Today’s Topics: Afghanistan / Iraq /Oregon/
09 April 2016 Joint Press Availability With Afghanistan President Ghani PRESIDENT GHANI: (Via interpreter) The entirely merciful, especially merciful, honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State, and respective delegation with you, most welcome to Afghanistan. Distinguished members of cabinet, respective brother and sisters, most welcome to Afghanistan.
Honorable Mr. Kerry, it’s 14 years – you’ve been coming to Afghanistan for 14 years. And not only you are one of the best friends of Afghanistan, you have constantly had interest towards Afghanistan and your friendship with me, honorable Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and with all the political leadership has been a great, a special relation. So on behalf of the people of Afghanistan and on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan, I’d like to thank you, your Excellency, and most welcome.
Your arrival this time has a special objective, and that objective is the bilateral agreement, bilateral security agreement at which a special commission should have been established as a result of which, and your arrival has laid the foundation for that and it gives us hope to look at the future. United States of America is the central ally of the people and the Government of Afghanistan. Joined interests of ours, especially in the last 14 years, have been changed into deep, wider, strategic relation. Special threats, particularly the threat of terrorism, which has become the fifth wave of violence now, and it is threatening our joint interest.
09 April 2016 Joint Statement on the Third Meeting of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Commission Kabul On April 9 in Kabul, Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convened the third meeting of the U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Commission to review progress in the bilateral relationship and chart a course for future cooperation. This meeting, called for by the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to Afghanistan’s future as a strong, stable, democratic, and self-reliant state.
The Bilateral Commission highlighted the continuation of the U.S. security presence beyond 2016 to carry out two important missions: training, advising, and assisting the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in coordination with international partners; and cooperating bilaterally on shared efforts to counter terrorism.
08 April 2016 New Humanitarian Assistance for Iraq Today, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States is providing nearly $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance to displaced and conflict-affected Iraqis within Iraq and throughout the region who are in urgent need of support. This new funding brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Iraq humanitarian response to more than $778 million since the start of Fiscal Year 2014.
Since January 2014, more than 3.4 million Iraqis have been displaced. Out of a total population of 33 million, the UN estimates that 10 million people across the country are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including an estimated three million living in ISIL-held territory. More than one million school-aged Iraqi children, or 20 percent nationwide, are out of school.
08 April 2016 Secretary of State John Kerry Press Availability, U.S. Embassy Baghdad Well, good afternoon everybody, and thank you for your patience. I really appreciate it.
I have had a very productive series of conversations, a day of meetings here in Baghdad. And I want to thank Prime Minister Abadi, Foreign Minister Jaafari, Speaker Jibouri, and KRG Prime Minister Barzani, all of them, for the time they gave today, for the serious conversations we had, and for their partnership as well. I also want to thank our terrific United States Ambassador Stu Jones for his leadership here during a very busy and very complicated period of time.
I want to pay tribute to the Iraqi Security Forces and the people of Iraq for their bravery and fierce determination in the fight against Daesh. And I want to thank our extraordinarily capable, brave U.S. servicemen and women as well as others from the coalition, our partners – all of whom are joined together to fight Daesh and improve the capability of the Iraqi Security Forces.
U.S. States – Oregon
11 April 2016 Oregon, a state in the Pacific Northwest, is known for its lush forests and dramatic coastline. The state’s natural beauty is a big draw for tourists, but scenery isn’t the only local attraction.
Portland — Oregon’s largest city — has an offbeat culture best captured by the slogan “Keep Portland weird.” Business attire is rarely worn in the city, and a thriving arts scene combined with plentiful bike paths, bookstores and coffee shops reinforce Portland’s aura of laid-back cool.