Tag Archives: Syria

President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Request Cuts Foreign Assistance Account But Increases Defense Department’s Funding; President Trump Welcomes Iraqi Prime Minister This Week, While Secretary Tillerson Hosts the Anti-ISIS Global Coalition Partners in Washington; House Intelligence Committee Examines Alleged Russian Influence of the 2016 U.S. Elections

President Donald Trump met with Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland last Thursday to discuss United States-Ireland economic and cultural ties as part of the White House’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. President Trump welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House on Friday, where the President commended Germany’s contributions to the fight against ISIS. … Continue Reading

President Trump Welcomes German Chancellor to the White House; Senate Finance Committee to Hold a Hearing for Robert Lighthizer; Congressional Committees to Focus on Russia and Syria

President Donald Trump focused last week on health care reform and the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget proposal, with the skinny budget proposal due to be released this week.  President Trump spoke with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Tuesday, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel … Continue Reading

President Trump to Address Congress; Senate to Vote on Ross’ Nomination; Pentagon to Submit Its Anti-ISIS Plan

President Donald Trump is preparing to release another immigration-related Executive Order (E.O.) that is expected to refine a previous directive that banned Syrian refugees from entering the United States and suspended the issuance of visas and admission into the United States for foreign nationals from seven countries of “particular concern.” The President will address a … Continue Reading

President Trump Will Welcome the Canadian and Israeli Prime Ministers This Week; The Senate Continues Working To Confirming Cabinet Members, Including the Next Treasury Secretary

President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the White House last Friday, discussing trade and security matters. Over the weekend, the two continued the dialogue while in Florida.  President Trump will welcome Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.  He … Continue Reading

President Trump Speaks with Ukraine President and NATO Secretary General Over the Weekend; Iran Censured Last Week; Mattis Returns to Washington After a Trip to Japan and South Korea; President Trump Will Welcome Japan’s Prime Minister

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved Mr. Rex Tillerson to serve as the next Secretary of State. On his first day as Secretary of State, he met with German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel. Secretary Tillerson also spoke by phone with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, … Continue Reading

Senate May Confirm Tillerson This Week; President Trump Spoke Last Week with Foreign Leaders, Including Russian President Putin; U.K. Prime Minister Visited Washington

The U.S. Congress is in session this week; the Senate is expected to vote on Mr. Rex Tillerson’s nomination to be Secretary of State. Nikki Haley was sworn in last week to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Gen. James Mattis was also sworn in as the next U.S. Secretary of Defense. Last … Continue Reading

Alleged Russia Cyber Aggression Examined; The Obama Administration Releases Exit Memos; Congress To Consider Trump Administration Cabinet Nominees This Week

The 115th Congress convened on Tuesday, 3 January. U.S. businessman Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Friday, January 20. Russia –Aggression Scrutinized At the end of December, the Obama Administration announced punitive measures targeting Russia for what President Barack Obama characterized as the “Russian government’s aggressive … Continue Reading

Senate Expected to Act on the NDAA Conference Report; Iran Sanctions Extension Act Sent to President Obama’s Desk

The U.S. Congress will be in session again this week, primarily focusing on advancing a Continuing Resolution to fund the U.S. Government beyond 9 December. Last week, the Senate passed the Iran Sanctions Extension Act (H.R. 6269) by a vote of 99-0 on 1 December, sending the measure to President Obama’s desk. This week, the … Continue Reading

Washington Responds to the News of Fidel Castro’s Death; The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Will Focus on Iran; NDAA Has Yet to Be Addressed by Both Chambers of Congress

Last week, Washington hosted the final U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) under the Obama Administration. On Saturday, President Barack Obama issued a statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro, as did several Members of Congress. This week, the House of Representatives has noted a possible vote on the reconciled … Continue Reading

Congress Reconvenes, With the House Considering an Iran Sanctions Act Extension Measure and a Syria-Related Bill; President Obama Travels to Greece, Germany and Peru

Last week, U.S. Businessman Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 8 November, in what many are describing as an upset.  President-Elect Trump’s transition team is now tasked with vetting possible Cabinet appointees and lower-level appointees, receiving briefings from the Obama Administration on the issues facing the … Continue Reading

Congress Focuses on a Short-Term CR and Possibly Overriding the JASTA Veto; Washington Hosts the AGOA Summit This Week

President Barack Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly last week, giving his final speech to the Assembly. He also participated in the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees and the U.S.-Africa Business Forum events in New York City. The White House released a fact sheet last Wednesday on U.S.-Africa cooperation with respect to trade and investment during the Obama … Continue Reading

Congress Focuses on Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cyber Security, as well as Funding the Federal Government and Possibly Reconciling the Defense Authorization Measure; President Obama to Meet with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma

Last week, President Barack Obama returned to Washington early Friday morning from his Asia-Pacific trip, as the U.S. Congress advanced S. 2040, Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), to his desk.  President Obama honored the victims of the 9/11 attack Sunday morning in a ceremony at the Pentagon. North Korea reportedly conducted its fifth … Continue Reading

President Obama Returns Early From an Overseas Trip and Heads to Dallas; Congress Works to Wrap Business Before Summer Recess and Will Hold Hearings on the Human Trafficking Report, Zika, Cyber Concerns, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Turkey, and Pakistan, Among Other Topics; TTIP Negotiators Meet This Week

President Barack Obama travelled to Warsaw, Poland, at the end of last week to attend the NATO Summit and meet with Polish government officials.  In joint remarks to the press after a U.S.-EU meeting on Friday, President Obama emphasizing a close cooperation with the EU, including through the ongoing transatlantic free trade agreement negotiations, while … Continue Reading

President Obama Looks Ahead To His 10th Trip Go Asia, After Hosting The Nordic Leaders Last Week; The House Will Debate The NDAA This Week, While the Senate Committee Markup Wrapped Last Week; Secretary Kerry Travels to Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Belgium

Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted the Nordic Leaders Summit in Washington, with the Leaders affirming shared fundamental values and areas of collaboration, while also spotlighting Russia’s military activities in the Baltic Sea region and confirming multilateral sanctions imposed on Russia will remain in place.  Secretary of State John Kerry attended the Global Anti-Corruption Summit … Continue Reading

The House Armed Services Committee Marks-Up the NDAA, While the Full House Considers an MTB Reform Bill; A Senate Committee Marks-Up the DIGIT Act, While President Obama is in Germany at the Hanover Messe

President Barack Obama travelled to Saudi Arabia last week, meeting with Saudi officials on Thursday and attending the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit on Friday to discuss crises in the Middle East.  The President then travelled to the United Kingdom (UK), where he urged the UK to remain in the EU ahead of its June … Continue Reading

Fighting Reportedly Escalates in Syria and Ukraine; House Armed Services Subcommittees to Mark-up the NDAA

Tension between the United States and Russia remains heightened, particularly after recent reports of close military encounters in the Baltic Sea.  The ceasefire agreements appear to be tenuous in both Ukraine and Syria, with intensified fighting reported in both countries. While in Washington for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual Spring Meeting, … Continue Reading

Senate Finance Committee to Examine Past Free Trade Agreements; Ceasefire Takes Effect in Syria

President Barack Obama signed the customs bill and Judicial Redress Act into law last Wednesday.  In addressing U.S. state governors last week, the President expressed optimism that Congress may act this year on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.  Congress will be in session this week, with a number of defense-related hearings scheduled, as well as a … Continue Reading

U.S. President Announces Upcoming Trips to Cuba, Argentina, Vietnam and Laos; Congress Returns to Washington, Faces a Busy Week of Oversight Hearings, Including Testimony from the Secretaries of State and Defense

Early last week, President Barack Obama hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders in California and announced he will travel in May to Vietnam and Laos.  Back in Washington on Wednesday, the President announced another trip in March to Cuba and Argentina.  Congress was in recess last week, in observance of the Presidents’ … Continue Reading

Washington Seeks to Protect the Homeland from the Rapidly Spreading Zika Virus; Ambassador Froman Heads to the TPP Signing Ceremony; Safe Harbor Negotiators Fail to Meet EU Deadline

Historic snowfall levels kept the U.S. Federal Government from officially reopening until Wednesday of last week.  President Barack Obama, however, met the day before with his health and national security teams to discuss the rapid spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses in the Americas and steps being taken to protect U.S. citizens.  The President … Continue Reading

House to Vote on an Iran-Sanctions Bill and a Measure to Electrify Africa; Some Congressional Hearings to Focus on Countering ISIL and the U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq

The Senate was in session last week, while the House of Representatives remained in recess in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.  On 16 January, Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran took effect, as did a prisoner swap.  Washington’s attention then quickly shifted to an impending historic blizzard … Continue Reading

Congress Focuses on Nonproliferation (Iran, North Korea); President Obama Focuses on the State of the Union Address

The House of Representatives reconvened in Washington last Tuesday.  The Senate reconvenes today.  President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress on Tuesday when he gives the annual State of the Union.  Last week, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget announced the President would release his Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget … Continue Reading

Congress Adjourns for the Year – Recap of Last Week’s Foreign Policy Matters; President Obama Departs Washington for the Holidays

Congress approved an Omnibus spending measure and tax extenders package last Friday, its final major hurdle before adjourning for the year.  The House is expected to return for the new congressional session on Tuesday, 5 January 2016, with the Senate to follow on Monday, 11 January. President Barack Obama departed Washington late Friday for his … Continue Reading

Before it Adjourns for the Year, Some in Congress Signal Discontentment with Iran and the JCPOA; Washington Also Remains Focused on Combatting ISIL; President Obama Heralds the Conclusion of an International Climate Agreement

Congress reconvened last Monday to work on advancing several priority measures – such as an Omnibus spending measure to fund the federal government, a tax extenders package, and the customs bill, among others – in anticipation of adjourning later this week for the year. San Bernardino Shooting The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate … Continue Reading

Congress Returns to Washington and Focuses on ISIL, Russia; President Obama Attends the Climate Conference in Paris

Combatting ISIL – Syria and Iraq Crises After Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet over its territory last Tuesday, President Barack Obama maintained Turkey had a right to defend its airspace.  He spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that day, expressing U.S. and NATO support for Turkey’s right to defend its sovereignty.  The two … Continue Reading
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