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tv   Secretary of State Blinken Testifies Before House Foreign Affairs...  CSPAN  March 11, 2021 2:13am-6:13am EST

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200,000 --
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in a moment, with house rules, regulations, all participates are asked to keep themselves muted and while not actively engages in the discussion which should help limit echoes. the host will mute. remembers are responsible for unmuting themselves any time they wish to be heard. it may take a few seconds for your microphone to unmute. keep that in mind when speaking. a time keeper will monitor the time for this hearing. if you're joining virtually you can switch your personal view in the upper right corner of your screen to stage view. you can pin the timer by hovering your curser and
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pressing the icon. for submission of documents, please email. members must have their video on to be recognized and we ask that all participates remain muted. with that, chairman meeks, count down for five and pause for the system recognizes your video and we're ready to begin. >> three, two -- the committee on foreign affairs will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess of the committee at any point and all members will have five days to submit statements, material and questions for the record. subject to the limitation of the rules. to insert something to the record, please have your staff
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email the address. as a reminder to members, please keep your video function on at all times, even when you are not recognized by the chair. members are responsible for muting and unmuting themselves and please remember to mute yourself after you finish speaking. consistent with house rules, staff will only mute members as appropriate when they are not under recognition to eliminate background noise. i see that we have a quorum and i now recognize myself for opening remarks. pursuant to the notice, we meet today to hear from secretary blinken on the biden administration's foreign policy priorities and i want to thank you, secretary blinken, for joining us this early in your
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tenure. i think all of us on the dais and appearing virtually appreciate this opportunity for dialogue. your testimony today will no doubt expand on this administration's foreign policies strategic policies as it views of the global landscape and how those views inform its diplomacy-forward approach. it's a chance for you to hear our views and concerns as part of the role that this committee plays in supporting successful u.s. diplomacy around the world. and i trust you appreciate that. from renewing american engagement in the world by rejoining the paris agreement, the w.h.o., the biden administration has made one thing clear, america is once again back at the table. however, we do not return to the world as we last left it. but one where the united states must rebuild its credibility and
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demonstrate once more our capacity to promote democracy, the rule of law, human rights, global health and prosperity, it is through these efforts that american leadership is at its finest and under these principles that we can once again build multilateral coalitions to address our shared global challenges. america must once again demonstrate its willingness and capability to build successful coalitions that champion these fundamental values and thwart global threats. when at its best our nation has never shown reluctance to accept the moral obligation and exert u.s. leadership. not only is that our moral obligation, it is in our own economic and national security interest to do so. whether it's covid-19 or the climate crisis, the issues of today show how interconnected we are and how interdependent we are. america alone or america only
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has not worked. we vitalizing the state department is not a task for the department alone. we must pass authorization legislation for the state department. equipping it with authorities and flexibilities it needs in signaling congressional intent and support on a number of state department priorities. and that's why at the very first opportunity we had in this congress to advance legislation, the committee passed a bipartisan, management-focused, state department authorization bill. but, of course, the operations of the department will be a reflection of its personnel, and personnel is policy. i'm pleased to hear you say, quote, we're operating in a diverse world and our diversity is a unique source of strength that few countries can match. we don't have a diverse team, it's like -- if we don't have a
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diverse team it's like we're conducting diplomacy with one arm tied behind our back, unquote. as chair of this committee, i made addressing the lack of diversity at the state department a central focus of our work. recent data shows african-american constitute 3.8% of senior executive service members and only 3.1% on hispanic. our senior foreign service members, 3% are black, 5.9% are hispanic and 32% are women. to use your words, mr. secretary, we are conducting diplomacy with one arm tied behind our back. the gao's 2020 report on barriers to diverse at the department of state found that minorities in the department are rewarded fewer promotions than white counterparts even when accounting for education and
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years served. this is throughout every stage in their career. increasing the pipeline of minorities and women into the department alone, though, is not enough. we must also ensure there is an end to bias and promotions if we are to retain a diverse workforce. these trends may have worsened over the last four years, but they did not begin in 2017. in many instances, these figures have trended downward or stayed relatively unchanged for nearly three decades. with this administration's stated priorities to rebuild our depleted state department and promote diversity, we have the opportunity to work collaboratively in strengthening our workforce both civil and foreign service. but the changes need to promote diversity, equity and inclusion at the state department will not be measured only in statistics. it must be marked by a shift in the culture, environment and attitudes at the department that have perpetuated
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institutionalized discrimination. disturbingly, we heard reports of some state department employees espousing white nationalist or anti-semitic views. while these views don't reflect the vast majority of the servants at the department, but even isolated instances can have a chilling effect on that student of color who is considering a career of diplomacy, or a colleague that comes from a different background from their co-workers. i look forward to your testimony today and i know talented colleagues on this committee are eager to engage with you in your department so we can work in close collaboration to make progress on our shared objectives. i recognize my friend and ranking member of this committee, representative mccall, for his remarks. >> thank you for joining us
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today and for your early outreach to me as well. i look forward to working with you over the next four years. america's leadership in the world has never been more vital. let me begin with china. as a pandemic continues to rage, killing millions worldwide, the chinese communist party is using the fear and desperation created by the virus, the cover-up allow to spread and sow chaos and further their own agenda. the ccp poses a generational threat. as we speak, they are committing genocide against minorities, aggressively stealing u.s. intellectual property, threatening taiwan, ratcheting up their military aggression in the region and preying on nations with their belts and roads initiative. the ccp wants to reengineer the. on the same day that you gave
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your speech last week, xi said the biggest source of chaos in the present day world is the united states. this is why -- and i know you treat him seriously -- we cannot treat them as a normal adversary. and i wish you the best of luck in your discussions with them. we're truly in an ideological struggle. as you said in your speech, quote, china is the only country with the economic diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system, and i agree with you, sir. and i stand ready to work with you and the president to confront them. let me turn to russia.
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while the sanctions in response to navalny's poisoning and wrongful detention were an important step if this administration wants to counter putin regime's maligned influence it must ensure the nord stream 2 peep line is never completed. if we allow this pipeline to be completed it would be a tremendous victory for vladimir putin. yet the mandatory sanctions passed with bicameral bilateral support in the last two authorization bills have not been fully implemented. i hope you use the opportunity today to explain these sanctions and why they've not been fully implemented. there's multiple open source reports work is occurring and detailing your plan to stop the completion of this pipeline.
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let me turn from russia to another adversarial threat, iran. under president trump the united states applied a maximum pressure campaign against iran. president trump's crippling sanctions gave president biden and gives biden an opportunity we cannot afford to squander. unfortunately, i fear we are headed down a path where that may not happen, so i really want to strongly recommend in the strongest terms to commit that any updated deal with iran will include no sunset provisions, require any time anywhere inspections by the aiaea. and to stop providing support to terrorist entities and finally demand iran's release of all of our hostages. above all i want to encourage you to make sure that the deal has the buy in of the american
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people this time around. and i believe it should be approved by the united states as a treaty. as we speak there are reports of violence against civilians in the tigre region of ethiopia. while socialist dictators destabilize our own hemisphere here. we're ten years into the civil war in syria with no clear end in sight and the taliban is killing innocent civilians and afghan security forces at unprecedented levels. all this while covid continues to cause further instability in fragile nations, creating opportunities for terrorist organizations and other maligned entities. you certainly have many challenges that we face, but we face them together as a nation, as republicans and democrats. and i look forward to working with you and thank you for being
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here today. and i yield back. >> thank you, mr. mccaul. i now have the honor of introducing the 71 rs secretary of state the honorable anthony j. blinken. let me just say before i introduce him we have a vote on. so after my introduction i'm going to ask the congressman to chair the meeting so i can run to vote because it's a very significant important vote on the floor to benefit the american people, and i want to make sure that i get my vote in. but because of time i want to make sure that we take all the time that we can that we have you available, mr. secretary, so many members have the opportunity to ask you questions, and that's the reason why we're not going to break, and i wanted to make sure i gaveled in this committee even though i read your testimony, but i would have loved to hear
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all of it myself, but i'm going to make that vote. so the honorable anthony j. blinken currently served as the nation's secretary of state. he served as the secretary of state, deputy national security advisor to the president and national security advisor to the vice president during the obama administration. previously he also served in government at the state department and the national security council during the clinton administration, the democratic staff director of the other body on the other side of the aisle, the senate floor relations committee. mr. secretary, you now have time to deliver your opening remarks, and without objection your prepared written statement will be made as part of the record. >> mr. chairman, ranking member mccaul, thank you so hutch for your warm welcome. it's very, very good to be back before this committee, be back in this room and i really do appreciate the opportunity to
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talk today about the foreign policy goals and priorities of the biden-harris administration and some of the early work that we've done to try to achieve them. as i've said before i am committed to working with congress on the take off and not just the landing. i hope the administration's recommitment to working with you will usher in a new era of trust, cooperation, understanding between the executive and legislative branches. and i work for a president who believes deeply in it and having had the experience working in that lesser body down the street on the foreign relations committee, it's something i feel personally myself. the biden-harris administration has setout foreign policy priorities by asking a simple question, and it's one that motivates us every single day. what will this policy mean for american workers and american
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families? and with that in mind we setout the following priorities. stopping covid-19 so a crisis never happens like this again. building a more stable economy that delivers security and opportunity for as many americans as possible. renewing democracy at home and abroad. because strong democracies are more stable, more open, more committed to human rights, less prone to conflict and a more dependable market for our goods and services. working to create a humane and effective immigration system because strong borders are fundamental to our national security, and welcoming immigrants is core to our national identity. revitalizing our ties with allies and partners because these relationships really are force multipliers and a unique asset for the united states. tackling the climate crisis and driving a green energy revolution. because effectively dealing with climate change is essential to
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the health of our people, our economy, our security and our planet. securing our leadership in technology because it's critical to thriving in the global economy and because we need to strengthen our defenses against bad actors and managing our relationship with china. the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century. with those priorities in mind here are some of the actions we've taken in the first 50 days of this administration. on covid-19 we reengaged the world health organization and contribute an additional $2 billion to covax on the global vaccine initiative. on climate we rejoined the paris agreement and announced a climate leader summit which will be held on earth day, april 22nd. we held the first ministerial meeting of the dialogue between us, japan, australia and india and we'll hold a leader summit this week on friday. we halted any planned troop withdrawals from germany pending
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a review led by the pentagon. and i took my first virtual trip as secretary to canada and mexico. we rescinded the zero-tolerance executive order and sent the u.s. citizenship act of 2021 to the hill to modernize our immigration system. on refugees and asylum policies we rescinded harmful executive orders on refugee resettlement and announced a new target of 125,000 people for fiscal year 2022. we suspended the asylum cooperative agreements with the governments of el salvador, honduras and guatemala and granted temporary protective status to venezuelans already in the united states. we joined the u.n. human rights council as an observer.
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we released the khashoggi report and announced the khashoggi ban to stop people who engaged in serious extra territorial counter dissident activities on behalf of a foreign government from entering our country. we imposed russian sanctions on alexi navalny's poisoning. on public health we rescinded the mexico city policy prioritizing sexual and reproductive health incluzing funding for the population. we relaunched diplomacy to bring iran back into compliance with the jcpoa. we extended the sale of offensive weapons to saudi arabia and a special envoy to lead diplomatic efforts in
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yemen. and we boosted diplomatic efforts in afghanistan ahead of the may 1st deadline. and on strengthening the state department we've invested in diversity and inclusion, have a diplomatic work force that reflects the diversity of our country. we're focused on accountability and transparency, and we will modernize and rebuild so our team around the world has the tools and the support they need to get the job done. so as you can see many of these steps map directly onto our core priorities. we can draw a line from each one of them and draw a line further to the security, prosperity and well-being of our fellow citizens. the president has made it clear we will lead with diplomacy because it's the best way to deal with today's challenges. above all, we're determined to hold ourselves accountable to a single overarching measure of success. are we delivering results for the american people? that's our mission, oats our opportunity. we'll try to do our best to make
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the most of it. thank you very much. very glad to be here, and i look forward to getting your questions. >> thank you so much, mr. secretary. it is wonderful and refreshing to have you here before us today. i will now recognize members for five minutes each. and pursuant to house rules all-time yielded is for the purpose of questioning our witnesses. i'll recognize members by committee seniority alternating between democrats and republicans. if you seek recognition you must unmute your microphone and address the chair verbally and identify yourselves so that we know who is speaking. i'll start by recognizing representative sherman of california. >> thank you. mr. secretary, welcome back. it's almost five years since you were here before. i hope you come back soon. hopefully in a matter of weeks so that all members of this committee will have a chance to have five minutes with you. i know that you have a hard stop
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that may prevent some of our colleagues from being able to address questions. i have a lot of comments to make that i hope you or your staff can respond to for the record. and then to shock my colleagues i'll actually have a real question. thank you for focusing on the worldwide effects of covid. you should know that a number of the research projects designed to speed the production of vaccine or conservative it so that less can be used for each inoculation, a lot of that research isn't being done by people who say, well, it won't give us any results until may and by then americans will all be vaccinated. i'd hope your department would push those studies that would be helpful for the entire world get out of this pandemic. the russian state has not been effectively sanctioned for its interference in our elections, the mass hack and working with the taliban to kill our troops. one way that you can do that
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that the last administration actually did to a tiny and very flawed way is to use the chemical weapons statute to prevent americans from investing in debt issued by the russian government or its state owned companies. that should increase their cost of borrowing by about half a point. that would be a real sanction. and certainly they've earned it. i hope you'll do what you can to turn down the temperature in the south china sea. we don't need our naval vessels always 13 miles off the chinese coast. i don't want to see their vessels 13 miles off the los angeles coast. i want to applaud the biden administration for the paper you issued on refugees especially the fact that it includes the lottenburg amendment which is so important for christians, jews to at least demonstrate what we
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already know and that is they face incredible persecution by the iranian government. as the co chair by the indian caucus and i'm sure joined by the cochair i'm preezed president biden will be participating in the quadsummit just this friday with the heads of state of india, australia and japan. i hope that you'll work with to free all the captives from the recent armenia azerbaijan war, and i hope your staff would clarify the comments that seem to applaud the success of the military aggression. i hope you'll work to cajole turkey back to some semblance of democracy and freeing of political prisoners, that you'll look at the disappearances and extra judicial killings in pakistan and even before we've
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been able to rejoin the human rights council, i've got to applaud you for appearing before that council and talking about the lack of accountability for past atrocities in sri lanka. i hope you'll see whatever congressional change you need, and i don't think you need one, to reprogram the $134 million that we appropriated to the government of burma myanmar. clearly that needs to be changed especially not just for democracy but for the rohingya. now believe it or not a question. we're not in compliance with the jcpoa. iran isn't in compliance with the jcpoa. the iranian position is that we should make concessions to them just to get a meeting. it's my understanding our position is that we should come into compliance only as they or
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after they come into compliance with the nuclear safeguards. can you assure us we're not going to make concessions just to get a meeting? >> i can. >> that's a very good answer. and do we expect that before we give them sanctions relief that they will verifiably either be in full compliance with the jcpoa or be on a negotiated path toward full compliance? >> yes. >> those are such spectacular answers i'm going to shock my colleagues and yield back. >> anyone who would like to ask a question or make a comment would be able to do so. so i'll stay as long. >> thank you for that, mr. secretary. i now yield five minutes to the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, we have limited
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time. i'm just going to get right into it. i'm going to start with the crisis at the border. recently the biden administration canceled asylum cooperation agreements and remain in mexico. since that time we've seen a massive surge of migrants crossing and causing a crisis at our southern border. why did the president rescind these agreements that were supported by our neighbors to the south? >> thank you. as a gentle matter i really want to defer to my colleague at dhs to deal with questions on immigration. i would just say with regard to those agreements only one of them was actually in effect with guatemala. you're correct that all three were rescinded. but the president is determined that we have a safe, orderly and humane border. there's a lot of work that goes into making it such. it's going to take time to do that, and we very much look forward to working with congress to try to achieve that, to have
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a rational asylum process, to have a refugee program that works once again to the best traditions of our country. and to make sure, again, that the border is safe, it is orderly but it is also humane. but as i said this takes time to do. in the meantime wave also been very clear in saying to people do not come to the united states. now do not attempt regular migration. you will not -- >> the messaging has been a little mixed, and i think it appears to be, you know, we're open. and i've been -- i live in a border state. i was a federal prosecutor. when you send that message down there, they're going to come. and they are coming. and it's causing -- it has created a humanitarian crisis down there. we have so many children we can't even detain right now. let me move onto nord stream 2.
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i recently sent you a letter requesting additional sanctions on the 15 entities reportedly working on the nord stream 2 pipeline. as you know these sanctions are mandatory. and they're about 90% ready to complete this project. will you commit to submitting new sanctions on these 15 additional entities as soon as possible? >> so on nord stream 2 a couple things at the outset just to be very, very clear. president biden thinks it's a bad idea. he said so repeatedly. i share his view. it violates the european union's own security principles. it jeopardizes the economic and strategic situation for ukraine, for poland as awell so he opposes it, we'll continue to do so. i've been on the job i think five weeks. the pipeline is 95% complete. it started -- construction started in 2018, so i wish we didn't find ourselves in a situation with a pipeline that's
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virtually complete. >> i agree. and i think sanctioning these 15 entities would be great. on iran negotiation is always best from a position of strength. you know that as a diplomat. president trump imposed a maximum pressure campaign i believe gives us leverage as you go into these discussions. sir, will you commit to me and to this committee that you will formally consult with us before lifting any sanctions on iran? >> yeah, we're determined to consult on the take off, not on the landing across the board. but, yes, particularly when it comes to iran. if there is any movement on this -- and thus far there hasn't been -- yes, we will do so. and by the way, not just -- congress is the first stop but also allies, partners including allies and partners in the region who have their own concerns and own interests at stake. >> well, i think you have the leverage and i wouldn't let up on it. i don't trust the ayatollah.
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i don't know how you can possibly negotiate with the ayatollah. i commend you for trying to as we also try to negotiate with the taliban. i think these are the two most difficult, you know, organizations to negotiate with. and so i wish you the best on that effort. it's a big challenge as you know. on china, you testified yourself that genocide is occurring in china, and i agree with you and so does congress and so did the previous administration. we've labeled it genocide, put sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for these crimes against humanity. what additional steps are you prepared to take to stop this genocide? >> a number of things. and i share -- i share that view. i share the deep concern about it. i think there are a number of things that we can do, should do and will do. first of all, it's important to speak up and speak out. and to make sure that other
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countries are doing the same thing. the more china hears not just ours but around the world we'll get some changes. we have a number of steps we have taken for sanctions, visa restrictions, et cetera. i think it would be very important if china claims that there's nothing going on, that it give access to the international community, to the united nations. if they have nothing to hide, show it to us, show the world. so we'll be calling for that. and then i think there's a series of practical things very, very important. for example, we should ensure we're not exporting and others are not exporting to china products that can be used for repression of their people and minorities. similarly we shouldn't be bringing into this country products created by forced labor.
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so those are some of the practical things that we can and should do. but for sure we're going to start by speaking out forcefully on this. >> thank you, sir. >> i now recognize myself for five minutes. speaking of china, i understand there was some breaking news that you and the national security advisor will be conducting an in-person meeting with the chinese next week. can you tell us what you expect to be the agenda for those meetings and what you hope to have as an outcome of your engagement with the chinese? >> thank you, mr. chairman ach as i mentioned earlier i'm heading off with secretary of defense lloyd austin to visit two of our important allies, japan and south korea. we leave on sunday and we'll spend the balance of the week there. on the way back i'm stopping off in alaska.
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the national security advisor jake sullivan will come out as well and we plan to meet with the director and state council following that trip. pretty simple. this is an important opportunity for us to lay out in very frank terms the many concerns we have with beijing's actions and behavior that are challenging the security, the prosperity and the values of the united states and our partners and allies. so we intend to raise and we will raise a host of issues some of which have already been touched on today that concern us. we'll also explore whether there are avenues for cooperation, and we'll talk about the competition that we have in china, with china to make sure that the united states has a level playing field and that our companies and workers benefit from that. this is not a strategic dialogue. there's no intent at this point
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for a series of follow-on engagements. those engagements if they are to follow really have to be based on the proposition that we're seeing tangible progress and tangible outcomes on the issue of concern to us with china. but this is an opportunity for us to put on the table. >> let me just ask you another quick question in the limited time. you heard my opening statement and i'm very concerned about diversity at the state department. so i don't know whether you've done a review yet or not, but i'd like to ask you whether you contribute the disparity and how do you plan to address what many may call the discrimination at the state department? >> mr. chairman, i share that concern. and i've said this on several occasions, i will consider it a mark of my success or not during my tenure as secretary whether we've been able to put in place a much more sustainable
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foundation for advancing true diversity at the state department to make sure that we have a foreign service and foreign policy work force that looks like the country it represents. and so to your point, we will be appointing very soon the first chief diversity officer and inclusion officer at the department. that person will report directly to the secretary of state, but beyond that there is a significant sustained effort that has to take place not just on recruitment although that's vitally important, but also on retention to make sure that ones people come through the door and are working there. they feel welcome, they feel included. they're contributing because if they don't, they won't stay and there has to be accountability starting with the secretary of state. so we're going to have transparency in what we're doing including making available to congress the different numbers and assessments of our efforts. one other quick thing on this. as you know very well, this effort has to start well before
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anyone gets through the doors at c street. we have to be able to have in the pipeline at least the people taking careers in foreign policy and national security at the state department, we have to be able to open peoples imaginations and open their minds to the prospect this would be a wonderful thing to do and a wonderful pursuit to which to dedicate their lives. and that means engaging in high schools, in colleges across the board. i think you're going to see the state department at all levels spending time in our own country to open peoples minds to that prospect and then finding ways to support them as they choose to make a career. >> let me thank you for that and i'm also trying to make sure i'm delighted to have you in. and as you may know there's been some in the past -- i don't want to focus on the past. we've got an oversight responsibility here on this committee. and so to do that correctly we need to have a constructive relationship with the department as congress fulfills its
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constitutional mandated oversight. so my question is will you commit to have your staff make sure that congress has the information it needs to help restore american diplomacy? >> yes. >> thank you. and lastly, let me just ask you a quick question in regards to afghanistan because we know that ending the war in afghanistan responsibly remains a key priority for many members of congress and our constituents. so can you quickly explain to us the updated proposal and any feedback you have receive from the afghan government and the taliban on this proposal? >> the president's goal is very clear. it's to end the conflict, bring our troops home and to ensure that afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorism and an ongoing threat to the united states. we're engaged in a diplomatic effort right now to try to drive the two parties to negotiate and to move forward on commitments that the taliban made to the united states a year ago to
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negotiate meaningfully on a peaceful future for afghanistan. not only are we doing that, as important we're enlisting other countries, the united nations in that effort. many of afghanistan's neighbors have a real stake in its future and influence with the parties. so that diplomatic effect is ongoing. meanwhile we're reviewing our own troop posture including the may 1st deadline. we haven't made any decisions yet about that, and we want to see where this effort goes to actually get the parties to engage in a meaningful way. the taliban made other commitments when it comes to reducing violence, when it comes to not harboring and supporting terrorists we want to make good on those obligations. >> let me just say i gave myself and mr. mccaul a little extra time. for the rest of the members i want you to know i'm going to be very strict on the five minute
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rule. the secretary has graciously said he'll stay long enough as he can. so i'll ask whatever you have questions and answers within five minutes so we can get as many members if not every member an opportunity to ask a question. i now recognize the gentleman from new jersey and the ranking member on the subcommittee of africa on global health and global human rights representative chris smith. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, mr. secretary. i've been deeply concerned about chinese communist parties pervasive human rights abuses. in addition to several fact finding trips including to a concentration camp, i've chaired over 75 congressional hearings focused exclusively on ccp violations including purseication, torture, forced abortion, organ harvesting, online censorship, the jailing of journalists and bloggers and
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now genocide. your predecessor, secretary pompeo, concluded that the persecution of the huegers constituted genocide. the president gave a response and said, quote, culturally there are different norms that each country are expected to follow, closed quote. an answer that was eerily remsent of president obama's cultural norm defense of -- which was widely criticized by human rights defenders everywhere including an editorural by "the washington post" called president obama makes -- look good on rights. you did say again today, you said in your senate testimony how you believe china was committing genocide. and ned price at state was asked whether it was ongoing and i do believe you think it's ongoing and hope you would comment on
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that and whether or not a real cost for these crimes, these horrific crimes would be imposed. will you retain the entities list, for example? we have legislation that's pending that would make it a presumption against any product coming out that it shouldn't come here because we can't determine whether or not its origin was by forced labor. in like matter you ought to have hong kong pass the human rights and democracy act. will you impose a serious cost on xi jinping and others for destroying hong kong's democracy, jailing great leaders like joshua wong and conducting farcical show trials against some of the greatest human rights defenders on earth like martin lee? finally mr. secretary, in 1984 i've offered the first of several amendments i've offered in many decades to condition population control funds away from organizations that support or comanage coercive population programs. now as you have said today and
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as we know from the executive order by the president, there was an order designed to resume foreign aid to organizations like u.n. population fund have been found repeatedly to be violations of the noncoercion policy. and especially concerned president biden voted against a resolution in 2000 simply criticizing china's barbaric one child per couple policy. and he told students in china that he was empathetic and fully understood and wouldn't be second guessing that cruel policy that crushes women. also because of china's limitation policy tens of millions of girls are missing, dead simply because being a girl or female. i would hope he would stand with the oppressed.
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i have had hearings here with women who have been forcibly aborted. and they tell their stories and it's unbelievably horrible that legacy and trauma carries through for the rest of their lives. we should be standing for the oppressed against the oppressor. yield. >> thank you. i appreciate everything you've said. we are determined to put human rights and democracy back at the center of our foreign policy to make sure as well we have the tools we need to be most effective in advancing human rights and democracy. some of things i'm thankful for are the tools congress has given us to do that which has been usually helpful in these efforts. but other others, sanction authorities and so onto penalize those directly responsible for
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committing human rights abuses and other atrocities. as i was saying earlier i think we have to start from the proposition that the most important first step is for us to speak up and speak out. and we are and we will and we also want to make sure that we're building coalitions of like bodied countries who share these deep concerns about human rights abuses in china or for that matter anywhere else. but then to your point to actually take action and apply the tools that we have, see if we can make a meaningful difference -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> working with you to find ways to do it more effectively. >> i now recognize the chair of the subcommittee of the western hemisphere, civilian security, migration and economic policy of new jersey for five minutes. >> thank you for testifying today and congratulations. as chairman of the western embassy subcommittee i look forward to working with you and
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your staff to deepen united states engagement in latin america and the caribbean. as you know u.s. policy towards cuba is deeply personal to me. i have first-hand experience of what it is to live under the castro dictatorship. i came to this country when i was 11 years old. i still have memories of the military coming through, searching my house, accusing my father of hoarding merchandise. i have all these memories and i have made it my priority when i came to congress to promote democracy and human rights, all of them. but i've been encouraged by the statement that president biden and white house officials have made regarding the need to put democracy and human recognizes at the center of our policy towards cuba. and as secretary i was wondering what steps could you take to promote political rights, civil
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liberties and any attack on human rights defenders in cuba. >> i think across the board we share the same goals when it comes to cuba and that is democracy and freedom for its people. i have particular respect for the views and the experiences of our fellow citizens who are cuban american. because you not only know it, you've lived it. your families have lived it. so this is something that resonates with me. we're looking at the entire policy right now, and we haven't come to any conclusions. i think knowing what the goals are, freedom and democracy of the people of cuba, i think we also start with the recognition that obviously no policy in the past of whatever stripe has fully succeeded in achieving that. so we're going to be reviewing the policy and we want to do it in close consultation with congress and particularly with
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members who know the issues so well. as you've seen there have been no early policy changes, and certainly we are not going to make any changes without fully consulting, so i look forward to the opportunity to do that. >> thank you, mr. secretary. you know, on january 1st congresswoman norma torres and i sent a letter to president biden to prioritize the corruption and the protection of human rights especially central america. i assume that we're also applying the same democracy and human rights to the region in central america. >> yes, very much so. >> venezuela obviously is going to come up. i had a hearing on venezuela the other day. i was very happy to see that the president designated the pts to the venezuelans, about 320,000
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of them here in this country. i think that's the right step. they have suffered greatly. my concern for venezuela is russia seems to be more and more engaged with venezuela. and i think they're -- well, i don't think. i know they're trying to destabilize the region. can i spoke to the ambassador of columbia. in 2019 russia had 6,000 people go through columbia, and they expelled three russians. now, for russia columbia is not exactly a beach destination. so my concern is that they're using venezuela to destabilize columbia, to get involved in other elections in south america. and i would hope that the administration would focus on russia's efforts to try to destabilize our neighbors in the western hemisphere. >> i share that concern, and we
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see that in venezuela. we've seen i think a resurgence of russian presence and activity in cuba the last few years. and we're very attentive to that across the board. to the point you made a minute ago, too, i should come back to say i think your emphasis on both spotlighting and combating corruption is absolutely essential, and this is something we're going to dedicate both more focus, more time and more resources to because we see it as both unfortunately prevalent in so many places but also, a little bit of an achilles' heel when we can put the spotlight on it because when people see the corruption of their leaders, that's a good way to undermine support for said leaders. >> thank you very much. gentleman's time has expired. i now recognize the ranking member on the subcommittee of asia, central asia and
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nonproliferation for ohio for five minutes. >> mr. secretary, you touch on the border with mr. mccaul, but it's such an important issue i'd like to follow up on it. now, obviously border security is principly within the purview of the department of homeland security, but there's clearly a foreign affairs aspect to the relationship between the united states and mexico and the united states and central america. and you're here. and what's happening now at our southern border is in my view a national disgrace. now, it always makes sense to me that one answer to stemming the tide of the mass humanity fleeing places like honduras and guatemala and el salvador and mexico was to help those countries improve the conditions there, fight the drug gangs that control neighborhoods and prey on people, reduce rampant governmental corruption. you and i probably agree on
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those things and i know by the nodding of your head that we do. this administration, unfortunately, policies towards our southern border since taking office a mere seven weeks ago has in my view been feckless, incompetent. the biden administration has a real mess on its hands and a mess of its own making. this administration has essentially signaled to the world come on in, our border's open, you can stay, and they're coming. unaccompanied minors, way up. single males, way up. many with covid. and it's getting worse. former detention centers are now called reception centers. the previous administration was criticized for allegedly holding kids in cages. those photos of course turned out to be photos that had been taken during the obama-biden administration but i argue the administration you're part of is doing worse. now, the previous administration as mr. mccaul had mentioned had skillfully reached agreements
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with mexico and other countries to keep their migrants there, not here pending a resolution of their immigration matters as a result illegal immigration into this country and the accompanying stress on american taxpayers had much improved. now this administration has brought back catch and release. you're letting people into the u.s. and wait here for their hearings even though you know that the vast majority of them are going to disappear into the interior of the u.s. and never show up for their hearings. but this border crisis is real, and it's getting worse. don't the american people deserve better than this? >> so i would disagree with some of the factual predicates of your statement. but having said that, a couple of things. you're right, of course, this is also a foreign policy challenge for the united states, could not agree more.
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and in the early going we've had intensive engagement with all the countries in the northern triangle. i've spoken to all my counter parts and of course with mexico where president obama -- excuse me, president biden has had a virtual visit, virtual summit meeting. we had a similar engagement with my counterpart and other members of the government. we're working very closely with mexico on what is a common challenge including securing its own southern border, working to give people incentives and also to stay in place and not come to the united states. we very much agree and i welcome the opportunity, we have to deal with the drivers of migration, to your point. and i think there is real opportunity there to do that, when president biden was vice president as you might remember he led an effort, very
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successful effort, a bipartisan effort with congress to secure significantly more resources to help guatemala, honduras and el salvador to deal with some of these drivers whether it came to security, whether it came to corruption, whether it came to economic opportunity. and we did this in a way that was not simply throwing money at the problem but demanding concrete reforms from these countries that actually materially improved the situation for people there and took away some of the incentives for them to come to united states. we now have a proposal for additional resources over four years to do that and do that in a potentially effective way so we can take some of those drivers away. so i really welcome an opportunity to talk about that, work on that and hopefully get support from congress. >> thank you, i'm almost out of time but i look forward to working with you. and there's a lot things we can work together on. and look forward to doing that.
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>> gentleman yields back. i now represent president of the nato parliamentary assembly for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for that title. it's so nice to welcome you here, secretary blinken. and let me just clear one thing up, though, in your very courteous answer to my good friend from ohio, surely the absence of your contradicting the idea that there's a crisis on the border should not be construed as your consenting to the fact there's a crisis at the border. is there a crisis at the border? >> we have at the border a lot of work to do to make sure it is safe, orderly and humane. we're engaged in doing that work. >> but mr. secretary, the clear narrative that my friends on the other side of the aisle are trying to create is that all these times president biden took
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office has a crisis occurred on the border because of i don't know unwillingness to really deal with the real problem. and i'm dwifbing you an opportunity to clarify your opinion on that. i for one don't acinformation that suddenly a crisis materialized overnight on january 20th or 21st, but you're the secretary of state. >> i share that view. and i disagree with some of the factual predicates of his question and what i'm focused on is trying to make sure from my vantage point and the responsibilities i have we're working as effectively as we can with mexico, with countries of northern triangle to deal with this problem together because if we don't, we won't. >> right. and it's one thing to acknowledge there are problems. there have been problems for the long time at the border but quite another to manufacture a crisis for partisan political gain, not that my friend would ever do that. but some might. let me ask you in the limited
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time i have wearing that nato hat, you know, in talking to nato allies from 30 countries and associated countries at least at the parliamentary level, frankly enormous relief that there's a new administration in a town that recognizes the importance of the transatlantic alliance and certainly the president as well as you in your hearing have acknowledged that two things. how concretely can we move to try to reassure allies that we value the alliance and will absolutely commit to it? and secondly, what do we do about democratic resilience within the alliance? we see backsliding, and there are a number of us who believe we actually have to have, you know, structures within nato that advocate for those values we call democracy, mr. secretary. >> i very much share that view,
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and first we have in president biden as you know someone who believes strongly in nato, in the alliance, the most successful alliance in history and something that he sees as the glue that joins us to europe. and this is something as you know he spent a lot of time on in the past and he's doing so now as well. i've been working the phones in the absence of being able to travel although that's about to change. and i've engaged with virtually all of our nato partners or certainly many of them and have heard the same thing that you're hearing, a thirst and desire for the united states to be reengaged, and we are. i think you're exactly right, though, that we're seeing, unfortunately -- more than unfortunately, tragically in some cases, democratic backsliding not just in europe but indeed in many places around the world. freedom house put out its annual
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report that continues to show we're now on a basically 15-year democratic recession around the world. and the president believes very, very strongly that, one, we have to make sure we're getting our own democratic house in order if we're going to lead by the power of example. but, to, we need to work with other democratic countries to strengthen their resilience. the president has talked about this and we're working through it now. we will convene a summit of democracies probably toward the end of the year to bring together the democratic community to look both at the challenges that we're each facing at home and to see if we can learn some lessons from each other because even though they're detinct and different there are some common denominators but second to look at what the agenda should be from challenges coming from the outside. but i would just say one thing
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in addition to this because i really think it's important for a common responsibility for all of us. when we see democracy being challenged by china or by russia, one of the things that they're trying to do constantly is not just to divide us from other democracy but of course to divide us from ourselves and in particular to try to make the case that the system that we all believe in and are dedicating our lives to professionally doesn't work and that their systems are better. we can demonstrate together that democracy actually delivers for our people and for other democracies. that is the single best answer and response to this effort by autocratic countries around the world to try to make the case that democracy doesn't deliver and autocracy does. so i hope we can work on that together because that's the path to success. >> the gentleman's time has
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expired. i now recognize the ranking member on the subcommittee of the middle east, representative joe wilson of south carolina for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. and mr. secretary, thank you for being here today. the international criminal court has taken actions leading to unjustified prosecution of american and israeli nationalists despite neither country being a member of the court. most recently the icc issued a ruling that had jurisdiction to china israelis for alleged war crimes in palestine. i appreciate your statement opposing the recent moves by the icc. what are the steps the state department are taking to counter these recent actions, and how will you work to prevent icc prosecutions of americans or israelis? >> thank you for the question. i appreciate it. look, we of course share the goal, the broad goal of accountability for international atrocity crimes. that's not the issue. in the case that you raise as
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well as the attempt to assert jurisdiction over american troops in afghanistan, we have strongly opposed those assertions of jurisdiction. it's been our view, it remains our view that jurisdiction is reserved when a state consents to it or if there's a referral by the united nations security council. neither is true in the case of israel and the palestinian matter that you just mentioned, nor is it true in the case of afghanistan. we have the capacity ourselves to provide accountability when those issues arise. and so we will continue to make clear our opposition. i think the question for us -- and it's an appropriate one -- is how can we most effectively do that, and that's something we're looking at right now. i think we -- we've spoken out, we've been clear and we'll see going forward how we can most effectively engage the icc to avoid these assertions of
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jurisdiction when they're not warranted. >> well, thank you very much on behalf of my constituents. also my youngest son served in afghanistan so i identify what they could mean to the american people. additionally in the past several months we've truly seen historic efforts being made with israel's relationship with their arab neighbors. they've joined in establishing or moving toward full diplomatic relations with israel, paving the way for peace through recognition and engagement rather than isolation or boycotts of israel. how do you plan on strengthening the betting relationships between israel and uae and are you going to encourage other arab and muslim nations to make peace with israel? >> the short answer to the second part of the question is, yes, absolutely. and let me just say we aploud the steps that have been taken
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by a number of countries including the arab emirates. these are very important, and we want to build on them. >> that's terrific because it's a dream come true to see the level of stability in middle east that many of us thought could never occur. unfortunately, then we go to nord stream 2, and that is do you agree the nord stream 2 pipeline is a russian maligned influence project if complete that would threaten european and u.s. security? >> yes as i think we were discussing a bit earlier the president opposes nord stream 2. he's been clear about this for some time. so have i and unfortunately the pipeline as you know is 95% complete, but we are making clear that we stand against its completion. we issued an initial report and sanctioned the leading pipe laying ship, and we continue to
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review other possibilities for sanctions going forward. >> i appreciate you actually referenced the threat to poland. what about a threat already with the aggression in ukraine. >> there are two and this is something that i worked on a lot when i was last in the obama-biden administration. we strongly stand against russia's attempted annexation of crimea, we stand strongly against its aggression in eastern ukraine, and we're strongly in support of eastern ukraine. we intend to strengthen that support whether it's security, economic or its efforts to strengthen its own democracy, which are vitally important because one of the challenges as you know for ukraine is it has to face aggression from the outside, from russia. but it also has to deal on the inside with its own challenges including the problem of corruption. we're determined to work on all of that. >> another alternative would be
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azerbaijan to bulgaria, the black sea with pipelines, and i urge you to make every effort on that. i yield back. >> gentleman's time has expired. i now recognize the chair of the subcommittee on the middle east, north africa and global counter terrorism, a representative from florida. >> thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. it's a pleasure to wellium you to the committee today. i want to first thank you for your statement yesterday on the 14th anniversary of the disappearance of my constituent bob levinson. bob deserves his final resting place to be here in this country that he loved so much with his beloved and recollect raable family. i'm also appreciative of your commitment to implementing the robert levine hostage recovery and hostage accountability act. there's at least 45 publicly known cases of americans being held around the world. they deserve the full attention of our government and as we deal
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with iran, the return of americans must be at the top of the list. now, on iran you've been clear and were today with mr. sherman in your commitment to not get back into the jcpoa without iranian compliance. you've also talked about the need to work with our allies to address making the deal stronger and longer, address some of the rapidly approaching snets and tighten the inspections. there are some people who think we should get back into the jcpoa immediately. you are not one of them. there are also some who believe we have to address nuclear and nonnuclear right at the start before returning to the deal. you've committed to building on the nuclear agreement to address the nonnuclear issues. we've got to find a path forward that forward that can achieve all of our shared goals. you offered to sit down with iran as we talked about earlier,
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and they said no, and proceeded using centrifuges. the question is, can you lay out some thoughts on how to go forward given iran's refusal to engage? what do we do to build upon the jcpoa, lengthen and strengthen it and address these other nonnuclear issues? >> thank you very much. first, if i could on the question of hostages because this is something i know you feel very strongly and something i feel very strongly too, and it is a priority for me to do everything i possibly can to bring home every american who is being held hostage or is otherwise being illegally detained in a foreign country, wherever that is. >> thank you. >> and one of the first things that i did i think on my first week on the job was to meet virtually with almost all of the families who have loved ones who are being illegally detained or held hostage abroad. as you noted, i had a chance to
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spend some time with the levinson family this week, and the canadians have launched an initiative which i think we should work together to build on, and that is to bring countries together to stand against the arbitrary detention of people for political purposes around the world. i would hope that over time more and more countries will sign onto that proposition, and we will isolate the countries that continue to engage in these practices. with regard to the -- to the jcpoa, let me just say quickly a couple of things. first we have to deal with -- wl world as it is now, and the world is it is now is this. whatever one's views of the agreement and my own views are clear, but i know others disagree, but on its own terms, in terms of putting iran's nuclear program in a box and cutting off its pathways to
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producing material for a nuclear weapon on short order, it was succeeding. the intelligence community said so. the international inspector said so, and when we pulled out of the agreement, the iranians then of course, have a vote in this too, and have started to lift the constraints that were imposed on them by the agreement. as a result, we're now in a place where under the agreement, the so-called breakout time, the amount of time it would take them to produce the material for one weapon, it had been pushed past a year. now according to public reports, it's three to four months and potentially getting shorter and shorter as, and if they continue to take steps, to turn on aspects of their program that the jcpoa turned off. so i think we have an interest in getting iran back into that nuclear box because think of it this way. we have fundamental problems with iran's actions across a whole series of things. whether it is support for terrorism, whether it's a ballistic missile program that's increasingly dangerous, whether
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it's destabilizing actions throughout the region on iran or with the threshold to have a weapon, it's likely to act with even greater impunity when it comes to those things. so we have a real incentive to do that. so we've -- we've been clear that the best, most sustainable way to do that is through tough-minded diplomacy. we've made clear we're prepared to reengage in that diplomacy. there was an invitation from the european union to all parties, including iran and the united states, and talking about if there was a way to iran meeting itsobligations. we said we would attend, and iran has said no. the ball is in their court. >> the gentleman's time has expired, and i now recognize the representative from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and secretary, congratulations on your confirmation. it's good to see you here. when you were having a discussion with the ranking
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member about china, my questions will center on china about the genocide occurring there. i think you did say it, and i don't want to put words in your mouth, but speaking out forcefully would be part of the answer. is that correct? >> that is correct, yes. >> regarding the genocide in china, would you say that it simply reflects a difference in cultural norms between our country and their country? is that a proper characterization or not a proper characterization? >> i would say it -- what it reflects is an egregious violation of human rights. >> so -- so it's more than just cultural norms of a country? >> i think we have been clear and i have been clear that i see it as genocide. other egregious abuses of human rights, and we'll continue to make that clear. >> and i would think that simply characterizing it as a difference in cultural norms would not be -- would you
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consider that forceful, speaking out forcefully? i'm just trying to use your terminology here. >> yeah, and i would say we have, and we will continue to speak out forcefully, and shine a light on these egregious violations of human rights. >> i understand. in 2013, emma riley, a lawyer in the u.n. office of high commissioner for human rights began to raise concerns that the office was floating the names to beijing. according to miss riley, the lives of these individuals were put in jeopardy. one died in prison. more than seven years later, the u.n. has failed to address this whistle-blower case. do you believe -- well, given the implications of the claim, do you believe that the allegations deserve to be fully and impartially investigated? >> so i'm not aware of the case, but based on your description of
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it, the short answer is yes. >> so you're unaware. you've never heard about this at all? >> i don't recall hearing about that particular case, but based on your description, i would share your serious concern about it. >> because if it is true, then it would implicate the ohchr's complicity in genocide, if that is the case. if that's the case. if there is an investigation. even if there is not an investigation, but if that is the case, and given the severity of the allegations, would the biden administration be willing to hold off on rejoining the council based on that? >> when it comes to the council, we obviously have significant concerns about its -- its actions, particularly for example, its bias against israel and its repeated efforts to hold israel to a standard that it does not hold other countries
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to. that's a problem that needs to be corrected. similarly, we have had real concerns with the council in terms of its membership. we have had some of the worst human rights violators that find their way onto the council. that's also a problem. it's our view in terms of reforming the council and making sure it's doing the right thing and focusing on what it's supposed to be focusing on, we're better at the table than outside the room. we have been able to get some changes, including shifting its focus away from one-sided, you know, efforts against israel. similarly and interestingly to your point, the council actually has done arguably a better job than some other institutions in putting a spotlight on china and its human rights abuses. so i think there's something to -- important to work with there, and the basic proposition is when we're in the room, we have a much better chance of making sure it's doing what it's supposed to. >> if we are going to be in the room, i would hope that you urge there is a full investigation and appropriate action taken if
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they are indeed taken with the genocide in china. >> i would be happy to follow up with that. >> thank you. i would appreciate that. knowing that you're looking forward to a meeting very soon with the principals regarding china, are you prepared? are you preparing anything with the climate change? >> no. >> no concessions with the communist chinese party? >> no concessions with china or any other party. we're advancing the interests and the values of the united states, and we have to make the best judgment we can about how to do that, but certainly when it comes to china as we've discussed, and i've had opportunity to discuss in the few short weeks that i have been on the job, we see this, and i see this as, in many ways, the most consequential relationship that we have in the world, and china uniquely has an ability
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militarily, diplomatically, economically, to undermine the international rules-based system that the united states has devoted so much effort to building, and that does advance the interest and the values of our people. we're going to be making very clear to our counterparts in china the deep concerns, objections that we have to some of the things that they're doing, and to see if they will address those concerns. >> thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. i now recognize the chair of the subcommittee on africa, and global health and human rights. >> thank you very much, and thank you mr. chair, ranking member and mr. secretary. i really appreciate you coming here today, and your openness to engage with us in a dialogue. so i hope to get through three quick questions, and one is concerning covid. very excited that we're finally getting a handle on it in our country, but we know we have the obligation worldwide. we're already dealing with the
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mutation from south africa, and so my question to you is, is that how is the department of state working with the administration and other agencies to enhance access to the vaccine globally, and what role can the state department take in terms of pulling back technology? that's my first question. i've got a few others. >> good. as you know, one of the first steps that we took was to join covax, the international vaccine con sortion, and more than that, we have dedicated resources from congress made available with more to come depending on whether other countries also step up, but beyond that, we are looking across the board at ways that we can really lean in to facilitate access to vaccines around the world because to your point, and i think we all know this. we are never going to be fully safe. >> right. >> here in the united states, until the vast majority of the world is vaccinated because as long as that virus is replicating somewhere, it could
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be mutating, and if it's mutating, it could come back to bite us. so this is not simply the right thing to do. it's the necessary thing to do in terms of our national security, and we're looking at ways to advance that effort. >> i would love to see us play the same leadership role that we played around ebola. ebola could have gone much further. switching reels to mali, in august, 2020, the government was accused of a military coup. the security situation both inside mali, and the wider region remains extremely unstable. so to prevent the security situation from deteriorating further, do you think it's important to remain peacekeepers in the mandate runs up in june around the security council. >> in short, yes. we would benefit from us being able to have a chance to talk
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and figure out the best way forward. it's a challenging situation, but the short answer is yes. >> great. my next question is what role do you see the u.s. playing in assisting in the negotiation process regarding the great dam in ethiopia, and maybe you can comment about the situation in ethiopia after that question. >> with regard to the gerd, we want to do everything we can to facilitate the country's concern coming together and finding a way forward that meets their -- their interests and avoids conflict, and i think we can use our good offices to help do that. so that's the way we're approaching it. the challenge in ethiopia is very significant, and it's one that we're very -- very focused on, particularly the situation where we were seeing very credible reports of human rights abuses and atrocities that are ongoing, and i have been on the
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phone on several occasions now with the prime minister of ethiopia. i've talked to other leaders in the region, and on the continent and beyond. i very much understand the concerns, for example, that the prime minister had about the tplf and its actions, but the situation in tegray is unacceptable and it has to change. we have to make sure we're getting into the region. aide workers and others. humanitarian assistance to make sure the people are cared for, provided for and protected, and it's very important that the government follow through on commitments that it's made. >> do you envision peacekeepers? >> at this point, we have two other challenges that go to the security piece. one is we have -- as you know, forces there, and we have forces from an adjoining region that are there.
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they need to come out, and a force that will not abuse the human rights of the people, or commit acts of ethnic cleansing which we've seen in the west. that has to stop. we have to access full accountability and get an independent investigation into what took place there, and we need some kind of process, a reconciliation process so that the country can move forward politically. the prime minister was an inspiring leader who won the nobel peace prize, and now he needs to step up and make sure that his own people there are getting the protections they need and deserve. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. i now recognize derek issa from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, it's good to have you here as the chairman said earlier. this is very early and very
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pleasant to have you and having started in this committee when colin powell was here, and then being a freshman, i didn't get to ask a question for the first three times he appeared. i had to wait until the chairman went away and grabbed him during a vote. so i want to thank you for agreeing to allow everyone to ask you a question. you know, all the way back in the old testament, the phrase that a leopard doesn't change its spots or can't change its spots. unfortunately those thousands of years of history seem to apply to iran. you hadn't yet gone to harvard when iran took hostages of our embassy and blamed it illegally and wrongfully and lied and said it was just students. my understanding is that we still don't have that embassy back. so in these decades, iran has never changed its spots.
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it has continued to foment any kind of destabilizing activities it can throughout the region in both shia and sunni majorities, and the country has famously supported hamas and hezbollah and made peace in that region much more difficult, if not, impossible. so as you look at re-entering the jcpoa, my question is not on the nuclear question because i think very accurately and succinctly, you said their nuclear ambitions are so that they can do what they're already doing with impunity, but they have done with impunity for longer than many people on this dais have lived. what are your plans on the areas of their continuing to destabilize their neighbors and their support for terrorism around the world, but particularly the two groups i
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mentioned? >> i very much share your concerns about iran's actions across the board, and the question is, what can we do about it? how can we be most effective? i think part of it starts with making sure we're working with and in close collaboration with other countries who are similarly aggrieved by iran's actions, and so we are in close consultation and coordination with other countries that are on the receiving end of some of iran's actions, but also with our european partners. one of the reasons i think it would be beneficial if there is a way back into the nuclear agreement would be to find ourselves once again on the same side with our european partners who spent the better part of the last few years trying to keep that agreement alive, and not necessarily focusing all of the energy and attention on dealing with some of these other actions that iran takes where their help would be very important. so i think there's an opportunity there if that goes forward, but we have all sorts of tools, including -- and this
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is important, and i know you know this. the nuclear agreement doesn't take away a single tool that we have to deal with iran's other egregious actions, wherever they may take place, and indeed we have international authorities to do the same thing. so we will use all of those tools and we'll do it in coordination with other countries. >> i appreciate that. i'll give you two quick more questions. number one, as historically with bipartisan support, each administration has continued to support lebanese institutions in order to be an offset to iranian influence, including the universities and the lebanese armed forces. is it your position that you're going to continue to do that? >> yes, and by the way, i think the last time i was there was with then-vice president biden, and one of the things we did was a very powerful ceremony where we, in effect, delivered some very needed things to the armed forces to underscore that
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commitment. >> and a caveat to that, i'm assuming that your intention is to continue the support for the refugee camps that dominate lebanon almost 50% of their population. >> the burden they're undertaking is extraordinary. >> and last, you did some things that are contrasting you with your predpredecessor. can you give us items that secretary pompeo did well, that you plan to continue and expand on? >> sure, and i had a terrific conversation with secretary pompeo. during the transition, we spent time together going through a lot of things about the state department itself, our foreign policy more broadly. i think he's just as one example, he did a good job in trying to help bring the state department into the 21st century with the use of technology and empowering our people with technology, something we want to follow through on, and as we were talking about earlier, i think the initiatives that led to steps by countries to
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normalize relations with israel were a very good thing and something we want to build on. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i now recognize the chair of the subcommittee on energy and environment, representative bill keaton of massachusetts for five minutes. >> thank you very much. i'm pleased to be seated behind you. my former colleague, and foreign affairs adviser, and i want to thank you too for your work for the paul wheelen family. he has been unjustly in prison for two years by the kremlin, and you met with his family and all the families in a similar situation. secretary, i think it's generally understood that our greatest adversary is china, and this is really an historic contest. it's one beyond our country's. it's one beyond authoritarianism and democracy. it's our foundation.
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the greatest weapon they wield is the coerce in economic policies that they have undertaken so aggressively. the stakes couldn't be higher, but we have one thing that china doesn't have. we have a coalition, and most notably, a transatlantic coalition that's ushered in the greatest period of peace and prosperity in modern times, and so our reference to china must involve a transatlantic economic partnership that includes shared human rights issues, and yes, you know, we did have section 232, the national security tariffs that were there that caused some discord with our allies, and yes there were legitimate economic issues there, and indeed i was pleased to see president biden take action in that regard in terms of the uae in terms of rescinding the last-minute trump
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actions, making it clear that whatever we do in these areas, the biden administration, and our country is going to act in the interest of all americans, not private interests. i think that was an important message. their discord, their feelings of hurt among our allies with the manner in which it was done. in fact, it was done under that security tariff. those are our allies that spilled the blood of their children alongside us in so many conflicts. so i think there's areas of hope. i think tomorrow, i think they're going to be announcing the four-month suspension on boeing and airbus so they can start to work that out. it's great to see that happen, but any way that we're going to be affected must include a way forward, and maybe away from the trump approach of just the stick with tariffs, and moving towards a free trade agreement where there's a mutuality of interests and we can work together for both of our benefits and the
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benefits of democracy in that respect. that's going to be hard because you have brexit to contend with, and uk hasn't made it any easier with its internal market field or its recent action violating the agreement unilaterally, not to deal under the agreement on exports on april 1st. yet with all these challenges, we must move forward, i think. it's one of our most important priorities if we're going to deal with our security issues, deal with china, deal with the economic vitality going forward. so what are the prospects you see for success in this area, despite all those challenges, and how is it so important in terms of foreign policy that we move forward on this? >> i very much agree with the -- the premise of the question, and i say one way we're going to succeed is if we get our terrific u.s. trade representative on the job. so hopefully that happens very
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quickly, but beyond that, a couple of things. first to your point, for example, when it comes to dealing with some of china's most egregious practices in the commercial area, we are so much better off and so much more effective when we are dealing with those with other similar countries than when we're doing it alone. the united states is 25% of world gdp. when we're working with other partners in european, depending who is in, it's 40% to 60%. that is a lot harder for china to ignore, so we have i think a profound interest in trying to get our own house in order when it comes to some of these parade disputes, working through them as partners and allies do, not as adversaries, and that will i think give us a much stronger foundation. having said that, i think, you know, you've heard the president speak to this. in terms of pursuing new trade agreements, we need to make sure we're investing in our own
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people first so we have the strongest possible foundation to be competitive if we're in the business of opening more markets, and so we want to make those investments to make sure we are indeed fully competitive. we also want to make sure as we go out advancing new agreements, all of the key stakeholders are at the table so to your point, we're doing these things to the benefit of as many americans as possible, including many who have not benefitted unfortunately from some of the trade agreements that we've reached in the past. so we have to factor all of that in, but the basic proposition that we should be working through these issues in a collaborative way with our european partners, i couldn't agree with more. >> the gentleman's time has expired. i acknowledge adam kinzinger of illinois for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you for being here. there's a couple of things, you know, january 6th was a really bad day, but i've always said that democracies aren't really defined by bad days, but how
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they overcome them, and i think your promotion of democracy around the world is going to be very important and to show how we rise above challenges, and use that as an example for others and the return to multilateralism is important as well. recognizing things like nato. it's not just us doing nato a favor. they do us a favor. there's benefit in that. just real quickly, i would like to just point out on the -- the country of el salvador. i would encourage you to put a strong ambassador down there that's really focused on america's priorities because there are some challenges within that country in terms of a leader that has crossed a line in their democracy in some areas. so after all that, i do want to drill down a little more on the nord stream 2 discussion. you know, i was hard on the trump administration for some slow implementation of things and i think i just need to be fair, and given that we are at
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90% to 95% completion of nord stream, i think that time is essential at this moment. so given that there is a lot of information out there and open source reporting on entities actually actively engaged in the construction of the pipeline, it is difficult for me to believe that the state department requires more information. for example, there is vessels in the baltic sea going between the sanctioned fortuna port where pipelines are being stored. do we not know if those ships are involved in the project? >> so we are looking at that very closely and very, very carefully. as you know, we issued an initial report that sanctioned the leading pipeline vessel "the fortuna", and we took the companies that pulled back as a result of the sanctions that we imposed and the tools that congress gave us. that was a good news story. going forward, we're looking at this every single day. i think the challenge we have is
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to make sure that what looks on the surface, no pun intended, like a clear case, really is, and that it holds -- it stands up to legal scrutiny. so we have to build these, as you know, evidentiary packages and we're working on that, and we will do that. there are time when is something seems self-evident. maybe it's not. a ship that's in the area, maybe is not engaged in activities that relate to the pipeline. we need to make sure that it is, so that we can move forward, but you have our commitment that we're focused on that, and we'll continue to do it. >> good. thank you. just to also mention the danish merritime authority, and denmark has named additional russian ships that are engaging in trenching and pipeline activities. hopefully that information will be used in your discussions going forward. according to nord stream's website, it is the company responsible for the planning, construction and eventual operation of the nord stream 2 pipeline.
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i saw it discussed on the website, do we believe that in orderstream is engaged in sanctionable activity? >> it's something we will look at very carefully. >> okay, and the other thing i'll say on that is so the danish permit for the construction of nord stream 2 in the baltic sea requires an active insurance company. the danes say they have met this requirement and the bipartisan sanctions has been amended and includes mandatory sanctions. do we know who the current insurer is? >> i'm sure we're looking at that, if we haven't already. across the board, we have to look at the different entities to see if they're engaged in sanctionable activity. >> have you been in discussion with the danes as if they are aware of who the insurer is? >> i'm not aware of that, but i can double check on that, but i'm not aware of that.
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>> okay, and i'll ask if you can commit to consulting with, and not just notifying our allies and partners in central and eastern europe, and a lot of times they get left out of the discussion as well as congress, and so i would appreciate that commitment to do that as well. >> there used to be an old saying if you remember when it would -- you have to talk about this in the 1990s. nothing about you without you, and we want to make good on that especially when it comes to our allies and partners. >> thank you, and i just want to say, you know, congratulations on the job. thank you for your commitment to come in front of this committee. we'll have areas we disagree on, but i think that's going to be rare because typically foreign policy is and should return to be in a bipartisan venture. thank you for your service, and i yield back. >> thank you. >> gentleman yields back. i now yield to the representative of rhode island for five minutes. >> thank you for being here, and for your extraordinary service to our country.
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we all look forward to working with you to strengthen our national security, bolster american democracy abroad and advancing the causes of democracy and human rights around the world. as you know, you assumed the role of secretary of state during a uniquely challenging time. we disengaged from the local community, and allowed human rights to escalate in nearly every corner of the globe. the void was left to seek by those to make the world less free, and more vulnerable, and threaten the security of the united states, and the freedom house has said it has been shifted in the instance of global tyranny. how do you plan to create a more universal approach to human rights? given that it has been cherry picked, to vulnerable populations subject to discrimination and violence. the first step you took was to reject the recommendations of mike pompeo's condition, but how
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do you intend to do that important work? >> thank you. i really appreciate that question because what we've already tried to do right out of the box is to put human rights and democracy really at the heart of our foreign policy, the heart of what we're doing. it is factored into virtually every single thing that we do, and when it comes up and comes to making sure that around the world, for example, our diplomats every single day are standing up for these rights when they're being abused. that is front and center in the instructions that they have. when it comes to leading international efforts on new norms, conventions, lawsuits, understandings, or just groupings of countries that can speak out together, the united states is in the forefront of those efforts. so this is something that needs to permeate everything that we're doing.
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we had an opportunity to talk a little bit before just about this idea of bringing the world's leading democracies together in a summit, and part of that would be focused on what is the common agenda that we have around the world, and how do we most effectively advance or defend unfortunately is the case. maybe these rights when they're being challenged. >> thank you, mr. secretary. relatively small budgets for the state department reduce our ability to conduct productive diplomacy worldwide, and negatively impacts our national security. does it make sense for us to consider a significant increase in funding for the state department and usaid in order to make the biden administration's goal of placing the human rights? >> for the record, i didn't ask you to ask that question. >> it's going to require additional resources if we're serious about this. >> in all seriousness, yes. absolutely, because look at the -- look at the challenges that the department has to play
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a lead role in dealing with. whether it's as we've already discussed, dealing with covid-19 and in particular, advancing a stronger global health security system so this never happens again, we've got to be doing that. >> right. >> climate change and the great efforts that secretary john kerry is leading, we have a lead role to play in that. we need the resources to do it. when it comes to dealing with challenges to our cybernetworks and trying to advance the proposition that there ought to be rules and norms and standards that other countries adhere to, that's the work of the state department. >> great. >> so we have to make sure we're properly resourced to do that. >> thank you, and my final question, july will mark the 47-year of turkey occupying the northern part of cyprus. for the first time, we have a u.s. president as secretary of state with substantial experience whit comes to cyprus reunification. i'm wondering whether ahead of the talks that the general is
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convening in april, what is this to push back against turkey insisting on a two-state solution leader, and the opening of the ghost town? both moves which contradict security council resolutions and u.s. policy. there's a lot of expectation with this administration, and finally we will see a real effort, real progress on unification. >> as you know, and to your point, this is something president biden has been very much engaged in throughout his career, including in the senate, and then again when he was vice president. something he -- he takes very, very seriously. we strongly support a comprehensive settlement that reunifies cyprus in a bicommunal federation. we engage in the effort to advance that prospect, including the supportive role of the united nations, and as well, direct american engagement in that effort. so i think you'll see american diplomacy fully engage. >> i yield back, mr. chairman.
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>> gentleman's time has expired. i recognize lee zelden of new york. >> what a great honor, and i wish you much success. i hope you're as good of a secretary of state as i hear about your soccer game. i want to go back to the topic of the iran nuclear deal, and one of the principles that there was bipartisan agreement on during the negotiation of the jcpoa, the obama/biden/kerry administration would frequently talk about the deal not being built on trust, but built on verification. that's something i agree with actually, is that -- i don't want to put any words in your mouth or make bad assumptions. is that what you agree with as well? >> yes, very much so. >> one of the parts of the agreements was part of what was worked out was placed into an agreement between the iea and
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iran. is that something you have seen yet, the text of that agreement between the iaea and iran? >> referring to the recent agreement -- >> at the time of the jcpoa, a lot of the verification terms were placed into that agreement. >> certainly at the time. i was fully aware of the various processes and procedures that were in place for verification and monitoring, and i think i have a pretty good handle on what the agreement calls for and indeed requires of iran. >> that's great, and when secretary kerry was here at that time when we were having a hearing to vet out the deal and decide what our positions would be on an upcoming vote, he hadn't yet seen it. we hadn't yet seen it. i still haven't seen it. i don't know if any member of congress who has had the opportunity to read that agreement, so that's something that i and others remain interested in, in being able to read because the deal is not
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built on trust. it's built on verification and we don't have all the terms of the verification agreement that was worked out between the iaea and iran. on the side deals -- i'm sorry. on the sunset provisions, putting aside the iran/u.n. arms embargo and that date which has passed, we have sunset provisions coming up a couple of years, in 2023 and beyond. the iranian regime would like you to re-enter the iran nuclear deal as is. there are some members of congress also advocating for the nuclear deal as is. can you speak to some of the practical issues with maing permanent sanctions relief in exchange for sunset provisions that are only a couple of years away? >> it's an important point, and i think i would say two things about that. first, if iran returns to compliance with its obligations and we do the same, we would use that as a platform to build a longer and stronger agreement,
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including dealing with some of the sunset clauses that expire in the near term. having said that, the ones that matter most, the ones, for example, that prevent iran or bar iran from reaching beyond 3.67%, the one that caps its stockpile of material to 300 kilograms, those don't expire until 2030. we have a decade on those, and those are the most critical times when it comes to iran's breakout times. beyond that, the provisions go beyond 2030. so it's not to say that the sunsets are not an issue that need to be addressed. they do, but in terms of the ones that matter most for iran's breakout capacity, they start to expire in 2030. >> definitely highly sensitive to those that are more imminently coming up which present an issue in any potential negotiation. one of the reasons why we raise nonnuclear as well is because the leverage that brings the iranians to the table for the
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most part is they want the sanctions relief. when you negotiate away the leverage that brings them to the table, what's the leverage left to deal with other nonnuclear activities you have to deal with? that's why we speak out on it is just that sensitivity to losing the leverage. one quick point, i just wanted to mention that -- there were even officials in the last administration too ceding that iran had not yet violated any of the jcpoa by the time the united states had withdrawn, and there are issues with that. the iaea twice found iran in violation of heavy water. they were producing more ir-6s. they -- same thing with centrifuges with ir-8s, and access to locations attempting to acquire carbon fiber. that list goes on, and that was before the united states withdrew from the jcpoa.
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so something i think is very important is that the administration does not give the iranians -- we don't see to that point where they claim that they were in full compliance when we withdrew, because that's not accurate. i yield back. >> i think it's worth mentioning on that because it is an important point, that one of the great strengths of the agreement of course, is that it had a mechanism for resolving disputes. if one party was not noncompliant or the one party said it wasn't, they could bring that issue to the so-called joint commission, and that's exactly what happened in those instances. when we had concerns about iranian noncompliance which they may have disagreed with. we were able to bring that forward and they changed their behavior, and that's enforced by something very important, and that is the snapback provision in the agreement so that if iran is brought before the compliance committee for lack of a better term and doesn't make good on its requirements, then we have the ability with our european partners to snap back the sanctions. that's a very powerful
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enforcement mechanism. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the committee will now stand in a brief recess and we will reconvene in ten minutes.
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the committee will reconvene. i want to thank the secretary for extending his amount of time with us in the vein to try to get every member to ask a question. i'm going to, without -- and ask
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unanimous consent so that we will do four more members. two on the democratic side and two on the republican side, at five minutes. in trying to get other questions in from that point on, we will try to get every member three minutes to ask questions so that we can try to get every member to ask a question at this session. and the secretary has agreed to stay so that every member has an opportunity to ask a question. without objection. i now recognize the chair of the subcommittee on asia, the pacific, central asia, and nonproliferation, representative army bera from california for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i echo the congratulations of my colleague, and thank you for your service for our country, mr. secretary. and also appreciate the rapidity
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by which you've come to the subcommittee. there's any number of areas that we could talk about in terms of the region of jurisdiction that my subcommittee has. but i do want to point out a few things and applaud the administration for quick action on the coup in burma as well as decisive, targeted sanctions. and i think i say for the subcommittee as well as the full committee in a bilateral way, we stand ready with additional authorities should such be required. also want to applaud the administration on quick action resolving the burden-sharing and special measures agreement with our friends in korea, as well as, you know, a quick early trip to visit our partners in japan and korea and the relationship's been challenging, but we need a strong alliance trilaterally as we address the challenges in the region. and lastly, i want to recognize the importance of the quad and
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the importance of the administration's play on our quad relationship in the region, japan, australia, india. i'm a door first and my interests have always been as a physician on global health, pandemic preparedness. i appreciate your remarks of last week as well as your opening comments as you lay out the agenda. first we have to stop covid-19 and restore and strengthen our global health security. and as such, i will really appreciate the early aggressive actions by the president as well as the administration to ramp up vaccine production here, to ramp up distribution with the bill that we passed today, the american rescue plan. i think we can actually beat the president's domestic goals of making sure every american adult who wants a vaccine is able to, that we'll have the doses for them by the end of may, i think
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we can beat that. what i'd like to talk about a bit is the global competition we have in terms of influence, watching china go out to the rest of the world and provide vaccine, watching russia and the middle east and elsewhere. for lack of a better way of talking about it, vaccine diplomacy. i think we'll find ourselves soon in a place where -- i appreciate the robust funding we've given the covax facility, re-engaging with the world health organization. i know am my dialogue with other around the world, they understand the american companies are in a transparent way producing some of the best and most effective vaccines coming out of moderna, pfizer, the johnson & johnson vaccine, the potentially novavax and others coming soon. i'd be curious as we start to think about, once we've stopped covid here domestically, or at least gotten vaccines to the u.s. population, how we're going to directly engage and counter
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some of what china is doing. and with what i think, frankly, is a worse vaccine. >> very much appreciate that. as you noted, we did join covax, we're contributing significant resources, $2 billion initially with additional resources to come again, thanks to congress for that as well. but two things. of course we have to make sure that every american is vaccinated and that is our number one priority, that is job one. as we're doing that, we're looking at ways to accelerate access to vaccines around the world. as we discussed a little bit earlier, it's in our national interest, our national security interest, to do that, because as long as the virus is replicating, it's mutaing. as long as it's mutating, it could come back to bite us. so we have a strong interest in doing that. of course if a big chunk of the rest of the world is not vaccinated and their economies continue to suffer, there's human suffering that goes with that, but here's also economic
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deficit for us because we lose partners. so we have a real interest in doing that. i think you'll see, including -- you referenced the quad, the united states, india, australia, japan. working together we have a quad summit meeting on friday with president biden, and i expect we'll see something on vaccines coming out of that summit. there are other things we're looking at and working on in the days and weeks and months ahead to make sure that we are a leading international actor in creating greater access to vaccines. >> wonderful. in the broader level health security framework, as we defeat covid worldwide, we have to be thinking about building the infrastructure to make sure we're prepared for the next pandemic. >> that's right and that we stop that. i appreciate that. >> that's vital, because stopping covid, job one. but job two is making sure to the best of our ability, that doesn't happen again. that requires us to put in place a stronger --
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>> the gentleman's time is expired. i now recognize the vice ranking member of the full committee, representative ann wagner of missouri, for five minutes. >> i thank you, mr. chairman, and also thank the secretary very much for his time and his courtesy today. we share, sir, a conviction that robust american leadership makes the world safer and more prosperous. sadly, however, authoritarianism, violence, and a failure to respect human rights are undermining stability in many regions of the world. adversaries like china, russia, and iran are quick to exploit divisions to advance their influence, exacerbating i think the conflicts and certainly the humanitarian crises that exist. i am gravely concerned that china's drive to export its authoritarian extractive development model and human
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rights with chinese characteristics is contributing to anti-democratic trends. at the same time, russia is using disinformation and cyber attacks and other tools of malign influence to erode faith in our democratic institutions. iran continues its relentless push to acquire nuclear weapons while using proxy actors to sow violence across the middle east. secretary blinken, i am hopeful you will work with us here in congress to hold malign states accountable for their destabilization and destabilizing activities. our partners want and i think they need us engaged. i also, as my colleague just mentioned, am concerned of china's use of vaccine diplomacy, again to trade access to covid vaccines for expanded influence in target countries.
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i think china is even incorporating these efforts into its predatory belt and road initiatives. china, russia, and iran also are working to spread false information regarding the origins of covid-19 and i think diminish confidence in u.s.-developed vaccines. mr. secretary, to what degree are our adversaries coordinating to amplify covid disinformation and how will the state department ensure that u.s. partners receive accurate information regarding vaccinations and other mitigation efforts? >> thank you very much. this is really one of our most important tasks, and i share your concern about, among other things, misinformation and disinformation that's being put out there, including by russia, regarding vaccines. this is incredibly dangerous, besides being incredibly wrong, and ultimately incredibly
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self-defeating for the countries that are engaged in this. because as we were discussing, they're not going to be fully safe either until the bulk of the world is vaccinated. if they're undertaking efforts to cast doubt and sow doubt about vaccines, ultimately that's going to harm them as well as everyone else. so we are going to be standing up strongly, speaking out clearly, when we see this. and we're pushing back strongly against it. beyond that, we're trying to make sure that the state department itself is effectively resourced and focused on pushing back against misinformation and disinformation, whatever its source. we have some tools that we've stood up in recent years, including the global engagement center, that i think are very valuable in undertaking that effort. but we need, i think, additional support, additional resources, and i think we need to have close consultations and
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conversations with congress. because i think there are lots of good ideas about how we can do this even more effectively, and i'd welcome being able to talk about that with you. >> great. and i'm very interested in visiting with you about that. let me ask another quick question. of the last several months, sir, we've seen an astonishing proliferation of cyber attacks on u.s. systems, particularly those with a nexus to the financial services industry. i serve on the financial services committee also. cyberspace is a key domain for china and russia, states that believe cyber warfare allows them to compete asymmetrically with the u.s. considering the scale and severity of recent attacks how should u.s. policy change to reverse this trend, sir? >> in the first instance, we have to elevate this as an imperative across the government. and we're working on doing that. we've got to strengthen our capabilities. we have to strengthen our readiness. we have to strengthen our resilience. and there is a lot of work that's going into that. the state department itself needs to be playing a lead role
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in organizing and galvanizing other countries in terms of their own readiness and resilience, also trying to establish much stronger and enforced norms when it comes to behavior in the cyber realm. this is something we've getting saturday up and resourced to do. >> great, thank you. i appreciate your time. i yield back. >> the lady's timing expired. recognize the chair of the subcommittee on international development and global corporate social impact, representative joaquin castro, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your testimony today. the trump administration during its term committed grave human rights abuses by separating young children from their parents at the u.s./mexico border. thousands of children were separated that way, hundreds of children still have not been reunited with their parents. what role is the state department playing or what role will the state department play in helping to reunite those
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families? >> well, one of the things we're doing is, as i mentioned earlier -- it's very good to see you, by the way -- we're very actively engaged with partner countries in the region, starting with mexico, but also guatemala, honduras, salvador, on all these questions, to make sure to the best of our ability that the message is clear that people should not come to the border, that irregular migration will not be allowed. and we're working with them in close coordination to get the message out. we're working with the mexican government, including on ways to strengthen its own capacities, to deal with those seeking asylum, to deal with its own capacities on its southern border. so we're in close coordination, cooperation with them as well. as we were talking about earlier, we're looking longer-term at dealing with effectively with some of the drivers of migration to make sure that the conditions that exist in the northern countries, that people don't feel the only
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choice they have is to put their lives on the line and everything they know that the line to try to make the dangerous journey here. >> no, well thank you, mr. secretary, for that. i think you all have made some very prudent decisions in ending the third-country agreements, in ending the trump mmp policy, for example. and i would just, of course, caution you and the president that there is a permanent class of folks who will always try to convince americans that there are brown immigrants coming to harm them. that is a permanent political argument that is made, unfortunately, by many conservative politicians. let me ask you about something you mentioned earlier, which is diversity at the state department. for decades the department has struggled to retain a workforce that represents and leverages the talent of our diverse nation. i was pleased to hear your announcement to create a chief diversity and inclusion officer at the department. i believe it's a necessary first step towards laying a foundation
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for enduring and lasting change. it's important to make sure that the position has the authorities and mandate to make meaningful progress. and in that context, i would mention also that latinos are the most underrepresented group in the federal government. 18.5% of the population, 8.6% of the federal workforce, and 7% of the state department, and an even smaller share of the senior ranks. so my question on this position is, how will you ensure the position is sufficiently resourced, supported, and empowered to be effective? >> thank you. first and foremost, the chief diversity inclusion officer will report directly to the secretary of state. in and of itself, i think that will give that person in that position significant authority to make sure that we are actually making meaningful progress when it comes to diversity and inclusion. second, that office is going to have a staff. it's not going to be just one person. third, i've insisted on real
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accountability across the department, including the secretary of state. and so we're going to have transparency on numbers, on assessments of what's working and what's not working. and again, as we were talking about a little bit earlier, we're focused on recruitment, but that is insufficient. we're focused on retention because it's not enough that people come through the doors, we have to make sure we have an environment and a culture that encourages them to stay and make their careers there. we're working on that across the board. as i said earlier, we're also very focused on making sure that well before anyone gets to c street, we've opened eyes to the possibilities and prospects of having a career at the state department in foreign policy and working for our country. >> well, thank you for creating this new position. and please let us know how we can be helpful and support the department and that person in their work, appreciate it. >> thank you. >> i yield back.
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>> mr. castro yields back. i now recognize the representative from florida, mr. brian mass, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. i want to ask a couple of questions, terrorism related, middle east, israel, a few other things if we get to it. i just want to start with this -- the mic shows on, i'm not sure if it's picking me up, i'll try to speak a little louder for you. >> i've got you, thank you. >> hamas, palestinian islamic jihad, designated terrorist organization. back in '97. safe to assume you plan to uphold that as a designation? >> yes. >> in that, can you speak to how we might work together -- the state department, congress -- to also remove the material supports for designated terrorist organizations like the palestinian islamic jihad and hamas and others? how might we eliminate that?
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>> well, first i welcome the opportunity just to work together across the board on those issues, and we're very open to ideas that congress has and trying to work together to make sure we're being as effective as possible in combatting terrorism across the board, and particularly in making sure we're doing everything we can to deny groups the resources that they need to continue doing their work. we have i think some very good authorities given to us over the years by congress, and we'll make sure that we use them. but we also look to other ideas for how we can move forward in upholding that effort. >> good, we'll look forward to working with you on those fronts. similar conversation, are you familiar with the taylor force act? >> i am. >> you're familiar with the requirements that you have to submit in writing certifying the actions of the palestinian authority and your tracking -- >> we're committed to upholding the taylor force act. by the way, president biden was
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in israel about a mile and a half away from taylor force when he was murdered, and he spoke out about that immediately. and has been a forceful advocate, obviously, for cog justicedy taylor force and making sure that we are making good on the obligations we have under the taylor force act. >> very good. look forward to seeing those certifications coming through in your next couple of months as well. i want to move to just a couple of things that you've said throughout your testimony with some other questions that have been asked here. at the onset you did speak about the border. you did say three words. safe, orderly, and humane. currently is the border safe? >> i really want to make sure that when it comes to the border, we obviously have our very significant role to play on the foreign policy side of things, working with other countries. but my colleague, alan mayorkas,
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and dhs, are the best on the border and the work they're doing. is it safe, orderly, humane? let me add one other thing, you did not mention as one of your priorities it would be secure, without leaks. would you add that? >> i would, yes. >> your analysis of whether it is safe, orderly, and humane? >> the border is a constant work in progress. we have a border that is a living thing that brings countries together, brings our countries together. that is good for -- that is important economically. but it has to be secure, it has to be orderly, and we are a nation of laws and we have to make sure that we're applying the law. so this is over many years, has been a challenge in different ways at different times, and it's something we're obviously focused on.
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>> doesn't sound like you're going to answer concretely whether it meets those parameters that you laid out. i'll leave it at that point for now. but i'm glad that you did say that it should be a location of law and order. and i would like to ask this question as a 30,000-foot ideology question about immigration in our country. does anybody have the right to come into the united states of america uninvited? >> no, they have to come -- if they're coming here, it has to be pursuant to the laws of our country. >> i'm glad to hear you say that, mr. secretary. i have no-no further questions at this time and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. i now recognize the vice chair of the full committee, representative tom malinowski of new jersey, for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair, mr. secretary. i'll just jump right in with, first, a question about saudi arabia. in my judgment, you and the president have made a series of
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extremely principled decisions in our national interest to rebalance our relationship with saudi arabia. on the other side, you know there are always people who express concern that if we pushback on the misbehavior of a partner, we'll be pushing them away, hurt our relationship. of course there are those who say, oh, the saudis can turn to the russians or the chinese. i just want to set the record straight on this. if an adversary like iran were to attack saudi arabia or the persian gulf, would russia or china come to their defense? >> unlikely. >> yes. so we are the country that guarantees security in the persian gulf. and the saudis, the bahrainnys, they know this? >> right. >> that's good. that brings me to the khashoggi case where there's still, i think, a little bit aflac of clarity. section 7031 of the consolidated
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appropriations act says officials of foreign governments about whom the secretary of state -- you -- has credible information have been involved in a gross violation of human rights, shall ineligible for entry into the united states. and under this have the authority to waive that prohibition to serve the national interest reporting to the u.s. congress. you have credible information with respect to the crown prince being responsible for the murder of mr. khashoggi. have you issued a waiver? >> let me say a couple of things. first it's important to focus on what we did from thehefi sta. the president was determined to calibrate our relationship with saudi arabia so that it was advancing her interest in
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values a and we get away from that. that's exactly what we have done. we did that to get out of the campaign in yemen led by the saudi's and we suspended certain armed sales to them and in addition we are now focused on the diplomacy to end the war in yemen with the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.r we've been very clear of expectations with human rights and also been clear we committed to saudi arabia's defense. that has notau changed.
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that we will follow the law for privacy reasons and then i think it's fair to say the conference has no plans to come to the united states. >> i recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee on energy and cyber. >> with accord to working with you you call it the biggest geopolitical test for the nation i cannot agree more and with that aggressive course of behavior to undervalue on - - undermine our values and then going so far to say to stand for democracy in hong kong
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with the national security strategic report. so what line they need to cross or what does the state department considerg a hotspot? >> we seen actions of deep concern in hong kong by beijing. with that implementation to quash democracy in hong kong and that commitment china made when it was handed over. and those principles and commitments clearly and egregiously violated and this is something we've not only spoken out about that but are taking action on and there's a series of things that we have done the previous administration s has done that we need to follow through on
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and sanctions with those responsible and denial of eases to those in those practices and working with like-minded countries it is very important that only the united states but more of the world is speaking out. and those in the g7 the human rights council and others. we need to advise our businesses as well there are sanctions on the books to be mindful if they arene in hong kong and we will continue to do that and speak out and take action against egregious violation of human rights in hong kong.
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>> during a press conference on monday the state department acknowledge the genocide. what can the administration do? will you raise these concerns when you meet with chinese officials? >> yes. in fact i have spoken already and raising those concerns with president biden with the conversation and we will raise them again certainly. >> your time is expired now the representative from nevada for three minutes. >> thank you for giving us more of your time mr. secretary. would like to expand on the question from the eastern
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mediterranean. how does administration plan to reengage and strengthen our alliance in the eastern mediterranean? what effort will administration take for debt on - - turkey's backsliding and what role can the us play in the bilateral agreement with greece and cyprus and israel when it comes to energy independence? >> thank you very much. may have looked with concern over the last year of course morehe recently as administration has been in office at some of the actions taken eastern mediterranean particularly by turkey with those claims, whether territory, maritime areas or energy. it's very important the united
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states stand up and be engaged for the stability and sovereignty s in the eastern mediterranean and insist any disputes that arise as a result peacefully or diplomatically not through provocative actions. we have called out actions by turkey that in our judgment violate international law or commitments as nato ally. that includes provocative actions against greece for violations of airspace. one of the positive developments in recent weeks a significant diminution the temperature on those issues with turkey engage with the european union and others to
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move forward in a more productive way. we are veryy supportive of that and will continue to try to help things advance in that direction. >> that euro asia connector are we playing a role? >> we will see if there is a productivea role in that for any other arrangements when it comes to energy diversifying supplies or routes this advances security of other countries including partner countries looking if we can play a productive role. >>luer thank you. >> the representative from tennessee is recognized for three minutes.
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>> is it still the biden administration stance to be anti-ch somatic and heinous? >> the president opposes the movement that has not changed and will not change. >> recently you removed from the state department terrorist organization list but will you commit to removing the liberation of power palestine the pflp removed from the list? >> first of all just to be clear we see them as a bad actor that tried to overrun yemen led by the united nations with an act of aggression against saudi
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arabia as well as atrocities in yemen and help to create the environment the worst humanitarian crisis in the world right now. that's precisely why we took the action we did of his designation on entity itself to have designations and make sure nothing the united states was doing with humanitarian assistant made it more difficult than it already is that was our judgment those designations had that effect if we stand strongly with the proposition we have to deal with the duties and with the war in yemen. >> is sent you a letter regarding the jcpoa concerned
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with the department lack of transparency what is special envoy discuss with china in regards tous iran? >> the special envoy has been engaged with all of the parties to include china and russia and european partners including the european union to get their assessments of thede prospects of a man returning to compliance and urging them to use what influence they have with iran. >> let me move on. >> are there additional conversations with other foreign diplomats not disclosed to theat public? >> our diplomats are engaged every single day and conversation with counterparts iparound the world. >> mr. o'malley specifically?
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>> like any other diplomat is responsible. >> my time is up but you're not answering my question. thank you lkci to keep the unitd states with those wars and conflicts. the research and then to have national security. whether they are jewish-american or hispanic american i met with that asian
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american foreign affairs and those results are not scientificio but alarming and to promote to senior leadership with those expertise and those that look like me that congress in 2016 ordered the appealses process and then to have that process for a number of officers on a panel with
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the bureau of diplomatic security and to review the decision . >> i am well aware of these concerns and something that we are working on something i'm very concerned about these reports of the asian american and colleagues and this is something i'm looking intont.
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>> do you know currently have assignment restrictions with racial breakdown? >> i don't. >> at your office provide that. >> you want to make sure we ake available whatever we can. >> we just want to make sure we are vigilant and do not negative community. >> i recognize the ranking member of migration and international policy mr. green from tennessee. and increasing its muscle
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o'clock across the globe and the sovereign territory in those regimes to destabilizing the effect across the entire globe and has a ranking member i am concerned of china's engagement in her own hemisphere to prop up the authoritarian regime in mivenezuela. seen an incredible opportunity for a win win win for the first china commodity boom and to make manufacturing very difficult it was cheaper for them to buy from china the economies paid a huge price to the mercantile behavior clearly informed nations china's manufacturing is a security risk in facing a crisis at a southern border lost jobs in latin america and we can fix all of these by eliminating and redirecting the funds to move manufacturing from china when the business models support
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that circulating manufacturing jobs with their economic diversity to help stop the migrant caravans and we need to do this as soon as we can also to earn the administration it is situated one of the peerless regions in the world as a soldier and special operator into make them a leader in the region. i have two questions and then i will give you the rest of my time if your comment on the vision and also it is concerning to me
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administration talks about regaining the jcpoa and thenil the attacks like to know if you're dropping sanctions for any of those iranians so latin america comments? >> i appreciate both questions the idea you just mentioned is interesting that i have 30 seconds to respond? >> one of the interesting tools we have things to congress is the development corporation the board and i charity yesterday there are real opportunities to leverage yethe private sector to make
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those right kinds of investments in infrastructure and in her own hemisphere and there's work to be done. >> your time is's expired. >> thank you mr. chair. >> the representative from pennsylvania for three minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chair and thank you secretary for being here it's a pleasure to be with you even virtually. i have concerns about our relationship with the eu from the state department's perspective t as you knew administration strengthens the asrelationship with economic areas, do you view the need as a largest trading partner is a
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priority for national security and what are the main challenges for expanding that relationship over the next at years? >> in short, yes a leading partner of first resort not last resort and across-the-board with trade or security issues or diplomatic issues the engagement with the eu is extremely important in place a real priority on a had an opportunity and was invited to speak to all the foreign ministers a couple weeks into my tenure as we go forward because we complement each other and are force multipliers. we do need to try our best to get the economic house in order and work in a collegial way with some of those issues
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and disputes that divide us. i'm very much looking forward to have my colleague on the field hopefully very soon to start working on some of those issues. >> can you identify. >> in the first instance but second the challenges want you alluded to with those differences of approach with cyberpolicy and taxation but they are workable and necessary for us to work through together.
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>> the representative yields back another representative from kentucky for three minutes. >> congratulations on your confirmation and service to identify those priorities and dismayed by the president's decision to rejoin the who. covering up that outbreak in wuhan and that disinformation leading to millions of deaths worldwide. how does rejoining an organization with china's cover-up strengthening global health security and to send
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the regrettable signal that this administration is not serious? >> our prospects which very much needs it they are much better served when we pull out china pulls in and then who's in a better position to dominate?e with the outbreak of the pandemic with that human rights council on engagement but it does send a mixed message don't misinterpret that as weakness but to say
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that could be perceived as a condition of weakness and they will have a difficult time on the human rights council to announce it will be joining the human rights council as you know that you admit as committing genocide with cuba and russia the human rights council hasn't passed a single regulation condemning any country but the result of nineties separate condemnations how does us joining the human rights council and legitimizing the council a platform for chinese communist party propaganda how does that fold china accountable? >> i share your concerns about the council unfairly singlingon out israel we managed to turn off a lot of those efforts.
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no one was there to do it so we are more effective i agree with china but it's interesting this is the one area the council has put the spotlight. >> we want to hear the plan i yield back. >> i recognize the representative for three minutes. >> welcome mr. secretary. your support of the creation for the horn of africa i support that as well better than anyone here special envoys are better when they have a limited mandate and are empowered so with that in mind can you speak how you envision
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so we need a senior person who will be focused full-time on the challenges that we are seeing in the point of africa when it comes to the challengingrn situation anything of your and also and for that matter when it comes to sudan and ethiopia want to make sure we have our resources dedicated in a sustained way in the weeks ahead. >> talk about misinformation and disinformation many of us in the very room or the house tnchamber can affect and how susceptible we are and i believe the production and distribution of those maligned actors are threatening to our country and the world and
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military force. the other end of the spectrum burma and ethiopia are shutting down the internet for that speech and communication we all value so highly so what diplomatic tools will confront these growing challenges? >> one of the responsibilities the department has is leading the effort around the world among other things to set the norms and standards for conduct in cyberspace including this information and disinformation to augment the efforts with american leadership one of the challenges we face body as his comes into play we see a
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division and democracy we need to make sure that these are working together and standing together to bed build better defenses and resilience to take on those that are abusing cyberspacenc. >> you said earlier you may need more support. >> your time is expired we hope we get support for it. >> the representative from florida is recognized for three minutes spent south korean foreign ministry announce seven billion-dollar iranian assets from two south korean banks since september 19 would be eight released through the biden administration and thesa jerusalem post calls it another win for iran they also
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have confessions as the iaea and then using yemen to attack bloomberg news reported they on freezing additional funds and iran has been suspending incredible amounts of weapons setting up missile launch sites enriching your uranium squandering billions of dollars by the trump administration united states should not be lifting sanctions on the number t one state-sponsored terrorism and should not be finding out about it before a media outlet instead of our a own government. why with the biden administration release billions of dollars to iran? >> we are not the report is incorrect. >> we are not releasing any money? >> we are not. >> is no intention in the
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future? >> we said if they come back and compliance with the agreement we would do the same thing if it came to that if it made good on its obligation pursuant to the agreement unless and until they will not be getting that relief and that report is incorrect. >> that's good to hear i hope you stand firm is a number one world sponsor of terror. so with the trump policy with the communist party i would appreciate it with the actions administration is taking because i find it baffling that in one month they repeal president trumpsps executive order for accepting and rejoin the who refusing to commit to
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huawei stop the implementation of the chinese military companies operating in the us i appreciate your insight to these policies. >> when it comes to china talk about the who i think getting out open the door opened for china to dominate the organization that's not a way to advance reform. we need to be tough and smart at the same time they are not usually exclusive propositionsa. >> my time is expired. >> the gentle man from texas is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman for your incredible generosity it says a lot about getting off on the right foot and working
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with congress and we appreciatewi it. talk about afghanistan i was there the november before last visiting troops over thanksgiving and met with the rising military leaders the afghan military they were doing a good job recognizing the challenges of the government you have course are aware of the 2020 agreement the trump administration put infe place with the taliban with troop withdrawals coming up may of this year. i understand you are doing a review of that agreement and the compliance on the taliban side. could you give us information on the status of that review were there are changes to the timeline and generally how you
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see us working to thread the needle given the historic long-standing conflict? >> you are right. it is under review there haven't been any decisions made with that posture but as we do the review we are pressing ahead with the diplomatic effort to drive the two parties to negotiate. and to put in place agreements that would be the foundation for a just and durable peace in afghanistan and that's a tall order that we are working on and enlisting others into theor effort. neighboring countries have a whuge stake in afghanistan with
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the terrain the civil war spilling over the borders and influence with various parties we are engaging them in the united nations and others to move the parties to a meaningful negotiation evenga if we look at what the taliban has done to not support terroristt groups and reducing violence. all of that going on at the same time of course we do make decisions following the review we would be in full concentrate on - - consultation with you on that. >> i appreciate that as well. and we appreciate your efforts of a more bilateral approach and i yield back. >> your time iss expired now the representative from pennsylvania for three minutes.
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>> thank you mr. secretary i know you had questions related to iran the state largest a sponsor terrorism in the world it is an important issue. now do you plan to have a more holistic approach that the fact with terrorism throughout the region? >> not only to deal with the nuclear challenge but the ballistic missile program and the nuclear pieces vitally important because potentially that's a poses the greatest threat to the united states
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and iran with a nuclear weapon that has the threshold to build one in short order even acting with greater impunity but yes it's important to address all of these we find deeply objectionable. >> the development finance corporation created to advance us foreign-policy to develop with alternatives with state backed financing make the road initiative as the chairman of the dfc board, are they engage with a free and fair market or the name aligned actors? >> it absolutely is and in my capacity i chaired a board meeting yesterday. think i'm the first secretary of state to chair the board meeting. i'm extremely enthusiastic
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about the finance corporation and the tools that it gives us exactly what you talk about it has done impressive work already this will be sustain focus for me. >> can we get updates along the way? >> with pleasure. >> ethiopia, the conflict is a real humanitarian crisis, look what leverage does the us have? >> as we have discussed it is a deep concern with credible reports are deeply troubling and disturbing and ongoing. i've been personally engage with the prime minister of ethiopia as well as regional
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leaders we are very active efforts by our diplomats to try to move this to a better place to get the humanitarian in and accountability andd reinforcements out and the reconciliation process to bring the country together we're working on all of that. >> the gentleman's time is expired t the vice chair and subcommittee of global health and global humani rights the gentle man from minnesota for three minutes. >> thank you chairman i'm sorry if you are asked this question we been talking about iran quite a lot it seems there is a stalemate with the negotiations both sides are waiting for the other side to make the first move so why
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should we be the one to make the first move? >> a couple of things. we have been very clear to promisee is open and we are fully prepared to engage the president said repeatedly if iran comes back and compliance we will also women work on the other issues. >> i'm sorry but if we are not entering the deal how do we expect them to be in compliance? >> the challenges you just cannot reenter by flipping a switch. we pulled out three yearsnge ago iranians unfortunately have moved further and further away from their own compliance
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there would be challenging issues to work through that require talking about it that are necessary. that's why when the european union invited all the parties to the deal to start having that conversation we said yes no.iranian said the ball is in their court to see if they want to pursue diplomacy. >> i appreciate that. what about the sanctions at the trump administration placed on the staff including theth prosecutor? >> we are currently reviewing those sanctions. we want to make the best decision on the best way forward in terms of engaging the acc we discussed our concerns some of their efforts to exert restriction in areas where we believe they should
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not have it but it's also the do have a productive relationship and that is what we are reviewing. >> are you saying there is a legitimacy ofre the sanctions. >> no. i'm saying it's under review that we do have concerns with which we disagree but we share ame common view. >> i appreciate that mr. secretary so why they are not removed having concerns doesn't say where they are not removed. >> your time is expired. >> just to finish up i would be pleased to talk to you once we complete the review what we agree to. >> i look forward to that. >> thankha you chairman.
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>> the representative from new york for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and secretary we are so honored to have you here congratulations. we look forward to working with you thank you for being generous with your time restoring america's leadership putting the american people first is the top priority in congress doing what's right for the american people receiving praise but the pundits should not be the success we measure should be judged by how we deliver with the american people. it's valuable to reflect on the previous four years what works and whatic didn't work and with the marines we are increasing burden sharing and reducing costs of deployments overseas and a stabilizing force and the necessary burden i urge you to continue these
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efforts. . . . . and the iraniao behave like a terrorist organization that re- attack our partners in the gulf and proliferate and target civilians. iran has spent hundreds of
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millions assisting in yemen. the provision of aid has expanded and intensified this conflict. just days ago they claimed another attack on a major port on the persian gulf. can you confirm whether this was launched from yemen or from elsewhere in the region such as may be from iraq or iran? >> i'm not sure i can get into i would be happy to follow up with you. >> one urgent issue i have is ii represent utica new york which is home to thousands of refugees but 4,000 burmese refugees and i welcome the administration's sanction measures but recognize the people continue to suffer. we simply must do more to continue to stand with the people in their request for freedom, development, peace.
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last month i send you a letter and i would love to be able to set up a briefing with you and your staff to talk further about this issue if possible. >> the gentle ladies time is expired. i recognize the vice chair i'm going to jump in and see if we can get to a few questions in three minutes. i'm terrified by their actions and the trump administration legitimized those actions while
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doing nothing to ensure they would be free, fair and credible. they cannot oversee incredible elections. it's something we are actively lookinge at and i'm concerned about some of the authoritarian and undemocratic actions that we have seen particularly with a regular rule by the degree we are making it very clear that for now while we have this the decrees need to be limited to essential functions and to your point, we need to see them organize with international genuinely free and fair this year. on the books at least in the fall and september and november
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we will focus on doing what we can to make sure they are in fact free and fair but it's something we are actively looking at. i first wentca to haiti in 1980 and i'd love to work with you all to try to come up with a sensible policy. can you tell us what engagement has taken place at the senior level for the state department and white house further ongoing reforms in ukraine the foreign minister my first week on the job it's something that i am personally committed to and something i spent a lot of time on when i was in the obama mmdeputy administration so we ae
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very focused on supporting the democracy and fight againstna corruption and of course supporting its efforts to ward off aggression from russia in eastern ukraine and of course the annexation of crimea. you have a lot of bipartisan support here i now recognize the gentleman from texas for three minutes. >> loved ones that are detained including my constituent and i want to ask are you committed to bringing trevor home and will
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you discuss these counterparts? >> yes and yes all throughout europe and to the u.s. interest. i believe energy security is national security. i have serious concerns about the paris climate accords and i'm going to move on this is what north stream will do not having the reliable energy cut at the heart of the security of our allies and partners in eastern europe and the baltic
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states will you committed to moving swiftly to cut through bureaucratic and unnecessary red tape to impose sanctions on the right actors to do exactly what the 2019 threat of the mandated sanctions would do? >> we've imposed sanctions and we are actively reviewing additional sanctions for anyone in terms of what they are doing to support the pipeline. i've spoken with the baltic state countries this week. they are very concerned about what this does toro the security in eastern europe and throughout. on the subject of iran, very concerned about rejoining the jcp away and i appreciate your comments on that. i just want to hear your thoughts on strengthening the relationship with israel and makin sure that the
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relationship throughout the gulf states and israel will continue as the progress was made in the last couple of years. we have an unshakable commitment that starts with the president of the united states who has been a long and strong supporter of israel and its relationship in theri united states including israel and the gulf states and anything that we might do going forward on that agreement we need to be engaged with them since it affects them, tomac, on the take off, not on the landing and we are committed to doing that. i recognize the vice chair.
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>> thank you mr. chairman and mr. secretary for joining us today. i look forward to working with you closely. i'd like to focus my questions on the public servants who serve the country at home and abroad. looking out for their safety is absolutely critical. i will be following up with a number of questions but i'd like to run through a couple in the time thatbe we have. i'd like to ask about the mysterious and harmful attacks on u.s. personnel sometimes referred to as havana syndrome though they haven't been limited to occurring only in cuba. the lack of the coordinated approach has been the ability to receive medical care and management in the pieces of this issue. well the administration and the department under your leadership set up a whole of government approach to make sure we are addressingng these attacks? thank you mr. secretary. if you could share as the
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government identified the perpetrator or the entities behind these attacks? >> there'snt not much i can sayn this setting but the short answer to t your question is no. >> the department has announced that a senior person would be appointed to manage this issue. i appreciate the stuff to the long-overdue effort to address it. has this person been identified or appointed? >> we have someone who can speak directly to the senior leadership. we are doing that and to your earlier point making sure we have a whole of government approach with a strong process including working with the other agencies that have been directly affected so many of those that
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serve in the department are residents in the district or neighboring districts i do want to raise the issue and my hope is that the department is moving expeditiously to ensure the safety of personnel serving overseas and one last point that i wanted to raise in the limited time is our committee was made aware of some allegations of politically motivated or retaliatory behavior towards members you've said being proactive is supporting and assisting the department officials who may have experienced such behavior as a priority. i hope you will redress these past wrongs with haste so that our career diplomats can be a part of strengthening and rebuilding the career foreign services that they may continue during the good work of the people. i hope that would be a priority.
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>> both are. covid is a priority and we are working very hard on that. we've allocated about 80% of the vaccines we've gotten to the missions in the field and we want to make sure we cover all ofh the workforce. it was very slow early on. >> the gentle ladies time is expired i recognize the ranking member for the subcommittee on international development organizations for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and mr. sec. it's wonderful to have you here today. congratulations. i look forward to t working with you. i would like toou get more from your statement and the biden administration regarding the illegal occupation of cyber spiess and also what can be done to help stop the turkish and mediterranean regime? >> we talked about this a little bit earlier and i, just to
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emphasize a couple ofed points, this is something president biden himself has been engaged on as you know for many years as a senator, vice president and now as president. we strongly support the federation and we will lend our own diplomatic weight to that effort and also support the effort in that direction and as we talked aboutd a little bit earlier as well we've been very concerned about the actions we seen in the eastern mediterranean. we will continue to call them out and one of the positive developments has been turkey is more positive in the recent weeks and we are hopeful that temperature continues to go down and remain low but i think i can safely say you will see the united states and our diplomats very much involved and engaged trying after too many years to move things forward.
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>> would the gentle lady yield? >> mr. chair man, are you able to hear me? >> we can hear you now. go right ahead.
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>> [inaudible] if she comes back she has one minute and ten seconds left. we will come back to her if you are able to get her voice back. right now i will yield to the representative of new jersey for three minutes. >> thank you for coming here today. i was talking to our commander in korea and i asked a question about whether or not it's time to declare an end to the korean war and whether there was any military consideration on that he said there was no military concern on his angle so i want to ask you that directly. after 70 years is there time to formally end the korean war? >> we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to advance the security of our
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allies and partners starting with south korea as well as japan whether that can advance all the things i just talked about, but of course to be engaged in very close consultations with our partners starting with the republic of korea. the policy itself and the approach is something we are also reviewing to make sure we have the best possible tools to advance denuclearization and in particular to look at the different pressure points we may have as well as the diplomatic opportunities so that we can hopefully make progress on something that has been a very
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challenging issue for manyss administrations. a. >> i agree with you on that and i believe we will be moving forward on that and i would ask that as we do that we don't always have this shadow hanging over us for the ways we see things. last question here you're going to go meet with the chinese. i heard some of the comments you made earlier today we will probably see tomorrow a ofdevastating blow to the econoy and democracy in hong kong and i will be honest with you i struggle to think about how hong kong is going to recover from this one. it feels like this is sort of the end of the pursuit for that type of system. how can we recover and what do we do beyond, what else can we
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do? >> i very much share your concerns and this is something that we are in close consultation with a series of allies and partners first and foremost to speak with one clear voice across the country's and you've seen things that have emerged from the g7. but beyond that, there are specific actions we have taken including visa denials and sanctions and i think that one big question is going to be what is the business environment going forward and how do our own companies operate. >> ifow the representative is wh us,op she is recognized for a minute and ten seconds. >> thank you mr. chair man. can you hear me now?
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>> some type of negotiation. we are not happy happy with of the administration trying to bring whether it's democracy or humanev rights or ending the dul citizen. to try to spread this to the cuban people and also as you look to reenter the united nations security council, i would urge you if you could please use the leverage to try to help people suffering under human rights conditions around the globe. the fact that they were given a platform by the united nations, human rights council and i think
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that i would like to know some of your thoughts on the entry. >> the gentleman's time is expired. a. >> i'm sure we will find a way to come back on them. >> i represent peter of michigan for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and secretary for being with us here today. and i also want to offer my congratulations on your new role. i appreciate a lot of the questions my colleagues have asked and i'm going to touch on a few of them at first i just wanted to address an issue that was raised around the refugee population and her district, our district, the third congressional has a large number of burmese refugees in the city of battle creek i know that they are watching with grave concern and disappointment on what has happened in addition to the
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atattacks on peaceful protester, so i appreciate this is something you are keeping a close eye on and let us know what we can do to support the peaceful transition and a pathwaypi back towards some of e progress being made over the decades. and i'm appreciative that you mentionedme the conflict and the recent massacre shouldn't say recent, but the massacre that was recentlyly made aware of. it is similar to the 2015 massacre in nigeria with these horrific acts of violence and these atrocities. the suppressed communication links are shut down and we only learned of it later on so anything we can do and i would impress upon you to continue to shed light on those and ensure we do not have repeats of such catastrophes. but i want to touch upon something that was referenced as well specifically around the covid vaccination for state
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department employees. can you share what geographic regions still require additional vaccines within the broad state department, global s environmen? >> sure. this really is aton the top of y priority list, safety and security of personnel across the board and covid-19 in particular. pras i mentioned earlier, one of the frustrations shared by the administration, because i had conversations with outgoing colleagues about this is that we've received far fewer vaccines at the department back in december than we originally were led to believe and anticipated and we've been playing catch-up ever since. the good news is we've made tdramatic progress in the last week ass i think i mentioned we have allocated 80% of the vaccines we have received to the field and we have done that on a steady basis, not arbitrarily. we've looked at where the most urgent need was and the
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different factors involved including where we had the greatest concerns and the greatest risks and we've allocated them accordingly. i'm very hopeful that we will be in a position to get everyone in the very near future. the other thing we've done is made sure that our entire workforce knows what we are doing, that we have transparencw in terms of the policy and getting vaccines and getting people vaccinated so we have been sharing that information on a weekly basis with the entire workforce. >> thank you mr. secretary and i would want to emphasize i think pakistan is the only special incentive yet to receive the vaccinations and i would appreciateze if that could be prioritized. i will yield back. >> representative chrissy from pennsylvania for three minutes. >> s.thank you. i just want to start by saying before i get to my question i want to correct some of the
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false information made earlier about the united nations mapopulation fund. it hasn't been evidenced [inaudible] no evidence of these activities in china or elsewhere. in your determination [inaudible] stated the conclusion they may support or partner with the chinese government and grounds for the amendment to withhold funding. they do not support abortion as a method of family planning or fund therapies and i personally [inaudible] because of the critical role that it plays with women around the world and i know president biden has already been in the process of moving that funding
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so my question for you is what more can the united states do and how is the state department incorporating this policymaking process? >> this is something that is central to our work and our actions. one of the things we've institutionalized in recent years is a very senior official to advance a global issue and we will be naming someone to that post ior hope shortly. we just celebrated, as you know, international women's day. i was very honored to be able to help designate awards to extraordinary women around the world with the first lady at the state department, but that also had i think the purpose of shining a strong spotlight on issues of gender particularly when it comes to advancing peace and security as well as of
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course to protecting the rights of women and girls around the world, so this is central to the state department's mission, andw we have a very senior person and team dedicated to doing that every single day. >> i want to emphasize the importance of women and girls and their livelihoods are certainly dependent they cannot grow and thrive [inaudible] i will yield back. >> of the gentle lady yields back. i now recognize the representativei from california for three minutes. chairman and secretary lincoln for joining us today. there's a lot of policy issues we can discuss that i'd like to focus on a few priorities in
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asia. first on taiwan, for decades taiwan has been an invaluable security global health partner r to the united states and given the numerous contributions to the international community and strong democratic system, it should be clear to everyone today that taiwan deserves a seat at the table to share with the rest of the world about its expertise, so i would urge the biden administration to also support taiwan's inclusion in the upcoming democracies summit that i know you will be participating in organizing and begin talks for a free trade agreement negotiation as well. so, i hope that i can get your commitment to work on thisg issue. >> i'm absolutely committed to working on it and i share your view that taiwan is a strong democracy, a very strong technological power in a country that can contribute to the
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world, not just its own people. thank you for sharing that. on north korea, 2004, congress passed the north korea act and creative position for special envoy on north korea human rights issues but as you know that position has k been vacant since 2017 and this position is critical for coordinating with south korea on our dealings with north korea and recognizing the promotion of human rights issues to bring it on the side burn and to its very essential for our national interest and to strengthen the american diplomacy globally and our leadership. so, the appointment also i speak as a korean american myself and speaking on behalf of the korean community, the special envoy is a dire and urgent need given that there are hundreds of korean americans that have yet to reunify with their loved ones
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long-lost relatives so i hope that we will have someone that will be nominated and appointed to fill the position as quickly as possible. >> i feel strongly and agree. >> also i would like to draw your attention on the trilateral partnership with s japan and soh korea. as you know, this relationship between seoul and tokyo has been sort of at the lowest point in the recent decades. but we need these two allies for strong partners of the united states to work together effectively in order to carry out our critical intelligence sharing,g, so tokyo and seoul cooperation is essential to promoting the secure and peaceful issues, so i have your consent on that? >> that's something i was very involved in swd secretary. >> the time is expired.
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>> thank you. >> i now recognize the vice chair of the subcommittee on international development in organizations, representative sara jacobs of california for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chair and mr. sec.or for staying so long it's great to see you and i look forward to working with you. before my question i want to assure my colleagues that have expressed consternation about the southern border that the representatives of the border city we feel very safe and secure a and welcome our immigrt communities. mr. sec., i want to ask your thoughts on what i think is one of the central questions of u.s. foreign policy that often gets in the way of many of our other priorities that you've so eloquently talked about and that is of intervention. i wondered if you could talk a bit about your thinking on whenn the united states should intervene in humanitarian crises. over the last decade we have seen the cost of action and inaction and under what
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conditions do you think we should intervene and if we don't intervene in a traditional sense how would you approach the need to the value to protect? >> this is something i wish we had more than two minutes to talk about. it's one of the most challenging questions we face and you've put it very well we've seen the cost of doing too much and the cost of doing too little. here's what i can tell you in the brief time that we have, the president is committed to putting diplomacy first in everything we do and that means having the strongest military in the world because that actually makes our diplomacy more effective but to make sure that that is a tool of last resort and not first resort. and to use our diplomacy to prevent conflicts and stop them when they've emerged and in particular to mobilize other countries because that's our greatest strength our ability to do that, to deal with these problems and in particular humanitarian crises, so that's
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the first kind of response. i think when it comes to military interventions, wee have to make sure that again, it is a tool of last resort and that there is a clear and achievable mission thatai we can do it on a informed consent of the american people. that's where it's most vital and of course that's where congress comes in so this is an area we want to work closely with congress going forward because otherwise none of this will really be sustainable, and i think there's a lot of work to do especially on the foundation of the last 20 years. >> thank you. as a millennial who's never known a day in my adult life the united states hasn't been at war i think you and my last question quickly and the national securityli guidance for the international security guidance, the biden harris administration talks about modernizing the architecture of international cooperation and i wondered if you could talk a bit more about what you envision that to look like.
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>> just very quickly, this architecture that we helped put in place served us incredibly well over 75 plus years but of course aju lot of it was put in place a long time ago for a very different world and i think that it has to be looked at for the world we live in and not the world we did live in. >> the time is expired. >> the representative of florida for threedy minutes. >> i represent miami which is the capital of the americans and home too thousands and thousands of exiles from all over latin america and it's great to talk to you i want to talk about columbia, venezuela so that's why i want to use my time effectively i only need a yes or no will you commit to continue
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implementing the law until the regime opens a democraticye gain in cuba, yes or no? >> forgive me because i didn't hear. >> we are not taking any unilateral actions on cuba in advance of any consultations we have no plans. >> is the way to continue to be implemented? >> we will always implement the law. >> it wasn't for 30 years up until the last administration. >> we will implement the law. >> will you commit to consult with the cuban-american exile community before engaging in any type of economic or political speaking or any type of engagement with the cuban regime will you commit to engage with my community before you do? >> thank you. with columbia two months ago the colombian media intercepted a dossier coming from cuba which outlines in detail how have and
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i was plotting to steal columbia's presidential election. were you aware of this? >> i haven't seen this. >> is coming from a reputable publication. maybe you will want to see it. inin one year, columbia eradicad a record of 130,000 taxpayers, 20 times the size of manhattan, ten times more than the administration in four years. do you care with they are doing to eradicate this evil? >> we do and we have to do more and also have to help colombians create alternative livelihoods for people so that they don't get into --- >> let's go to nicaragua. are you concerned that the opposition will participate in the upcoming presidential election without real guarantees that those are going to be free and fair? >> we have deep concerns about those and the ability to be free and fair. >> will you consider the possibility of breaking diplomatic relations with
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nicaragua and the regime if that is the case? >> well, we have -- >> will you conside the possibility if they steal the election? >> we will always consider any possibility but our job and our business at the state department is to continue to find ways to engage countries. >> we havens lots of countries e are dealing with around the world that are doing things. >> but not nicaragua. you didn't answer. venezuela, would you consider including venezuela on the list of countries that sponsor terrorism? >> if it meets the requirements of the law, yes. >> they engage with hezbollah -- iran. >> the time is expired. >> yes. >> can i have one more question? >> no, the gentle ladies time is expired. i now recognize -- >> i would love to talk socialism -- the gentle ladies time is expired. i now recognize the vice chair
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of the subcommittee on the middle east north africa and global counterterrorism, representative of north carolina for three minutes.s. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you mr. secretary for your patience so that each of us can ask our questions. i also want to thank you for your repeated commitment that he will work not only to make sure that iran doesn't obtain a nuclear weapon but also to address the maligned behavior in sponsoring terrorism in the middle east and around the world. i want to turn to the frightening global rise of white supremacists and anti-semitism and it wasn't lost on many of us that one of the january 6th insurrectionist's wore ast can f l shorts t-shirt. what role do you see for the united states combating global violence, white supremacists and anti-semitism? >> we have to combat both at home and around the world and we have to make sure that we are
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organizing with other countries to do that. that's something that i place personal importance on. >> and you will take steps to foster the combating of both of those? >> yes. >> thank you. >> turning to israel. what role do you see for the united states fostering a path ?towards peace between israel ad the palestinians? >> two things. first, we talked a little bit about this earlier, the move towards normalization with israel by a variety of countries including the united arab emirates, a rain we think are very positive and we want to build on those and that's good for all countries concerned and for the cause ofnk the peace and stability and economic progress as well. having said that, those accords and steps don't mean the challenge goes away. it doesn't. it's still there and i thinks we have an obligation to continue to try to work on it and advance
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the prospects of the two state solution which is ultimately the only way that israel will truly be secure as a jewish and democratic state and the palestinians will have a state to which they are entitled. >> do you believe the reports are premature? >> i do because at the end of the day, there is not a good i alternative that protects israel's future as a jewish and democratic state and the state that they are entitled to. >> thank you and i will yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. i now recognize the representative of california for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chair, mr. sec. for your timenu as well and i ao believe as a part of your overall efforts that restoring morale for the men and women that served the nation in the state department is going to be among your high priorities after
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the last four years. i want to ask a couple of quick questions. oit's been touched upon earlier, but the efforts with regards to the november 8th reports included resolution of prisoners of war and citizens that are still being withheld by azerbaijan. i would like you to focus time to figure out how we might be able to return to those and if you could let us know a plan for the group that is trying to put pressure to keep that agreement that would be helpful. >> i spoke to the armenian pre- minister a few days ago and this is one of the things we focused on. >> in addition to that, the strength of the transatlantic relationship withh our allies ad the european union are critical. what are your thoughts about how we can let china and russia know that the allies are more or less
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trying to get back on the same page? >> i think it starts with the fact that we are and we will be showing up again. we are already engaged virtually ensued in person with our closest partners with the european union and our individual partners there and i think that you will see a very robust agenda when it comes to nato and advancing some of the critical reforms with the challenges ofo this time including the efforts for the strategic doctrine in the years ahead we are going to be very engaged on that and a full and strong participant in the activities. >> in the commitment to maintain the forces as a part of that
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effort, this is tied to that. the role obviously would help foster the space by restoring democracy to some of the countries in eastern europe that have drifted back towards russia and have become more authoritarian. any idea how we deal with that? >> one of the things we are doing as you knowec is focusingn democracy and part of that would involve having a summit for the democracy so probably towards the end of theie year and also making sure that all of the members of the alliance are committed or recommitted to democratic values and we will be engaged with all of them. >> i look forward to working with you mr. sec. >> the time is expired and i recognize the vice chair in the subcommittee on civilian security, migration and international economic policy, representative of california for three minutes.
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>> thank you very much mr. chair. what an honor to have you here. i'd like to talk about three things, a priest that was arrested october 8th, 2020 on the counterterrorist task force, the issue of the us-mexico border especially the asylum-seekers and iran's nuclear problem, program. the first issue, he was arrested in india and a social action center by the indian counterterrorism task force for the national investigation agency for instigating the violence in 2017. he's been in prison for i more than 130 days while completely unfounded charges, absolutely ridiculous. he is a malice and former -- incompatible and he's
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83-years-old and very sick. i did talk to the indian ambassador looking into that and i hope that you look into that. it's an incredible injustice -- >> share the information if you haven't already and we will look into it. >> thank you very much. second, i live in san diego border.e it's very safe and i can tell you a person that is an emigrat has the right to present themselves at the border and seek asylum so when the children do that, please don't put them in cages, please don't separate them from their families, that isn't what we do as americans. and secondly, taking a look at some of the statistics to see how many people actually show up and this is according to the u.s. department of justice executive office for immigration review, 92% of individuals who filed asylum claims attended the court hearings between fiscal years 2013 and 2017. asylum-seekers at least to pursue their claims attended immigration hearings nearly
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98.5% of the time. when they have a fair shot at a hearing, they show up. when they know it's not fair, they don't show up. give them a fair shot. >> and last, i want to say and i know you talked quite a bit about this, i was against the jcp away and especially because of those clauses. i remember president clinton who i respect very much, he was talking about north korea said it represents the first step on the road to a nuclear free doesn't relyau on trust 1994, of course the weapons, a large country they want to get the bomb, it's hard as hell to stop them and that's why i'm very concerned with the issue again of iran and us getting back into a deal with those sunset clauses. >> we had an opportunity toce discuss them briefly before and we are very focused on that, but what we do know is that on its foown terms the agreement was working. it wash cutting off the pathway to produce fissile material for the bomb and had the intrusive
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verification monitoring system of any proxy control agreement we had reached and if we were to get back into it, it would have the same features. >> the time is expired. and last, but not least, i recognize the representative brad schneider of illinois for three minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. sec., first, congratulations and a>>r. second, thank you forr patience today. we have a wide ranging discussion today on the extraordinary ground of the globalyo challenges and also the global opportunities that face you in your rolefl as a nation d i'm grateful. i want tolo talk about three things very briefly. iran, the accord with countries and israel and with respect to iran i'm grateful for your position and i appreciate your commitment to ensure thatma your on is able to achieve a nuclear
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weapon. the government is not reentering the jc poa without first getting its compliance but following up on what my colleague has talked about already, can you touch on was iran not coming to the table for discussions, what are the steps to make sure they can't can havea nuclear weapon? >> thank you. right now of course the challenge is iran has moved out of compliance with a number of key features including enriching uranium to 20%. including using more advanced centrifuges, including increasing its stockpile of fissile material all of which has cut the so-called breakout time down from past a year under the agreement to a matter of months at least according to public reports, so we have concerns about that. iran is seeping out of the nuclear box it put it into which is why i think we have an
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interest in getting iran back into the box but as i said right now the ball is in the record and meanwhile of course we have sanctions that remain on the books and that are being implemented and we are at least on the same page with our allies and partners by recommitting to diplomacy and ways we hadn't been in recent years and that will make us more effective in applying pressure on iran. >> with diplomacy is the only way to peacefully get them to give up their nuclear weapons. can i have your commitment that in addition to the jc poa we will work to address the ballistic missile program and we will work together on that. thank you. to push back on iran is to continue the progress on the accord and the normalization with the state t of israel workg to achieve security as a region it is critical. do you see potential for
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additional progress made under the agreement? >> i do. we want to build on the foundation that hasas been set d that's something we will work on and we hope that more countries will pursue the path of normalization with israel. >> i have just a few seconds. we need to make sure we address climate change. >> the gentleman's time is expired. mr. sec. >> let me thank you for all of your time today and your willingness to stay to lead every member of the committee askedd you a question. you are the first confirmed to come beforery the congress and we are so appreciative of the respect that shows for congress as a coequal branch of government and i'm
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sure that you can see today that there is great interest from all the members on both sides of the aisle to engage with you. you were gracious enough and we had to reduce the time for some of the members, but they all got some questions in. so, you know i can't let you leave without asking you to come back againot at some time in the very near future. it's a pleasure to be with you and the committee and all of its members. and as i like to say this is hello, not goodbye. >> thank you for your insight. it is invaluable and your expertise, which is clear. i will just say you have also
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made it absolutely clear that america is back at the table. and so is american diplomacy. because you are the ultimate diplomat. and as the instrument of our foreign policy, diplomacy is how the united states will once again demonstrate leadership on the world stage, champion of our values and the coalitions necessary to address our global threats. one of the committee's mostdr crucial responsibilities is to ensure that our diplomatic both civil and foreign service have what they need to carry out the significant work that you do. to that end, i look forward to working with you and the administration to make sure that the state department is organized and equipped for today's challenges and that enthere is diversity in the rans across all levels of the department as you have assured us would have been. happen. to all of my colleagues, as you can still hear me if you haven't gone to vote yet, i want to
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thank you for joining this important conversation and with that, this hearing is now adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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>> this presents an opportunity for everyone to increase their vaccinations, even a


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