary July 1st marks the 70th anniversary of the Fulbright Thailand America educational programs and cultural programs. The world like this underscore America’s respect for freedom, democracy, decency and respect for human rights. And with that, I’m happy to take question for Bill, uh, one on the arms embargo. Um, I was curious if the U. S. Is willing to extend except a temporary extension to potentially get Russia China to go along with it it’s open. You could get into the specifics of what terms are acceptable and on the larger nuclear violations that, um, the U. S. And now the i. E. A. Have identified. Are we looking at a menu of options for repercussions for this and specifically, might snap act be one of those options on the menu? I was hoping you could touch on that specifically because it seems somewhere making the argument that snapback accounts for the arms embargo and, of course, all other restrictions. So it’s open. You could talk about that a bit support of all our objective is not to extend the arms embargo for a short period of time. That’s how we got into this mess, right? Uh, the arms embargo should be lifted when the Islamic Republic around begins to behave in a way that is consistent with the ability to move arms around the world toe purchase toe act in a way that’s consistent with the way normal nations act. So it’s not a time limited matter. It’s a conditions based matter, and our objective is to make sure that the lifting of the arms embargo is conditions based, and when the time is right. Happy to let it happen tomorrow. But extending it for six months or a year or two years fundamentally falls into the same trap that the previous administration fell into. I know there’s a bit of a straw man argument. What if you got 20 years? What if you got 50 years? What if you got 100 years? I don’t want to talk about anything specific. What? Our objective is very clearly to say that the lifting of that arms embargo is not appropriate until such time as the world can be assured that these folks won’t use those weapons systems or the money that flows from the sale of those weapons systems for malign purposes. Um, as for the other provisions, what’s happening at the IAEA? Make sure everybody’s up to speed the IAEA file report. That made very clear that the Iranians have failed to allow access to two sites that is suspected of potentially having engaged in nuclear activity related to their previous programs, programs that predate the JCP away. The Iranians continued to deny access to the IAEA. This is not about the JCP away. This is about than NPT framework. The safeguards provisions that every nuclear power signs up for and that the Iranians have agreed to This is outside and separate from the JCP away. It’s never been the case before that. The regime has denied access to the IAEA. And so, yes, in terms of how we’re thinking about responding, we hope the world will see that this is a serious risk to the entire nonproliferation regime. And the United States is prepared to lead to come up with responses to this which would be appropriate, consistent with practice, protecting and preserving that regime against Iranian intransigence that is entirely appropriate. Hope the Iranians will change their mind. The lawful i e. A unfettered, repeated, consistent access to date that chosen not to do so in your body. Go from Straits Times And in remarks about a week ago at the Brussels forum, you mentioned the review off off American resources abroad, force postures and so forth reordering. Could you tell us a little bit more about that? And specifically, does the Indo Pacific and Asian in particular figure in that? So I’ll leave specifics about force posture to Secretary Asper, but there’s important foreign policy ramifications. How we think about resource allocation, how we secure American freedom. And so this is something that’s been going on frankly, since the national security strategy was laid down, that roughly the beginning outside of the administration. And so we have consistent but looking for not only how we deploy our forces Department of Defense Forces, but all of the assets that we have. How do we think about our cyber capable? How do we think about where our embassies are to be? So we have the State Department’s undergone a parallel process of thinking about how do we engage diplomatically? Where do we need to be? Where do we need to vote our resource as well? So this has been a broad national security strategic review that’s thinking about how do we focus on the threats that challenge us today and not those that challenges 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. And then, as your question suggested, we have certainly raised our game with respect to thinking about the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses to the United States of America, and you will see that resource is and strategy will be the result of the objective that President Trump laid out. Okay? You yesterday a following your speech at the Security Council, that German representative said that the US has no standing in this meaning to involve U N. Sanctions. And by doing so, you will be violating the international. How do you comment on that? And what extent would does not back the efficient if it is not supported by your allies by your European allies? So two things that I don’t want to get into the legal analysis. But you’re suggesting we have the full authority to go exercise that right as a participants, and you execute council resolution 22. 31. We’re highly confident we have the right to exercise that it is not our first objective. We hope that the U. N. Security Council, the Chinese, the Russians, every partner there will see that is in their best interest to deny Iran this benefit that comes when they have not changed the behaviour. One lick, Uh so So we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to do this without having to go through a complex, difficult process at the U. N. So that’s our certainly our objective on we think we think will prevail. We think as we get closer, the world will see if you are a citizen living in Brussels or you’re someone in Athens. Do you really want the Iranian regime to have Chinese fighter points? I don’t think so. I think I think the government agrees will conclude the same thing if you’re if you’re sitting in Finland and you’re trying to sort your way through about whether it’s a good idea for the Russians to be able to have another partner, who they sell weapons. So I think this country, I think each nation will conclude this is a bad idea. They will regret that the JCP away allowed this to expire and now join us in this. It is certainly a full fledged diplomatic effort that we’re engaged in to convince the world that this is the right outcome, not just for the United States, but go talk to our partners in Saudi Arabia or the Emirates and Kuwait. They know, too, that if Iran has been allowed to become an arms merchant again, instability in the Middle East will flow. John, Secretary on this bounty issue You had some conversations of a senior Russian officials after your aides were told about evidence of the Russian bounties. Did you use those opportunities to tell Moscow not to endanger U. S troops in that manner? So let’s back up. Let’s back up. A lot of what you said suggests knowing that I don’t think you actually have. I don’t want to comment. I’m on the intelligence. CIA has put out a statement. DNA has put out a statement. But I can tell you, the intelligence community handled this incredibly well. We see threats in intelligence reporting to our soldier station all over the world every single day, every single day. And so I can assure you that whatever reporting it is that you’re referring to that we responded in precisely the crack way with respect to making sure that our forces were postured appropriately, that they were aware of the level of threat, the credibility of the threat, and that we were there. Second, the fact that the Russians are engaged in Afghanistan in a way that’s adverse to the United States is nothing new, by the way. So members of Congress were out there today suggesting that they are shocked and appalled by this. They saw the same intelligence that we saw. So it would be interesting to ask them what they did when they saw whatever intelligence is that they are referring to. They would have had access to this information as well. Not just the intelligence committees, by the way, even more broadly than that, Uh, we took this seriously. We handle it appropriately. Uh, the Russians have been selling small arms that put Americans at risk there for 10 years. We have objected to it to your point. When I meet with my Russian counterparts, I talked with him about this each time. Stop this. We think we have a not perfect but somewhat overlapping objective in Afghanistan. It’s on their doorstep. We know they were routed in Afghanistan, right? So they have an objective there to to reduce the risk of terrorism there. So yes, Uh, maybe not every time, but with great frequency. When I speak to my Russian counterparts, we talk about Afghanistan. We talk about the fact that we don’t want them engaged in this, but it’s just so everybody can be level set. Money flowing to Afghanistan to support the Taliban has been going on since we went to Afghanistan. Now almost two decades ago. It’s not just the Russians, indeed, probably not. Majority of the Russians money’s flowed from lots of places from Iran. Even today, the Iranians continue to undermine what we’re trying to accomplish in terms of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. It’s it’s incredibly important that you take in context how it is. This reporting is developed and how it is. The United States has responded this. We do everything we can and this president has been vicious and securing American freedom and protecting American soldiers. Last point there’s some suggested somehow that there wasn’t appropriate response taken because this was Russia. If you have 20 minutes, I will read to you what this administration has done with respect to Russia. But instead I’ll just provided to for the record. But it starts with a $700 billion allocation of resource is the Department of Defense. It continues withdrawal from the eye and have something The Russians remain unhappy about. What we’ve done in Syria to push back against them, including against the Wagner Group. This administration has taken seriously the threat from Russia. I only wish we had not had so much to clean up from the previous administration’s work to allow Russia to get on the ground in Syria, make enormous gains interfere in elections in the United States of America under the previous administration’s watch, we’ve had a lot to clean up on. President Trump has been serious about responding to this in a way that protects America, keeps Americans safe and everyday, working diligently. Make sure that we keep our soldiers safe wherever any threat, whether that’s from Russia or otherwise, otherwise presents itself through the U. S. Is viewed Russia as a bad actor. But wouldn’t the bounties be an escalation? Wouldn’t the bounties be an escalation? Thank you, Morgan. Thank you, Mr Secretary. My question is, you just mention about the the report written by Dr Adrian’s ends regarding the forces sterilization and abortion off the weaker population there by China, assimilating the weaker people in the report. Actually, Doctor Zandt’s he presented compelling evidence that the Chinese government says of your human rights violation off the weaker people meet the criteria of genocide, a Z find by the U. N. Convention on Genocide, and also former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten called China’s policy toward the weaknesses. Also, Chan aside. In addition to that you’re in Parliament. Share Reinhardt a bit of and his first vice share Avlynn get part in their joint statement yesterday. Also say that the report further corroborate the assessment that we may be witnessing the implementation of genocide. I know you also issued a statement regarding this report. So do you believe China is committing genocide wars? Weaker people in that state’s has taken the strongest action of any nation in the world to protect the human rights of all Chinese people, including the weaker people will continue to do that. I hope our European allies, allies in the region will take this seriously, help other Muslim nations. I will take this seriously as well and respond in a way that has the opportunity to protect those people’s human rights. We’ll evaluate how we think about the Chinese actions and what it is we ought to call them. We’ve We’ve worked closely with Congress to pass legislation, legislation that if I recall, correctly passed nearly unanimously on Capitol Hill. President signed that legislation. The United States takes seriously our obligations to preserve human rights. Human rights of the people in China will continue to do that. We’re constantly evaluating those actions against the legal norms and standards for the world. Um, given all that you just laid out about the threat from Russia is now the time to be bringing Russia back into the G seven. And if I may on Hong Kong, Um, obviously, China has passed the national security law, and the punitive measures that have been taken so far don’t appear to have prevented them from taking these actions. So how far is the U. S willing to go? And are you willing, Teoh, take the mandatory actions laid out mandatory sanctions laid out in the Hong Kong? Well, if the mandatory will do it, we always comply with the law. Here. It’s state form. All right, so what we do on so we will absolutely implement those laws both consistent with the letter and the spirit of what those statutes are. So we will We will certainly do that on there is more work to do for sure. Uh, but in the end, in the end, general Secretary, she gets to make the decision about whether he wants to move his nation closer to something that is disconnected from the world in the most fundamental ways they talk about. When I was in Honolulu, they talk about wanting to be good stewards, international players that comply with multilateral obligations. But when you’re violating citizen’s most fundamental freedoms, we should look to your actions, not your words. And so that’s what we will continue to do, will continue to do all the things that we can. And importantly, we will continue to build out a global coalition that understands the challenge of the Chinese Communist Party threat places on freedom loving peoples all across the world. This isn’t a US China challenge. This is a challenge that is between freedom and authoritarianism, and so long as we keep that foremost in our minds. I’m confident that freedom loving peoples of the world will prevail with respect to Russia in the G seven up. But when they were in this, they were causing problems. They’re out of it and they still continue to present risk to us. We need to talk to the Russians, and so President gets to decide if he wants them to come to some it’s or not. That’s his decision. I’ll certainly leave that to him, but I do believe it is absolutely important that we have more frequent engagement with the Russians. You saw we had two days in Vienna last week to talk about really critical strategic dialogue about nuclear weapons systems proliferating around the world. I think it is holy important and appropriate for the United States that continue to have dialogue with the Russians to convince them to change some of the activities that are inconsistent with what it is United States needs to do to preserve security and freedom for its own people. Good morning. I understand you don’t want to get into the specifics of this intelligence, but now that it has been, it’s not. I don’t want to. I won’t because I’m not gonna further jeopardize intelligence capabilities. I’m not gonna put at risk the young men and women in Afghanistan in the same way that some news organizations have done. I just simply won’t engage in that kind. It’s inappropriate, it is dangerous and you want not be part of that. As a former CIA director and soldier, however, do you feel that the president should have been told about the Russian bounty being offered to the Taliban to kill U. S troops, even if that was not fully verified. Intelligence. You have six things in your question there that are just I’m not going to go there. You’ve got assumptions about things that just don’t don’t reflect what it is that we’ve actually seen and done with respect to this, this idea this, that this administration has been good. And when I was saying Director I was directly involved in this and making sure that the president had the relevant information he needed to make important strategic decisions, you should know that threats. I’ll give you an example of threats to our embassy. Every morning I get a briefing its first or second thing. I do every day about challenges that we have threats to our embassy. I don’t share that with the president. Every day is there. America sees their State Department diplomats whose whose are at risk. What we do is we do the hard work. We put our team on the ground. We make sure we have the security posture, right if necessary. I call my counterpart of department offense and make sure that his forces air properly positioned. If the threat is a verifiable enough and of a sufficient threat. How we do this every day we make those judgments. That’s my responsibility to do that, to do it well, when the threat is sufficiently serious. The scale, the threat is of such importance that there’s an action that I think that the president needs to be aware of and the information that I’ve seen is sufficiently credible. Then we make sure that the president is aware of that. The president has been consistently aware of the challenges that Russia presents us and he is aware of the risk in Afghanistan. It’s why we have I spent so much time over this past year at the president’s direction to reduce risk to our forces in Afghanistan in a way no previous administration has done. We’ve said about a peace and reconciliation plan inside of the end, by the way, as part of that, we’ve talked to the Russians about how we can reduce the risk of violence from the Taliban to Americans on the ground in Afghanistan. Now we’ve we’ve taken the threat and the president’s taking the threat to our forces in Afghanistan incredibly serious. Throughout the entire duration of this administration, your opinion that the president, I have a question. Didn’t need to know about this intelligence. Thank you, Mr Secretary. My question is on Lebanon that even his judge, who issued a ruling banning global and foreign journalists from interviewing the U. S. Ambassador to Beirut submitted his resignation yesterday after he was a fear to judicial inspection over the ruling. Is they satisfied with that? And are you concerned off any military escalation between Israel and Hezbollah in the near future? But we’re always concerned about the space between Hezbollah and Israel, but related to this incident with our ambassador and her ability speak freely there. That doesn’t raise my concerns greatly. I don’t think that greatly increases the risk of conflict between the two. As for this judge, no longer being the judge. Um, one fewer Hezbollah judge is always a good thing. Tracy, Secretary, you just mentioned you talked about having talked to the Russians about reducing threats to American service people and from the Taliban. And yet that just for the Taliban just okay from various. But, you know, if indeed they were offering, the Russians were offering bounties. If indeed, Yes. Okay. Wait. Just just you all you all are going places that I’m not gonna go because we have. We have work that is important to keep our soldiers safe. And I’m not gonna allow you to lay down questions with facts that asserted and say, Oh, he didn’t refute what I said in my question. Therefore, it must be true. I’m not I’m not gonna not gonna go down that path with you, OK? But this would seem a major escalation. And you’ve talked about Iran. Anytime. Iran would would attack American troops through their proxies, there would be consequences to pay. And so I’m just wondering if that same kind of warning should not be given to the Russians. I can assure you I can absolutely assure you that way. See serious, credible threats from the Russians. Whether there’s are Russians engaged in threatening activity in Ukraine, Russians gaijin threatening activity in Syria, Russian threatening activity there now in Libya, their actions in Venezuela the list is long. When we see credible information that suggests that the Russians were putting American lives at risk, were responding in a way that it’s serious. And you said, Do we do we warn them? Do we talk to them. I think with your the answer is of course we do. Okay, Um, Hong Kong, in your opening remarks, you called it now after the security law was imposed, just another city subjected to the ccps winds. Is Hong Kong lost? And how far is this administration willing to go to try to prevent that? Or to try to bring a situation back to where once Waas Well, whether it’s lost or not, is entirely dependent upon the decisions that general secretary she makes When you say lost, you mean, has it lost its freedom since it is it no longer an autonomous place? I signed a certification a couple weeks back. Now that suggested that it was not. I suppose these things are always reversible. The actions of the last 48 hours suggest that the Chinese government, at least at this point, the Chinese Communist Party has no intention of reversing that trend. And as for how far we’ll go, I’ll just repeat what the president said he wants to ensure, with a handful of exceptions, that Hong Kong is treated just like mainland China because that’s the way the General Secretary sheet has chosen to treat that place as well with that, Thank you all. I’ve gotta head on today. Thank you all. Have a good day.