Department Press Briefing – July 9, 2019

Department Press Briefing – July 9, 2019


MS ORTAGUS: Okay. I’ve got a few things to start off today, and then we’ll
jump right in. Good to see you again. Okay. Today the United States designated three senior
Hizballah political and security officials – Amin Sherri, Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, and
Wafiq Safa. They have assisted the Iranian regime in its
efforts to undermine Lebanese sovereignty. These officials have exploited their positions
to smuggle illicit goods into Lebanon, undermining Lebanese financial institutions to assist
Hizballah and to evade U.S. sanctions against Hizballah facilitators and financiers. Today’s designations are a part of the United
States effort to counter Hizballah’s corrupting influence in Lebanon and to support Lebanon’s
stability, prosperity, and sovereignty. The United States’ maximum pressure campaign
against Iran and its proxies, Hizballah chief among them, already – has already succeeded
in limiting the financial support Hizballah receives from the Iranian regime, the world’s
leading state sponsor of terrorism. As a result, this designated terrorist organization
has been forced to take unprecedented austerity measures. In March 2019, for the first time ever, Hizballah’s
leader Hassan Nasrallah made a public appeal for financial support. As these designations demonstrate, any distinction
between Hizballah’s political and military wings is artificial, a fact that Hizballah
itself acknowledges. Accordingly, we continue to call on our allies
and partners to designate Hizballah in its entirety as a terrorist organization. QUESTION: (Off-mike.) MS ORTAGUS: It’s my turn. (Laughter.) Okay. The United States congratulates Ambassador
Reema bint Bandar on being the first woman appointed to serve as an ambassador of Saudi
Arabia. She presented her credentials to the State
Department on July 3rd and participated in a credentialing ceremony yesterday at the
White House, beginning her new role as Saudi ambassador to the United States. We look forward to building upon the strong
U.S.-Saudi partnership and working with the ambassador on many important bilateral and
regional issues, including countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activity,
ending the conflict in Yemen, and advancing human rights. We also warmly welcome His Highness Qatari
Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the United States. The President met with the amir a short while
ago, and the Secretary will meet with him tomorrow. Qatar is a highly valued, strategic partner
and friend of the United States. The Secretary visited Doha in January to lead
the U.S. delegation at the second U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue, during which we collaborated
on regional security and defense cooperation, education and culture, law enforcement and
counterterrorism partnerships, commercial and energy cooperation, and labor issues. We are building upon that dialogue and look
forward to discussing these and other important areas of bilateral cooperation during the
amir’s visit. We will also discuss critical regional priorities,
including Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities,
and the need for a united GCC on these and many other regional issues. We look forward to further deepening the U.S.-Qatar
strategic relationship and advancing our cooperation. And one more: David R. Stilwell will visit
Japan, the Philippines, and the Republic of Korea, and Thailand, July 10th through the
21st, in his first trip as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He will visit Tokyo, July 11th through the
14th, to meet senior officials from the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of defense,
and the national security council to coordinate efforts on regional and global issues and
to deepen the U.S.-Japan alliance in pursuit of our shared vision for the Indo-Pacific
region. In Manila on July 15, 16, Assistant Secretary
Stilwell, along with Assistant Secretary of Defense Randall Schriver, will lead the U.S.
delegation to the eighth U.S.-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue or BSD. The BSD is the principal forum for discussing
the broad spectrum of U.S.-Philippines cooperation, including defense, economics, rule of law,
and regional diplomacy. On July 17th, Assistant Secretary Stilwell
will continue his consultations in Seoul, meeting with top ministry of foreign affairs
and Blue House officials to discuss further strengthening the alliance and enhancing U.S.-ROK
cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. Assistant Secretary Stilwell will conclude
his trip in Bangkok July 18, 19, where he will engage with officials from the ministry
of foreign affairs and the office of the prime minister on bilateral priorities and Thailand’s
year as chair of ASEAN. He will also meet business leaders in the
U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Are you Matt Lee today? (Laughter.) Do we have the AP here? QUESTION: No. MS ORTAGUS: No. Well, Rich, since you’re in the seat. QUESTION: I’m Matt Lee’s seat filler. MS ORTAGUS: You look a little bit younger. QUESTION: I don’t know if I could even pretend
to duplicate that performance — MS ORTAGUS: Oh, hit me with a zinger. QUESTION: — so I’m just going to pretend
that I’m me today. MS ORTAGUS: Okay, good. (Laughter.) QUESTION: Thanks, Morgan. MS ORTAGUS: Sure. QUESTION: Has the Secretary spoken with either
Foreign Secretary Hunt or the ambassador here about his comments? And is the United States or State Department
planning a diplomatic response to the UK, beyond the President saying that the U.S.
will no longer deal with Ambassador Darroch? MS ORTAGUS: I don’t believe that the Secretary
has spoken with the ambassador today. I would need to double-check his schedule,
but I’m pretty confident of that. You know we were in London very recently and,
of course, met with the foreign minister. And as it relates to this issue in its entirety,
there’s clearly an election going on in the United Kingdom. We’re going to stay out of that and we will,
of course, let the White House speak for the President’s tweets. And I don’t think the State Department has
anything further to say about that. QUESTION: Just generally speaking about the
relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and as – business as
usual in this building? MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. I mean, listen, we have an incredibly special
and strategic relationship with the United Kingdom. That has gone on for quite a long time and
it’s bigger than any individual; it’s bigger than any government. It’s something that has stood the test of
time and will continue to do so. QUESTION: Just follow up briefly on it? MS ORTAGUS: No. (Laughter.) Go ahead. I mean, you’re not going to get anything
new — QUESTION: Well — MS ORTAGUS: — but you can keep asking. QUESTION: Sure. Well, I think it’s a good question. MS ORTAGUS: Sure. QUESTION: But just the President was saying
that he won’t deal with the ambassador. Is the State Department still dealing with
the ambassador and the embassy? MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. I mean, as I just said, I don’t speak for
the President here, so I’d refer you to the White House for anything related to his
comments. And we don’t have anything, any new direction
to give on that. Okay? QUESTION: Will the State Department deal with
the ambassador? MS ORTAGUS: We will continue to deal with
all accredited individuals until we get any further guidance from the White House or the
President, which we will, of course, abide by the President’s direction. Hey. QUESTION: Hey. Okay. MS ORTAGUS: Or afternoon. QUESTION: Good afternoon. Do you have any comments or can you confirm
reports that U.S. Government officials and Iranian officials
met in Erbil last week? MS ORTAGUS: Yeah, I think Carol just shot
that over to me. I have – I saw that right as I was walking
out here. I’ve just seen your email on it. I don’t have anything new, but we can certainly
make that a takeaway and we’ll look into that. I don’t have anything on that for you. QUESTION: Can you say if there have been any
meetings between U.S. and Iranian officials? MS ORTAGUS: I highly doubt it. I think that’s something that I would know,
but we’ll be certainly happy to check into that report for you. Hi. QUESTION: Hi, Morgan. Thanks. Nice to see you. MS ORTAGUS: Sure. QUESTION: Since after last week, President
Trump meeting Kim Jong-un and – North Korean leader at Panmunjom. MS ORTAGUS: That was an interesting trip to
be on. QUESTION: Yes, I was there too. MS ORTAGUS: Oh, were you? QUESTION: With the White House — MS ORTAGUS: Were you at the DMZ? QUESTION: With the White House teams, not
— MS ORTAGUS: Oh, good for you. QUESTION: — not DMZ, but I was there that
trip. MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. QUESTION: And many South Korea or other media
is so confused about this event. So what is the United States’ final destinations
of denuclearization of North Korea? So — MS ORTAGUS: Which event is confusing specifically? QUESTION: Because they said a meeting with
Biegun – he just mentions about a nuclear freeze. And is this for your U.S. goal or you have
any element – any detail about how are you going to do with the denuclearization of North
Korea? MS ORTAGUS: Sure. So I spoke with Steve Biegun today, actually. I speak with him on a regular basis. I have a lot of wonderful colleagues here
at the State Department, Steve being chief among them. And one of the things that both he and the
Secretary reiterated to me, and I think to some of you, is that, of course, this was
a good meeting between the President and Kim Jong-un. I think it lasted approximately an hour. A number of issues were discussed between
the two leaders, including – of course, from our perspective here at the State Department,
what was really important is that the President and Kim Jong-un agreed to appointing people
for working-level negotiations. The President – as you were there that day,
so you saw the President clearly has handed the baton over to the Secretary and Steve
Biegun, and they will be moving forward with these negotiations. And we know that the President remains committed
to resolving issues on the North Korean – excuse me, on the Korean Peninsula peacefully and
through diplomacy. That’s our goal, and I don’t think anything
has changed. We obviously clearly want to see the complete
elimination of WMDs in North Korea. As the President has said many times, he hopes
Kim Jong-un and the North Korean people see the brighter future and the brighter vision
that he has for those people. But as it relates to your comments about the
freeze, that would never be the resolution of a process; that would never be the end
of a process. That would – something that we would certainly
hope to see at the beginning, but I don’t think that the administration has ever characterized
a freeze as being the end goal. That’s – would be at the beginning of
the process. QUESTION: Yes, so still want to be FFVD or
CVID for your — MS ORTAGUS: You can use whatever acronym you
would like. I get tongue-twisted when I try to use them,
so I’m just going to say complete elimination of WMDs, so that way I don’t mess up the
acronyms. Hey. QUESTION: North Korea? MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. QUESTION: What the Secretary said before he
left Korea was that working-level discussions would begin by the middle of this month. That puts it about next week. Do you have any announcements on whether or
not Steve Biegun will meet with his North Korean counterparts next week? MS ORTAGUS: No, I don’t have any announcements
on that. And I think all of you have been covering
Steve Biegun in this process longer than I’ve been at the State Department, so I know that
you know it incredibly well. And I think you all also know that one of
the things that we’ll never be able to do is sort of hash out the day-in and the day-out
here from the podium. I don’t think that’s constructive for
Steve and his team. I don’t think it’s constructive for his
North Korean counterparts. And so listen, as soon as we have any sort
of update, we’ll be happy to bring Steve to all of you to talk to you about it, to
let you know as things progress. But I think that the work now continues, and
that’s what Steve and his team are working on, and we just want to give them that space
to do that. And I don’t think that speculating or getting
into the day-to-day from the podium is going to help Steve do that, so I just want to give
him his space for that. QUESTION: Has he had contacts, at least? Can you say? MS ORTAGUS: Obviously, as we’ve said every
time we talk about North Korea, that the contacts and the discussions are ongoing. As you saw just a couple weeks ago, it was
very public. They’re not normally that public. But I know that the team remains very encouraged
by the historic visit of President Trump. It wasn’t a summit, it wasn’t a negotiation;
it was a meeting of two leaders. But of course, that was a very, I think, special
and historic day for many people around the world, especially, I think, those of us who
were in Korea and were a part of that moment. It’s certainly something that I think I’ll
take with me for the rest of my life as I work in foreign policy. Yeah. QUESTION: Hi, sorry. Can I just turn back to the UK for just one
brief moment and get an explicit answer? So you have not received any instruction from
the White House to cut contacts with the embassy or with the ambassador? MS ORTAGUS: No. QUESTION: Okay. Thank you. QUESTION: On Yemen? MS ORTAGUS: Okay. Are we going to – so we’re going to go
to – does anybody else have a question on Asia? QUESTION: Yes. QUESTION: Yes. Hong Kong. MS ORTAGUS: Okay, a lot of people. Goodness. Do you mind if I come back to you and finish
just everything on Asia? QUESTION: No problem. No worries. MS ORTAGUS: Okay, go ahead. QUESTION: Hong Kong? MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. QUESTION: Thank you very much. Do you have anything in Hong Kong where its
leadership have declared the controversial extradition bill has – is dead? What is the U.S. assessment? And separately, was outgoing U.S. consul general
in Hong Kong barred from making a tough speech after the leaders of the U.S. and China reached
a trade truce during the G20 summit? MS ORTAGUS: So for your second question, I
believe that that was based off of anonymous reports, and that’s not something that we
ever validate here at the State Department. I don’t see much truth to that. And then on Hong Kong, I saw also the report
that you read. I think we have been very vocal here at the
State Department, and the Secretary has talked about a lot of the – about this a lot. Our position has remained unchanged. And of course, we were happy to see how the
events progressed, and I don’t think we have anything new. I think we’ve been on record pretty clearly
on Hong Kong on this issue. QUESTION: Can I follow up on Hong Kong? MS ORTAGUS: Okay. QUESTION: The Secretary said before the G20
that Hong Kong would likely be brought up between the President and President Xi at
the summit. Do you know if they did discuss the Hong Kong
issue, and could you elaborate on what they said? MS ORTAGUS: I don’t – we’re not responsible
for the readouts for the President’s meeting. That would be from the White House. I will – certainly happy to check with their
press team to see if they released a readout from that meeting. I don’t know if they did, but we’ll take
that as a follow-up. Yeah. QUESTION: Do you think since Kim Darroch being
labeled “wacky” — MS ORTAGUS: No, no, we’re on Asia. Sorry. QUESTION: Okay. MS ORTAGUS: We have nothing new on the UK. Yeah, go ahead. QUESTION: Hi, my name is Takemoto with Kyodo
News. MS ORTAGUS: Hi. QUESTION: Hi. MS ORTAGUS: Which news? MS ORTAGUS: Kyodo News in Japan. MS ORTAGUS: Oh great, fabulous. QUESTION: Going back to North Korea, if I
may. MS ORTAGUS: Okay. QUESTION: Special Representative Biegun is
moving – traveling to Europe. MS ORTAGUS: He is. QUESTION: He is. MS ORTAGUS: I think he’s there right now,
actually. QUESTION: Yeah. I wonder if you can talk about the when and
where he is meeting with his South Korean counterpart, and also what will be the agenda
of this round? MS ORTAGUS: Let me see if I have details on
that. I do know, because I talked to Steve about
this on the plane, that his meetings do Europe had been scheduled before we all met in Seoul. So I do know this has been planned for quite
some time. It looks like he’s in Brussels July 8th
and 9th, and Berlin July 10th and 11th. He’ll be meeting with European officials,
with the Republic of Korea Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs,
and of course, we’ll be working on follow-ups from many of our conversations over the past
few weeks. There is no plan to meet with North Korean
officials on this trip. QUESTION: So he’s meeting with – Lee Do-hoon
from South Korea will be in Berlin. MS ORTAGUS: It looks like it’s going to
be in Berlin, yeah. Brussels – so Brussels July 8-9, Berlin
July 10-11. That’s always subject to change, but that’s
the agenda for now. QUESTION: Okay, thank you. MS ORTAGUS: Okay. Yes, hi. QUESTION: Chia Chang from United Daily News
Group Taiwan. So the U.S. – the State Department just
approved the new arms sales to Taiwan. MS ORTAGUS: Yes. QUESTION: And now Chinese Government urged
the U.S. Government to cancel these arms sales. How would you respond to the Chinese Government? MS ORTAGUS: Well, I think everybody here in
this room, especially all of you from our – from the Asian bureaus, are aware of the
Taiwan Relations Act. The State Department did notify on the arms
sale today, as you talked about. Listen, our interest in Taiwan, especially
as it relates to these military sales, is to promote peace and stability across the
straits, across the region. And so our – there’s no change, of course,
in our longstanding “one China” policy. That’s based on the Three Joint Communiques,
the Taiwan Relations Act. So I don’t see our notification here as
anything other than complying with the Taiwan Relations Act. The law specifically, of course, requires
these sorts of – requires us to help Taiwan maintain their defense, self-sufficient defense
capabilities. But our “one China” policy remains the
same, and so there’s no new policy announcements for today. QUESTION: Thank you. QUESTION: Can I ask about the human rights
advisory board? MS ORTAGUS: Why not? QUESTION: In the op-ed that the Secretary
wrote in The Wall Street Journal that appeared yesterday, he talked — MS ORTAGUS: Oh, and just to be clear, by the
way, it’s called the Commission on Unalienable Rights. QUESTION: Okay, thank you. He talked about how the commission was created
in part to examine new categories of rights, and he said that interest groups are creating
new rights, there’s “loose talk” of new rights. Could you give us some sense of what — MS ORTAGUS: Loose – yeah, what that is? QUESTION: — rights he was referring to,
the sort of new categories of rights that — MS ORTAGUS: Sure. Listen, I think when you start to look around
the world, and you look at how authoritarian regimes have subverted human rights, when
you look at the UN, the Human Rights Commission, and sort of how in many ways it’s become
a laughingstock, one of the reasons that we withdrew – look at what China produced on
December 12th. The Chinese produced a white paper on human
rights. It talked about 40 years of reform as it relates
to human rights. That’s obviously something that we would
take issue with. Mohammad Zarif – I don’t remember the
exact date, but sometime within the past year has called himself a human rights professor. He may think he is, but I think there’s
a lot of people in the human rights community that would have a problem with him using that
label. We certainly remember – I mean, not necessarily
– maybe within the beginning of my lifetime, but we remember the Soviet Union used to talk
about human rights. And you see – we talk about this actually
quite extensively in the Human Rights Reports. Ambassador Brownback, who we just had up here
a few weeks ago, was talking to all of you about his International Religious Freedom
Report. So we have seen troubling examples around
the world, again, of these authoritarian regimes subverting this human rights context. And so I think it’s important to note here
– and I don’t want to really go too far beyond what the Secretary said and what he
wrote, because I think that those pieces certainly speak to themselves – but we think unalienable
rights are the ultimate individual right. They are something that every community enjoys,
and we really want to – part of this commission, which is going to be very public, by the way
– nothing’s going to be hidden, all of you can feel free to attend and can have the
readouts. This is something that all of Washington and
all of the world can enjoy. But we are going to use this to really ground
our understanding of human rights. And this philosophical debate is incredibly
important because of how we see these authoritarian regimes subverting human rights around the
world. QUESTION: So is this – it’s directed then
more at authoritarian regimes and concepts of human rights outside the United States? I mean, as I know you’re obviously aware,
when this commission was set up earlier, there was a lot of concern about the use of quote-unquote
“natural law,” and there was some criticism that this would be aimed at curtailing rights
in the U.S., like marriage equality, right to an abortion — MS ORTAGUS: I think if you – again, if you
go back and reread what the Secretary said in his op-ed in The Wall Street Journal and
also what he said here at the podium, what you’re referring to are political rights
granted by governments. That’s not what this commission is about. The Secretary actually had talked about how
he has studied human rights; it’s something very personal to him. And again, we think that human rights are
a bipartisan issue. This is not a commission that is set out to
create new policy on human rights. That’s not the point of this. Nor, if you look at the people who we mentioned,
who we announced yesterday that will be a part of the commission, you can see that this
is not a partisan political exercise about rights granted by government. So we’ll all have to take a breather and
get outside of the day-to-day politics in Washington, because that’s not what this
is about. QUESTION: So it won’t discuss those issues? QUESTION: Yemen. MS ORTAGUS: Huh? Yemen? Yeah, I’m – you know what, I committed. I’m sorry, I didn’t go back to you. Yeah, sorry. QUESTION: Martin Griffith was in the building
today. Did he meet with the Secretary? MS ORTAGUS: I apologize. I don’t have any information on that. I will – we’ll get back to you right away
on that. QUESTION: And another thing on Yemen: Any
comment on the UAE withdrawal from Yemen? MS ORTAGUS: No. I’m sorry, I don’t have much – yeah. QUESTION: They are taking out their troops
from Yemen. Do you have any comment? MS ORTAGUS: I don’t. I’ll get something for you as soon as we’re
out of this briefing. QUESTION: Thank you. MS ORTAGUS: Yeah. QUESTION: (Off-mike.) MS ORTAGUS: Hi. QUESTION: On Turkey, you’ve said that Turkey
will face real and negative consequences if it takes delivery of the S-400. MS ORTAGUS: Yes. QUESTION: And according to Turkish press reports
that were repeated in the Russian press, that is happening today. So what – how will those consequences be
implemented? What steps, concrete steps do you expect to
take? MS ORTAGUS: Well, I think, to be fair, we
have a report almost every other day in some newspaper around the world that Turkey is
taking control of the S-400 today, so that’s not sort of – that’s not very new. I think we all read that quite a bit in publications
around the world. Our position here at the State Department
as it relates to Turkey and the S-400 has not changed. We – again, everybody knows – the Turkish
authorities know – the legislation that has been passed in Congress as it relates
to CAATSA, and all of that remains the same. We have said that Turkey, as you pointed out,
will face real and negative consequences if they accept the S-400. Those consequences include participation in
the F-35 program. I think that the Secretary and this department
have been incredibly consistent about that over – at least since I’ve been here and
over the past year since the Secretary has been here, so there is nothing that I’ve
said or that the Secretary has said that has changed as it relates to that. Hi, Said. QUESTION: Hi, Morgan. Thank you. I wanted to ask about the Palestinian issue. MS ORTAGUS: Okay. QUESTION: Very quickly, are you aware of any
plan to resume operations by USAID in the West Bank and Gaza this summer that you can
share with us? Is there such a thing? MS ORTAGUS: Give me a little bit more color
on what you’re talking about. Sorry. QUESTION: These operations ceased – okay. Well, USAID ceased its operations some months
back in the West Bank and Gaza – scaled it back dramatically – and somebody asked
me whether they’re going to be resuming operations soon. MS ORTAGUS: Oh, right, right. QUESTION: There is talk of that. Are you aware of any of that you can share
with us? MS ORTAGUS: Have a very – I have a very
big book to get here through, Said. You’ll have to forgive me. We’re going to go digital at some point,
so I’m not going to be thumbing through all of this. I’m going to double check on this to you. I was talking to the team right before we
come out. We don’t have anything new to announce on
this, and my latest information from our team is that we’re not taking any steps to close
the USAID West Bank and Gaza mission. And so if there’s anything new on that,
I promise to get it back to you right away. QUESTION: And a quick follow-up on – I know
I asked you about Ambassador Friedman before, but he seems to always take some measures
that could be construed as controversial, like doing the tunnel thing and so on. Is he charting his own policy, or does he
clear that with the Secretary of State every time he does something like this? MS ORTAGUS: It’s – yeah. QUESTION: Because I read in an article today
that described Ambassador Friedman as being “rogue,” quote-unquote. MS ORTAGUS: I didn’t read that, and I would
say that we have a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach as it relates to the Secretary, the
ambassador, Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt. These are teams that work incredibly closely
together on all of these issues, and again, we look at this issue as something that obviously
is incredibly challenging but that we see – we look at this as a whole-of-government
approach, not something where people are operating in silos. QUESTION: I understand, but being the ambassador
and his boss directly is Secretary Pompeo, does he clear these things with the Secretary
of State, as other ambassadors would do? MS ORTAGUS: Which things are you talking about? QUESTION: Such as participating in this tunnel
opening, things – the statement that he’s making about annexing parts of the West Bank,
other statements that he’s made that are really not – they are not in tandem with
or not parallel to U.S. stated policy. MS ORTAGUS: Well, so, we all work at the pleasure
of Secretary Mike Pompeo and ultimately the President of the United States. It’s a tremendous honor to work for both
of them, and I know that I share that as well as, I think, Ambassador Greenblatt does as
well. I’m – I have one more. I didn’t call on anyone in the back, so
— QUESTION: Here. MS ORTAGUS: Sure, go ahead. QUESTION: Just a few quick scheduling updates
from you. Pakistani leader Imran Khan is coming to the
U.S. later this month. What are the meetings scheduled here? Anything that you can give us on that? MS ORTAGUS: To my knowledge, that has actually
not been confirmed by the White House. I know that I have read the same reports that
you have, but I would reach out to the White House to confirm or not confirm that visit,
but that’s – we don’t have anything to announce here from the State Department. QUESTION: And the second one is on the State
Department. The Secretary is hosting a religious conference
later this month. MS ORTAGUS: Yes. QUESTION: How many — MS ORTAGUS: It’s next week, actually. QUESTION: Yeah, yeah, sorry, yeah. MS ORTAGUS: We hope you attend. QUESTION: And any – can you give us any
prominent nations that are not coming? India did not come last month – last year,
so have they confirmed they are coming or not coming so — MS ORTAGUS: So two things. One, we did have Ambassador Brownback at the
podium a couple weeks ago right before we left for the Middle East and Asia. I believe that I’m going to be bringing
him back. So he would be best to answer the details
of those questions. I know that I will be attending it. The Secretary and of course many – obviously,
people from the department who remain very committed to this. I’ve gotten a little bit of feedback from
him yesterday. I spent some time with the ambassador yesterday
talking about this ministerial, and it sounds like it’s going to be an incredibly exciting
event. It’s not something that I participated in
last year, so I’m really looking forward to it this year. And so any details that you need, the ambassador
will be best to answer those in terms of what countries will come. I just don’t have the list in front of me,
but we’re happy to follow up and get that for you. Again, sorry, guys that I’ve been a few
weeks since I’ve briefed because of all the travel, but we’re here until I think
the end of next week. So we’ll see all of you very, very soon. Thank you so much for having me.