Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo remarks to the media, July 8, 2020.
Good morning, everyone. Hope ever had a great Fourth of July celebrating the founding of this great country. A week from today, I’ll be in Philadelphia talking about the work of the Undateable Rights Commission, looking forward to that, uh, a belated happy birthday to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who celebrated his 85th birthday on Monday of this week and a big welcome to Mexico’s president. Labour’s Oprah Door. Who’s in Washington today to celebrate the landmark USMC, a trade deal coming into force alongside President Trump. I spoke with foreign minister yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing him here in just a little bit as well. I think we’ll have a great set of meetings over at the White House later on today. On Monday, Egypt released US citizen Mohammad Ahmad, who had been detained since March of 2000 and 19. Mom is one of many Americans President Trump’s administration’s work tirelessly to get back home. We thank Egypt for securing his release in his repatriation, but at the same time we urge Egyptian officials to stop on warning harassment of U. S citizens and their families who will remain there. I want to start today with the Chinese Communist Party. As with all unelected communist regimes, Beijing fears it’s own people’s free thinking more than any foreign foe we were deeply troubled to learn this week. That’s a cease. The CCP detained shoe genre for criticizing general secretary She Jinping’s repressive regime and the CCP is mishandling of the cove in 19 Pandemic. He should be released. He was simply telling the truth. He should be released a soon as possible repeated theme I’ve been talking about for months. CCP has an enormous credibility problem. They failed to tell the world the truth about this virus. Now hundreds of thousands of peoples all across the world are dead. We need the truth. We still need the truth when they open up when they engage in a serious way with scientists around the world. Now say they’re gonna allow the W H O to come in. That’s great, but the temptation to be is to be free to do. It’s really work when you make sure the right people are there to engage in this investigation, and we need riel answers, not perfunctory political solution. This is about science, not politics, and the Chinese Communist Party needs to come clean with the world about this virus, you know, mission claim for months that it reported the outbreak of the virus to the W H O. Now we know that’s not true to, you know. The WTO’s country office in China reported the operate on Lee after it picked up a media statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. Again, Beijing described Sean Jenks internment camps as vocational training camps. New reports of forced abortions and sterilizations add to a body of evidence that contradicts that. Beijing said that for 50 years that give the people of Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and you all have seen what’s happened after only 23 years, empty promises made to the people of Hong Kong into the world. I want to give a kudos to Google, Facebook and Twitter for refusing to surrender user data to the Hong Kong government. Other companies you should follow them and do the same. Shout out to our Canadian friends as well. Kenya has been strong in its response to Beijing’s crackdown. We think that’s the right course for the entire world to take. We’re heartened to see to the United kingdom have their vigorous debate now on the risk presented that British people from Wall way technology being in their systems, as FBI director Ray said yesterday. While WAY is quote a serial intellectual property thief with a pattern and practice of disregarding both the rule of law and the rights of its victims, I commend to you director raze entire speech yesterday. It is worth the timeto watch attendant Geno Bar will deliver a set of remarks on the coming days, and then I’ll give what will be the fourth in a series of remarks on a direct everyone. Also to a letter that Undersecretary Keith Krach drafted to CEO boards of directors, trade groups, commercial investment firms alerting them to the CCP is use of slave labor and shin job and providing them with a set of governance recommendations for how they should ensure that they’re not part and parcel of this terrible practice. Last China item. The CCP recently filed a boundary dispute dispute with Bhutan at a meeting of the global environmental Facility, from the mountain ranges of the Himalayas to the waters of Vietnam’s exclusive zone to the Senkaku Islands and beyond. Beijing has a pattern of instigating territorial disputes. The world shouldn’t allow this bowling to take place nor should have permitted to continue to the Middle East On Monday, Iraq tragically lost the Patriot promise Go on, journalists. When Hisham al Hashemi was brutally assassinated in front of his home in Baghdad, Dr Hershey me had Hashimi had devoted his life to a free and sovereign Iraq and gave voice to the aspirations of the Iraqi people. In the days leading up to his death, he was repeatedly threatened by Iran backed backed armed groups and United States, joins partner nations and strongly condemning his assassination and call for the government Iraq to bring to justice the perpetrators of this terrible crime and bring them swiftly to justice in Syria. The actions of the Assad regime, Russia and China to constrict the flow of life saving supplies, medicine and food have exacerbated already terrible humanitarian situation on the ground. Just yesterday, Russian China once again vetoed action at the U. N. Security Council that would have maintained humanitarian access access to desperate Syrian communities. Over the last several months, Russia and the People’s Republic of China have repeatedly abused their veto powers in the council to support the Assad regime strategy of starving its own people. Their calculus is clear. They believe there’s no price to pay for their actions to the Security Council. They believe the partnership with Assad regime will render political and economic benefits that way any cost, conscience or moral obligation. It’s our job, the responsible nations of the world to increase those costs, document the human impact of these decisions and use this example to remind the world of what these two regimes stand for. I also want to dress the deteriorating and immobile oil storage vessel, the severe that’s floating off in the Red Sea. Some of you will remember I’ve spoken about this before. I think the tanker contains four times the oil spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster. If it ruptures, it will devastate the Red Sea ecosystem and disrupt key shipping lanes in the Red Sea and the bobble Mandeb. A disaster like that could prevent desperately needed food aid from reaching a Yemeni population already in terrible, dire conditions. The Houthis have blocked U. N officials who need to board the vessel and to do in order that they may do the work necessary to prevent massive environmental damage throughout the region. The Houthis must grant access before this ticking time bomb explodes. And speaking of the Houthis and bombs last week, a United Nations report confirmed that the weapon shipments the United States interdicted back in November of 2019 and then again in February of this year were of Iranian Origen. You’ll recall that when we said that the Iranians denied it, U. N has now confirmed this run is not abiding by the U. N arms embargo restrictions that are due to expire in less than four months Now. Now we’ve interdicted another shipment of weapons heading to the Houthis. On June 28 US and partner forces interdicted a vessel off the coast of Yemen with illicit cargo, including 200 RPGs, more than 1700 a K rifles, 2121 surface to air and land attack missiles, several anti tank missiles and other advanced weapons and missiles. The Security Council must extend the arms embargo on Iran to prevent further conflict in the region. No serious person can possibly believe Iran would use any weapon it receives for peaceful ends. Contrast. The Islamic Republic arrives Illegal gun running with America’s work to help our allies and partners defend themselves on Monday. On Monday, we notify Congress of $7 billion worth of defense sales from new rotorcraft capabilities for countries like Lithuania and Indonesia to New I S our platforms for NATO ally France to increased infantry mobility in the striker platform for Argentina, the United States is meeting the high demand for allies and partners for American gear to defend their nations. We’re strengthening our security partnerships, building capacity and supporting the American manufacturing base and not turning to Africa. We’re making progress in helping Sudan’s transition to a more democratic and peaceful way of life. At the Sedan Partnership conference back on June 25th the United States and asked, it will provide 356.2 million to support the Sudan Democratic Transition, including more than 85 million in development, and Kobe 19 assistance finally all close here as one of our expanding security relationship with the Republic of Cyprus. For the first time, the department state intends to provide international military education and training funding to that country continued on congressional appropriations. In our notification of Congress, it’s part of our efforts to enhance relationships with key regional partners to promote stability. The Eastern Mediterranean. Happy to take some questions. Morning, Mrs um You oppose the release of Mr Klassen, Dean. Although you said that you abide by the court’s decision, Does this hinder your effort to go after high target finance year off Hezbollah, like Mr Tashjian Dean. And what does it say to the people who oppose Hezbollah? And the people who are trying toe give them, support them financially? And in that regard for the first time we hear hasn’t Nasrallah, the leader of the group, yesterday saying that he welcomes us assistant to the Lebanese Taliban, his government? Do you see that? Although he said us is an enemy. But do you see this as a way of trying toe open some kind of dialogue with the US Considering that they release this, uh, this person, Mr Tashjian, Yeah. So we do everything we can to enforce the sanctions that we’ve put in place against terrorist figures, including those who have been designated Hezbollah designations. We’ve urged other countries to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization as well. We continue to believe that they present an enormous risk and their behavior indicate that they are in fact a terrorist organization that is intent on causing harm to the West and most in particular, toe our partner and ally in the region. Israel. Second, I didn’t see the remarks that you describe from Misrata. I did see him say that they should take Iranian oil that I saw that would be unacceptable for them to do that. It would be sanctioned product for sure, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that Iran cannot continue to sell crude oil anywhere, including toe Hezbollah in in the region, so that the resource is that fund and underwrite the world’s largest state sponsored terror won’t be made available to them because they were able to sell some crudo product or some petroleum product to Hezbollah. But many people will see the release of Mr Tajuddin as a victory for Hezbollah and he might. They might be using it as that and this is why, he said. We welcome any U. S assistant and we don’t mind it. There could be no mistake with the United States has done and will continue to put pressure Hezbollah and also to try and assist the people of Lebanon at building out of successful government. The at the other component here, of course, is Lebanon’s incredible struggle to conduct the reforms that are necessary to make sure that the 11 these people who have been protesting in the streets, simply demanding a government that’s not corrupt, that is engaged in behavior that benefits the Lebanese people. That’s our mission set as well as a terrorist organization. And we are supportive of Lebanon as long as they get the reforms right and they’re not a a proxy state for Iran in Lebanon. Very bad thing for the people throughout Lebanon and way hope that doesn’t happen in Beirut. Thank you, Jonah. Wrong. Give it a shot. US. Law mandates that the administration would follow through on the financial pledges to the W H. O before the withdrawal next year. Can you tell us how much the U. S. Is paid of that and whether you intend to follow through on the commitments and Iran? What’s the message Iranian leaders should draw from the explosion at Natanz? Do you believe it was accidental or delivery? I’m not gonna talk about the second question. uh, with respect to the 1st 1 that we provided notice yesterday to Capitol Hill of our intensive withdraw from the World Health Organization, something we had talked about. We have communicated to Congress even in the informal process that this was our intention. The president. We formally did that from the State Department yesterday, consistent with the president’s guidance. We will work with Congress with respect to the appropriated funds. Will will get it right. But credit has made very clear we are not gonna underwrite an organization that has historically been incompetent and not performed its fundamental function there. There’s a real focus on the failures that took place around who hunt and the World Health Organization’s fundamental inability to perform its basic core mission of preventing a global pandemic spread. But don’t forget the history. This is an institution that got it wrong on SARS. It got it wrong on Ebola. The United States had to create its own system PEPFAR to do the work to prevent and come up with solutions to the HIV AIDS problem. We did that the United States did that the World Health Organization has a long history of corruption and politicization, and it’s not that it doesn’t get some pieces of their program right. That’s certainly true. But unbalances that organization has not been able to deliver on its core mission for decades. We tried Nick desperately, and we, in fact, got some reforms through back a handful of years ago. But the WHL leadership clearly has been able to execute and implement them in a way that can prevent the kind of global pandemic that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives and cost the global economy trillions and trillions of dollars. That is not an organization that administration has any intention of underwriting. Syria. I think President Tables and I do should change his approach to diverse now that he has tested positive. And also when we’ll us hello, people who are traveling from Brazil to enter the country. Is there a number of cases or deaths that Brazil needs to reach in order to the so President Bush? Tomorrow’s perfect people making his own decision about how to proceed with, uh, the health situation, this country. I spoke with the Foreign minister Rojo yesterday about that and many other things with respect to our relationship with a great partner and friend of ours. As for when we can get travel back open between our two countries, the relationship with Brazil’s no different than any other country. We are putting in place a set of metrics that will determine when it’s appropriate. Safe for the American people to allow travel to come from. Other countries will evaluate each country separately and make informed decisions based on science and reason, not politics. We’re gonna get this right. We’re gonna make sure that we do everything we can to get our economy back open just as quickly as we can. We have a big team here at ST Big Team Transportation of DHS Vice president, Tax force all looking at this challenge. We want to get international travel back up ongoing Justus quickly as we can that includes with our great friends in South America, including Brazil. Christian First on Kobe. Curious. We get some updates on the negotiations to end the travel restrictions with the European Union. And then secondly, you said yesterday the administration is looking at banning Tic TAC. Curious. How serious is ban? Uh, consideration is India bandit almost overnight with very little thought on how how soon can we expect that to go into effect? So with respect to the conversations with the year, we’ve actually made some progress thinking about how to do that. So it’s unlikely be the case that it will be on and off his we will. We will attempt to put in some procedures and protocols that protect both citizens here in the United States from the spread. And it’s a it’s a global challenge and we want to make sure that European citizens aren’t impacted adversely by travel from the West is, well, lots of people not only come from America but transit through America to Europe. So you got to deal with all the complexity that comes with, made some real progress, technical progress. And now we need toe draw that to a conclusion, and then they’ll be a system a system to monitor and measure to make sure that we get the timing right and we get the toggle switches right both sides of the Atlantic. I want to get this back open. Both sides understand that our economies depend on it. The deep important relation transatlantic relationship matters is there to Western democracies that have a lot of good work to do together and getting those travel nodes hooked back up and connected again is an important thing. With respect to Tic TAC, I want to put in the broader context. We have been engaged in a constant evaluation about ensuring that we protect the privacy of American citizens, and their information is a transit. So this doesn’t relate to any one particular business or company, but rather to American national security. We are striving to get that light that the comments that I made about a particular company early this week fall in the context of us evaluating the threat from the Chinese Communist Party we’ve talked about in the context of ZTE. We’ve talked about it in the context of Wall Way. We’re now evaluating each instance where we believe that U. S citizens data that they have on their phones or in their system or in there health care records. We want to make sure that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t have a way to easily access that. And so what you’ll see the administration do is take actions that preserve and protect that information and deny the Chinese Communist Party access to the private information that belongs to Americans. We have a big project because we’ve got partners all around the world where infrastructure crosses Chinese technology and then come to United States. So one should think about. This is a project of riel scale and real importance. We must get this right. The infrastructure of this next 100 years must be a communications infrastructure that’s based on a Western ideal of private property and protection of private citizens. Information in a transparent way. That is not the model the Chinese Communist Party software and hardware companies are engaged in. Let’s in. Thank you. Okay. You look like you got a great question. Just all over your face. I e I can just see it. I try to bring the Midwest fantastic. Me too. So, you know, dispirit countries from Taiwan to Germany have managed to flatten the curve, but the U. S. Has the highest number of cases of cove it in the world. Do you still believe the U. S is a world leader on the pandemic? And, um, just to put it directly, um, was the US involved in any way in the Natanz explosion? Your first question? Of course. the US remains the world leader in the pandemic, Uh, almost goes without saying, and they’re multiple dimensions that I’ve talked about, each of them. Certainly the vice president Task force talks about them as well. But whether that is the technical scientific solutions both to how to stop the spread, whether that’s therapeutics or vaccines, the world turns its eyes to the best scientists and researchers and practitioners of the sciences that will ultimately bring resolutions. Probably, it’s the United States that the world looks to when it comes to countries, small countries, whether that’s in Central Asia or Africa, their eyes turned to the United States. It’s not remotely close. Who has provided the most assistance to these nations to try and solve what are vexing problems in their countries with very little medical infrastructure s. Oh, yes, there is no doubt that the United States has been and will remain the world’s leader when it comes to not only pandemic response but global health care, infrastructure systems and processes that take down the very risks that we describe. It’s good we have friends and partners in this to the Western democracies. That model is the one that is most likely to prevail and prevent this kind of thing from happening again. What we found in China is the Chinese Communist Party was simply incapable, and you see it with the arrest that I referred to in my remarks. They’re incapable being transparent, of accepting criticism of allowing reporters to ask them questions that they find uncomfortable, that elicit the truth and the facts. We still have significant questions about who patient zero waas you know, six months on, at least from when this began the Chinese Communist Party. That authoritarian model simply can’t prevent the kind of inquiry or has to prevent that kind of ink because they’re afraid. They’re afraid that the truth will be something that will not shine a happy light on what took place. And so instead they chose to hide an obvious Kate and deny basic truth, basic scientific truths about what took place. This is the This is a fundamental in fatal flaw for authoritarian regimes, and it’s why the Chinese Communist Party has to be held accountable. And the second question was about the explosion and the times. I don’t have anything to add, really, Grimble. I just don’t have any comment? The Mexican delegation has been here. You’re gonna die, deal with friends, Temple me condition on de many reviews I’m here for yeah, So it’s the president’s meeting and put on the table precisely what he chooses do and I’m sure President Obrador will do that as well. But I’m confident the meeting will talk about the full range of issues that we work on with the Mexican government. Certainly the economic issues. We want to talk about our border, how we make sure that we keep that border. That means that that commercial traffic up and successful, very important American supply chains, Canadian supply chains that you can see common toe full force under the USMC A. We’ve got to make sure we get that right. So I know they’ll talk about that about confident that the full range of issues, I’m sure we’ll talk about issues that aren’t that expand beyond bilateral us. Well, things in the hemisphere, right? What’s taking place in Venezuela today challenges that we find to narcotics trafficking on both the Pacific and the Atlantic places where Mexico could help. So I’m confident that the full range of issues you ask you mentioned several others. I’m very confident that the discussion will be complete and comprehensive. I expect we’ll have a good set of meetings with them today, in the afternoon and then again this evening at the working dinner as well without a temporary one. More Holy God about physics. Pattern of instigating boundary dispute You know what has happened with India? China’s at they should behavior. Yes, India in LEH Ladakh What is the situation? What is the assessment of the situation between India and China right now? So I’ve spoken with for Mr Edition car a number of times about this, but the Chinese took incredibly aggressive action. The Indians have done their best to respond to that. I put this in the context of the General Secretary Xi Jingping and his behavior throughout the region. Indeed, throughout the world, it’s I don’t think it’s possible to look at that particular instance of Chinese Communist Party aggression in isolation. I think you need to put it in the larger context. When when I was up for once before we talked about the number of both maritime and boundaries, disputes of the Chinese Communist Party has engaged. I think its unequalled any place else in the world. There aren’t many neighbors that could satisfactorily say that they they know where their sovereignty ends and that the Chinese Communist Party will respect that sovereignty. That’s certainly true now for the people of Bhutan as well. This is what the world must come together to respond to this increasing, revisionist effort that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, something that President Trump has taken incredibly seriously. United States hadn’t done that in previous administrations. We respond to this in a way that we think is appropriate, and we have attempted to communicate to the Chinese leadership that we are serious about this. When I say week, not just the United States, we will start very shortly a dialogue with are your friends on how we collectively can respond to this challenge from the Chinese Communist Party. And I am confident. I’m confident that this I think, what’s happened with the, uh, spread of this virus from Wuhan, China. I think the world has seen the true colors of the Chinese Communist Party, and I am convinced, more than ever, that the free peoples of the world will come to understand the threat that’s presented not only internally inside of China, but importantly that the impact that General Secretary she has on the world is not good for free peoples and democracy loving peoples in the world will come together to respond to that in a way that is powerful and important and will preserve sovereign nations operating under the rule of law in the way that we have all come accustomed to and benefits people all across the world. Thank you. I’m so I’m gonna have to take off. Thanks, everybody. Have a good day.