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Under Secretary Andrea L. Thompson Travels To France And The United Kingdom

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea L. Thompson will travel to Paris, France, and London, the United Kingdom May 14-18, 2018.

On May 15, Under Secretary Thompson will head the U.S. delegation for the 2018 Fifteenth Anniversary Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) High Level Political Meeting (HLPM) in Paris, France. This meeting will provide the 105 endorsers of the initiative with an opportunity to review the accomplishments of the last fifteen years, leverage those accomplishments to further focus the Initiative’s efforts to interdict transfers of WMD- and missile-related items, and provide strategic direction for the next years of activity. It will send a message of PSI to proliferators “that we are watching and will act to stop you, whether at sea, in the air, or on land.”

On May 18, she will represent the United States at the Ministerial Meeting of the International Partnership against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons in Paris. The Partnership ministerial will address chemical weapons use by States and non-State actors in recent years, in addition to actions the Partnership can take to contribute to the attribution and deterrence of future use.

Under Secretary Thompson will also hold bilateral discussions on a range of arms control and nonproliferation issues.

For more information, follow Under Secretary Thompson’s activities on Twitter @UnderSecT.

On The Occasion Of Europe Day

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

On Europe Day, we send our congratulations to the citizens of the European Union. The United States recognizes the EU as one of our closest partners on our most important objectives abroad.

For decades, the EU has collaborated with the U.S. on a host of international challenges.

The United States is grateful for the EU’s enduring friendship.

The U.S.-EU relationship arises from a shared history and a common civilization grounded in democratic values, strong economic ties, and mutual commitment to transatlantic security.

Europe and the world are safer when the EU acts proactively to address common threats facing the West.

The Queen’s Birthday Party 2018 In Kosovo

HM Ambassador, Ruairí O'Connell's speech during the Queen's Birthday Party

The Queen's Birthday Party 2018 in Kosovo

The Queen’s Birthday Party 2018 in Kosovo

Mister President, Mister Speaker, Mister Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Mayors, MPs, Generals, Professors, Journalists, Leaders of Business, Friends

It is really so wonderful to see you all here tonight. Thank you for joining us to celebrate the 92nd Birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second.

The reign of our Queen has marked a remarkable period of change and development. She has seen Britain transform and grow for over 60 years. Throughout all these momentous changes, she has been a symbol, and a source, of stability and perseverance, an example of public duty.

Britain too has seen great changes, as has Kosovo. Tonight, we celebrate not just the Birthday of our Queen, but also the 10th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kosovo and the UK. 10 years ago we launched a new phase of our relationship. It is a source of pride that we were the first country to recognise Kosovo, and to establish diplomatic relations. It is a source of personal pride that I was there to witness – and in my own modest way, help – the birth of Kosovo as Europe’s Newborn country.

Today we are celebrating a relationship that has blossomed over ten short years. When I think of the relationship, I think not just of our diplomatic relations, the founding documents of which are on display here tonight. I think also about the support the UK Government has given to Kosovo in that time, to help build a better Kosovo for all. I think about our growing co-operation against crime, where Kosovo is now helping us catch criminals who threaten us both. I think about the growing co-operation between the Kosovo Security Force and the British Armed Forces; we have trained your officers and other ranks for ten years, but as I speak here tonight, a Kosovo Security Force officer, Ismail Hoxha, is training British soldiers in the United Kingdom. I think about the protection that the British Army has given to Kosovo through KFOR, but also think about the extraordinary act of bravery of Dervish Gashi, a former KLA member, who saved many lives during a terrorist attack in London. I recall the ceaseless diplomatic lobbying that the UK has done to integrate internationally, but I also recall the solidarity Kosovo has shown to the United Kingdom, joining the fight against ISIS and speaking out against the awful chemical attack in Salisbury.

Altogether – I see a relationship that is becoming a true partnership.

Finally, remembering that no-one has ever been criticised for speaking too short, I would like to thank our Diamond Sponsors for this evening, and all our other sponsors who have made this celebration, and the Brit Talks earlier today, possible. Your enthusiasm to get involved shows the strength of the relationship between the UK and Kosovo! I want to thank my team, who have worked tirelessly for weeks to pull this huge event together. I want to thank my wife Elida and my family for all the support they give us. And I want to thank everyone here for being a living part of the relationship between Kosovo and Britain. Here’s to the next ten years!

Now finally, I would like to propose a toast on behalf of the British Government to the President and the people of Kosovo. Here’s to your health!

National Crime Agency Tackles People Smuggling Networks In Belgium

An international law enforcement operation has disrupted what is believed to be one of the most significant people smuggling networks operating between Iraq and the UK

National Crime Agency (NCA)

National Crime Agency (NCA)

National Crime Agency (NCA) officers arrested three suspected members of the group yesterday in the UK and in Belgium police arrested two suspected members in a covert strike in Ghent.

UK’s National Crime Agency Officer based in Brussels said:

The UK arrests coincided with the arrests of two men in the Ghent area. A 15-year-old boy was rescued before he boarded a lorry bound for the UK. The arrests follow several months of joint operational work amongst the NCA and the Federal and local Belgian prosecutors and Belgian Federal Police specialist investigation teams from Brussels, Leuven, Bruges and Ghent. This operation is the latest in a long list of triumphs shared by Belgium and the UK. Our close partnership will continue to disrupt and strip down organised crime groups targeting the vulnerable.

The suspects, all from or with links to the Kurdish community, are believed to be part of a network of smugglers, couriers and complicit lorry drivers stretching from Iraq to the UK and the NCA believes the network are behind the smuggling of almost three thousand migrants into Europe in a three month period last year. Many were trying to reach the UK.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal To Attend The Zeebrugge Raid Centenary Commemoration

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will visit Zeebrugge, in Belgium to attend the centenary commemoration for the Zeebrugge Raid on Saturday 21 April

Zeebrugge Raid

Zeebrugge Raid

Her Royal Highness and Sir Tim, Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, will attend a ceremony to mark 100 years since the British naval forces carried out a blocking raid on Zeebrugge.

The operation was intended to block the access of German shipping and submarines in and out of the port and to inflict as much damage as possible to the German submarines, torpedo boats and ships which were based at the inland docks in Bruges. The raid led to the death of 176 British naval officers whilst leaving 412 wounded and 49 missing.

Her Royal Highness will pay tribute to the bravery of these men during the centenary commemoration.

The Princess Royal and Sir Tim will also view the exhibition 1914- 1918, the Battle for the North Sea in the Provincial Court in Bruges.

Further Information

The following men were awarded the Victoria Cross for their services and acts of valour:

  • Commander (Acting Captain) Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter, RN
  • Lieutenant Richard Douglas Sandford, RN
  • Lieutenant Percy Thompson Dean, RNVR (Motor Launch 282)
  • Captain Edward Bamford, DSO, RMLI
  • Serjeant Norman Augustus Finch, RMA
  • Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie
  • Lieutenant-Commander George Nicholson Bradford, RN
  • Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Leyland Harrison, RN
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