News Archives

Statement by Chargé d’Affaires Robbins on Violence in Egypt

The United States is deeply concerned about the violence in Egypt that has led to a tragic loss of life among demonstrators and security forces. We express our condolences to the families and loved ones of all who were killed or injured, and we stand with the Egyptian people in this painful and difficult time.

Now is a time for restraint on all sides so that Egyptians can move forward together to forge a strong and united Egypt. As the Egyptian people shape their future, the United States continues to believe that the rights of minorities—including Copts—must be respected. All people have the universal rights of peaceful protest and religious freedom.

We also note Prime Minister Sharaf’s call for an investigation and his appeal to all parties to refrain from violence. We echo these calls and stress the importance that the investigation be a transparent and credible process beginning immediately and holding accountable all responsible parties with full due process of law. To further protect religious freedom, we also support the Egyptian government’s decision to consider a Unified Places of Worship Law governing church construction and an anti-discrimination law within two weeks.

The tragic violence that has marred Egypt’s transition should not stand in the way of timely elections and the country’s continued transition to democracy.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Spokesperson Nuland on Violence in Yemen

The United States extends our deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during recent protests in Sana’a. We have long condemned the use of violence during this period of upheaval and reject any actions that undermine productive efforts underway to achieve a peaceful political resolution to the current crisis in Yemen. We call upon all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from further violence. We urge a prompt, impartial investigation into the events that led to the recent violence.

The United States continues to support the Yemeni people’s aspirations for a peaceful and orderly transition that is responsive to their aspirations for peace, reconciliation, prosperity, and security. A political solution is the best way to avoid further bloodshed. We remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached that leads to the expeditious signing of the GCC political transition initiative.


U.S. Condemns Ongoing Violence in Syria

The United States condemns the ongoing violence in Syria, particularly the brutality practiced by the Syrian Government against its own citizens – peaceful protestors and bystanders alike. On July 23, the world witnessed the death of 12-year-old Talha Dalal, shot in the head by a Syrian police officer in Damascus on July 15. The behavior of Syria’s security forces, including other such barbaric shootings, wide-scale arrests of young men and boys, brutal torture, and other abuses of basic human rights, is reprehensible. President Asad must understand that he is not indispensible, and we believe he is the cause of Syria’s instability not the key to its stability. The regime should make no mistake that the world is watching, and those responsible will be held accountable for their crimes.

This violence will not suppress the legitimate demands of the Syrian people to exercise their rights and shape their own country’s future. Additionally, it is another clear sign that President Asad has lost legitimacy with the Syrian people, because he is unwilling to lead a democratic transition. The violence perpetrated against innocent civilians only contributes to instability, feeds sectarian tensions, and increases the Syrian people’s distrust and anger at their government.

The world is inspired by those in Syria who are demanding a better future through peaceful protests, and we underscore that resorting to force will not resolve the challenges Syria faces today or bring about a better future. We urge all Syrians to renounce violence and work together for a unified and democratic Syria free of violence or retaliation against any community among Syria’s diverse population.

We urge President Asad’s government to immediately halt its deadly actions against peaceful protesters, to release the many thousands of detainees, and to respect and act upon the clear demands of the Syrian people for a peaceful and democratic transition to democracy. This transition would be a positive step for Syria, the region, and the world.


Statement by Spokesperson Nuland Urging an End to the Violence in Burma

The United States is concerned by on-going violence in Burma’s northern Kachin State and other regions of the country and calls for a halt to hostilities. The Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Army began fighting on June 9 and have continued over the past three weeks. We are particularly concerned by the reports of human rights abuses in the area, including reports of casualties, rape, and displacement of thousands of local residents. There have also been reports of clashes in Karen and Shan states.

We urge all appropriate authorities to ensure, in line with international standards, adequate support, safety, and protection for those persons fleeing conflict along Burma’s borders. This recent violence underscores the need for an inclusive dialogue between the Government of Burma and opposition and ethnic minority groups to begin a process of genuine national reconciliation.


Mark Toner: Press Statement on the Violence in Syria

The United States is deeply troubled by violence and civilian deaths in Dara’a at the hands of security forces. We are concerned by the Syrian Government’s use of violence, intimidation and arbitrary arrests in Dara’a to hinder the ability of its people to freely exercise their universal rights. We condemn these actions and extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have been injured or lost their lives. We call on the Syrian Government to exercise restraint and refrain from violence against peaceful protestors.


Phlip Crowley: Statement of Ongoing Situation in Yemen

The United States is deeply concerned by continuing reports of deaths and injuries at demonstrations throughout Yemen in the past week. We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives. People everywhere share the same universal rights to demonstrate peacefully and to freely assemble and express themselves. Violence must cease immediately. We call on the Yemeni government to quickly investigate these incidents and take all necessary steps to protect the rights of all its citizens in accordance with President Saleh’s commitments.

The current political impasse will be solved only when all parties engage in a process of peaceful negotiation and dialogue. We reiterate our call for a commitment by all sides to participate in an open and transparent process that addresses the legitimate concerns of all Yemeni people and provides an orderly path to a nation that is more responsive to the political and economic aspirations of the people. We believe this is the best approach to advance the interests of the Yemeni people.


Secretary Clinton: Statement on Cote d’Ivoire

The United States condemns Laurent Gbagbo’s continued attacks on unarmed civilians in Cote d’Ivoire and we demand an immediate end to this brutality. Gbagbo’s indiscriminate violence against civilians cannot be tolerated. All individuals responsible for ordering or carrying out these heinous acts will have to answer for their actions.

Gbagbo’s claim that he represents the Ivoirian people belies his persistent refusal to participate in the peaceful transition recommended by the African Union. Gbagbo’s incendiary rhetoric, such as his recent call for civilians to take up arms against their fellow citizens, stands in stark contrast to President Ouattara’s appeal for calm and restraint among the Ivoirian people. Now is the time for all Ivoirians to embrace the path of peace and to unite in rebuilding Cote d’Ivoire so that future generations can enjoy the stability and prosperity that all Ivoirians deserve.

The United States is providing humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by the growing violence, including a $4.5 million food aid contribution to the United Nations World Food Program in Cote d’Ivoire and a $7.5 million contribution for refugees in neighboring Liberia. We will continue to assist those affected by this violence and help put an end to the crisis.


Secretary Clinton’s Call to Egyptian Vice President Omar Soliman

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Egyptian Vice President Omar Soliman today to convey that today’s violence was a shocking development after many days of consistently peaceful demonstrations. The Secretary urged that the Government of Egypt hold accountable those who were responsible for violent acts. Secretary Clinton also underscored the important role that the Egyptian Armed Forces have played in exercising restraint in the face of peaceful demonstrations and expressed concern that all parties recommit themselves to using only peaceful means of assembly.

Noting Vice President Soliman’s call for a broad dialogue with representatives of Egypt’s opposition parties, the Secretary expressed hope that both the government and the opposition would seize the opportunity, starting immediately, for serious, meaningful negotiations about Egypt’s transition to a more open, pluralistic, and democratic government. Lastly, the Secretary noted that the United States remains committed to working in partnership with Egypt in helping to achieve the aspirations of the Egyptian people


U.S. Ambassador Meets with Indigenous Group

U.S. Ambassador William R. Brownfield met with representatives from ONIC, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia on January 15, 2010. The Ambassador expressed his concern over the violence against the indigenous population around the country and appealed to the illegal armed groups to put an end to forced recruitment of indigenous children.

“The forced recruitment of indigenous children by illegal armed groups is a violation of International Humanitarian Law and the expression of indifference towards the most basic standards of human values,” said the Ambassador. “We appeal to all illegal armed groups to put an end to this practice,” he added.

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia was founded as a response of the Consensus of Colombian indigenous communities and people during the First National Indigenous Congress in 1982. Its political platform is based on Unity, Land, Culture and Autonomy.


The United States Reiterates the Important Role Unions Play in Democracies

U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William R. Brownfield met with leaders of the Colombian Federation of Educators on March 25.  The Ambassador commended FECODE leaders for their dedication to the defense of workers’ and teachers’ rights, and expressed concern that Colombian labor leaders continue to face threats and violence due to their professional activities.  The Ambassador emphasized that “labor organizations like FECODE play positive, essential roles in all democratic societies, including the United States and Colombia.” 

FECODE was founded in 1959 and represents 220,000 workers organized in approximately 33 unions.  It is one of the largest union federations in Colombia, with a large presence in the   public education sector.  Its leaders work on a national scale to uphold the rights of Colombian workers and teachers. Ambassador Brownfield met with the leaders of the General Confederation of Workers (CGT) in October of last year, and labor leaders from the United Confederation of Workers (CUT) in February of 2010.


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