Testimony for Assistant Secretary Wess Mitchell - House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on “U.S. Policy Toward a Turbulent Middle East” April 18, 2018

Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you. It is an honor to represent the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in this hearing. In my comments today, I will focus on the strategic dimension of the conflict in Syria as it relates to the work of our Bureau, and specifically, to the part played by the Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation.

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The U.N. Security Council veto is literally killing people

The conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza and Syria are symptomatic of deeper problems in the international system. If the Security Council were to fulfill its role under the U.N. Charter, tackling many of these tragic situations would be much more possible. But, as things stand, the Security Council’s permanent members (the U.S., U.K., France, China and Russia) continue to protect their privilege and use of the veto power to prevent intervention where it is needed.

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'Syria Is Not Auschwitz'

In a DER SPIEGEL interview, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas discusses Germany's position on Syria, criticizes U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter diplomacy and calls for a tougher approach to Russia.

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U.S. Assistance in Serbia

Since 2001, the United States has provided nearly $1 billion in assistance to Serbia-strengthening the rule of law, increasing good governance, fostering inclusive economic growth, supporting cultural preservation, and helping local communities repair infrastructure and become stronger.

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