The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), headed by Assistant Secretary Anne Patterson, deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic relations with Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Regional policy issues that NEA handles include Iraq, Middle East peace, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and political and economic reform. Clickable Map»

Date: 08/18/2014 Description: President Obama delivers a statement on Iraq, August 18, 2014. © AP ImagePresident Obama on the Latest Events in Iraq
Aug. 18:
The President said that the American operation in Iraq has effectively protected our personnel in Erbil by stopping the terrorist group ISIL from advancing on the city of Erbil, and by helping Iraqi forces to recapture the largest dam in Iraq. DipNote»

Statement by the President on Iraq

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President Obama (Aug. 7): "Today I authorized two operations in Iraq -- targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death." Full Text» More»

Unconditional Humanitarian Cease-fire in Gaza
Date: 08/01/2014 Description: Secretary of State John Kerry announces a United Nations-backed 72-hour cease-fire in fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip during an early morning news conference in New Delhi, India, on August 1, 2014. - State Dept ImageSecretary Kerry (Aug. 1): "I want to re-emphasize: This is a respite. It’s a moment of opportunity, not an end; it’s not a solution. It’s the opportunity to find the solution. And President Obama hopes that all the parties will work diligently to do so." Full Text» More»

2013 Report on International Religious Freedom

Secretary Kerry (July 28): "The release of this report here today is a demonstration of the abiding commitment of the American people and the entire U.S. Government to the advancement of freedom of religion worldwide." Full Text» Assistant Secretary Malinowski's Remarks»

The Situation in Gaza
Date: 07/21/2014 Description: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon listens as Secretary Kerry addresses reporters in Cairo on July 21, 2014, before they sit down to talk about their mutual efforts to support a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas amid conflict in Gaza. - State Dept ImageSecretary Kerry (July 21): "We are both here in support of and in an effort to help get implemented the Egyptian initiative for the ceasefire. Israel and Egypt have encouraged that, and Israel has accepted that ceasefire proposal. So only Hamas now needs to make the decision ...." Full Text» Trip Page»

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