Ali Cinar

Ali Cinar

NSC Advisor O'Brien: "Assad is a very bad actor"

 

Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center hosted U.S. National Security Council Advisor Ambassador Robert O'Brien,Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs for a "View from the West Wing" conversation about both national security and the process for managing the National Security Council in our turbulent time.

President of Atlantic Council, Fred Kempe, and Former National Security Advisor Steven Heydemann made opening remarks and CBS News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent and Face the Nation Moderator Margaret Brennen moderated the program.

"Assad is a very bad actor,Iranians who are up to their ears are terrible actors,the Russians are not helping the situation, and Turks are not helping the situation. Erdogan and Putin, who have an interesting relationship, sometimes they are the best of friends and sometimes they are not. It is really up to them to work that situation out," Ambassador O'Brien said.

Margaret Brennan asked Ambassador O'Brien what the U.S. is doing about the violence in Idlib, Syria. "I do not think we are going to intervene militarily in Idlib to straighten out that bad situation,What are we supposed to do to stop them? We're supposed to be a global policeman and hold up a sign and say stop this Turkey, stop this Russia?" Ambassador O'Brien said.

U.S.-China Relations:

Ambassador Robert O'Brien admitted that the Chinese Government promised purchases under the Phase 1 trade deal will be reduced as a result of the growing health emergency.

"This could have an impact on phase one deal. It's not going to change the phase one deal. It's just we expect that is part of the phase one deal. China will expend more money on U.S. agricultural products. And we'll have to see how that plays out, "Ambassador O'Brien said.

Ambassador O'Brien said:" We've offered American doctors and experts to China to assist with coronavirus, but the offer has not yet been accepted."

He also highlighted that the U.S. would like to see North Korea its Singapore Summit commitments, and they are open for another summit If there's an opportunity to make progress.

Ambassador O'Brien believes that It's time for America to come home, and we wanted to come back under conditions that keep in place protections for our colleagues and our partners in Afghanistan. We want to make sure Afghanistan doesn't become a safe-haven for terrorism again."

Restructuring NSC

In his address, U.S. National Security Advisor Robert reported that the National Security Council was in the final stages of a reorganization that would get it "back to a manageable size. In the last five months of the Trump Administration, White House National Security Council has shrunk from over 175 policy staffers to 115 staffers. He also explained how NSC is working under his leadership.

Regarding the recent Philippines decision ending its military cooperation agreement with the United States, Ambassador O'Brien said that the United States would remain a strong partner in the Philippines. We are there to help the Philippines."

Pictures taken by Ali Cinar,Atlantic Council

US CONDEMNS IDLIB ATTACKS, STAND BY NATO ALLY TURKEY

 

The United States condemns the escalating assaults on Turkish Army Forces and innocent Syrian civilians by the Assad regime, Iran, Hizballah, and Russia.The statement came after leight Turkish soldiers and civilian contractors were killed by Syrian government forces in Northern Syria.

"The U.S. stands by our NATO Ally Turkey in the aftermath of the mortar attack by Assad regime forces on Turkish observation posts. This is a grave escalation. The Assad regime, Russia, Iran, and Hizballah's ruthless actions are preventing the establishment of a ceasefire." Secretary Pompeo said.  

"Turkey has the "full support" of the United States in responding to the Syrian Regime's "unjustified attacks" in Idlib "U.S. ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft addressing the U.N. Security Council.

Last December, the United Nations called on Russia and Assad to cease the massacre and, Russia and China vetoed the European Union countries' proposal for Idlib at the United Nations Security Council. The states that had prepared the plan stated that almost 1 million people had left their homes since the start of the last military operation by Syrian forces and Russian air support, four months ago. Thus, Russia, an ally of Assad, had rejected a U.N. Security Council bill for the 13th time since 2011, when the Syrian war began.

 

"We're very, very worried about this. First of all, the significance of Idlib – that's where we've had chemical weapons attacks in the past. We've got three million-plus refugees that may be pushed across the border. We have the Russians in the U.N. being very difficult on the whole humanitarian border assistance thing of late, with their veto of our efforts to try to get a decent U.N. resolution to keep the border crossings in the northeast open, and we think that the northwest will be next. And we see not just the Russians but the Iranians and Hizballah actively involved in supporting the Syrian offensive." said Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, Ambassador James Jeffrey during his press briefing sharing the latest developments in Syria.

 

There is a tremendous U.S. support to Turkey on Idlib crisis. Turkey and the U.S. are on the same page about Idlib. No matter how much the two NATO allies disagree on the issue of the YPG-PKK terrorist elements, they both want Assad removed and the killing of Idlib's civilians to stop. From time to time, President Donald Trump shows his appreciation for Turkey's efforts in the region.

 

President Trump and President Erdogan had a phone call on January 27th to discuss recent developments in Syria, and both leaders agreed that the violence being carried out in Idlib, Syria, must stop.

President Trump: This Is A Celebration

President Trump's made a public speech and celebrated his Senate acquittal on Thursday at the White House. His legal team, cabinet members, and GOP Congressional Leadership and as well as Trump's Family, were present at the historical program.

"We've been going through this now for over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never, ever happen to another President ever. I don't know that other Presidents would have been able to take it. Some people said, no, they wouldn't have. But I can tell you, at a minimum, you have to focus on this because it can get away very quickly. No matter who you have with you, it can get away very quickly. It was a disgrace." he told a full packed East Room crowd.

"This is a day of celebration because we went through hell," President Trump told the crowd, describing his impeachment as "all bullshit" and criticizing many of Democrats who stole the country's time with false allegations. "These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person."," Trump said during his East Room remarks

President Trump has thanked many people in the crowd, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch Connell. "Mitch, I want to tell you: You did a fantastic job." President Trump said.

Apologizing from his Family:

"I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people. And Ivanka is here, and my -- my sons and my whole family, and that includes Barron. "President Trump said during his East Room remarks. He hugged his daughter Ivanka Trump and invited First Lady Melanie Trump to the podium. 

Quick Highlights:

-President Trump focused the future and indicated that he would win again in 2020. He also believes that Republicans will get the majority in the House.

- President Trump brandished newspapers such as Washington Post and USA Today with banner headlines saying he had been acquitted.

-Television networks carried the lengthy remarks live, but President Trump did not take any questions after his remarks

- President Trump referred to "dirty cops," "leakers," "liars," and "nasty and horrible people," whom he blamed for his impeachment.

-President Trump called Senator Romney, who ran for president in 2012, "a failed presidential candidate," saying, "things can happen when you fail so badly running."

- There were over 100 people at the East Room, White House

On the Celebration day at White House, President Trump says al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula leader Qasim al-Rimi was killed in a US counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

President Trump will be traveling to Charlotte to address the North Carolina "Opportunity Now" Summit on Friday. This will be his 4th visit to Charlotte.

(Pictures taken by Ali Cinar-White House)

*TV Interviews after the President's Remarks.

Trump Administration declares Public Health Emergency for the U.S. for 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

 

White House officials held a briefing on Friday stated that the risk to Americans was “low,” and they wanted to keep it that way. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that President Trump signed an order for the U.S. to deny entry to any foreign nationals who have traveled in China within the past two weeks, aside from the immediate family of U.S. citizens.

White House officials said that they were taking further steps because it was found that coronavirus can spread by people who show no symptoms, making it much harder to contain.

U.S. citizens returning to the United States who have been in China’s Hubei province within 14 days will face a mandatory quarantine. Other Americans returning to the United States from different parts of China will face enhanced screening and a self-quarantine of up to fourteen days. Also, the U.S. would begin funneling all flights from China to the United States through 7 airports, where there would be enhanced screening.

Secretary Azar called the measures “fairly incremental” and “appropriate, preventative steps.” 

Another speaker at the White House Press briefing Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed the current situation on the novel coronavirus. “The risk to the American public currently is low. Our goal is to do all we can do to keep it that way. As of today, there are nearly 9,700 cases in China, with more than 200 deaths. Additionally, currently, there are another 23 countries that have confirmed, totally, 132 cases — twelve individuals who were confirmed in six countries who did not travel to China. 

6 Confirmed Cases and 191 people in the U.S. are being investigated for the disease.

“To date, we have confirmed six cases of this novel virus in the United States.I want to emphasize that this is a significant global situation, and it continues to evolve,” said Dr. Redfield.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated that the issue now with this is that there's a lot of unknowns. He highlighted that they were not sure if there were asymptomatic infections, which would make it a much broader outbreak than what we're seeing. 

Deputy Secretary of State Steve Biegun also explained the role of the Department of State in the proceedings of this task force and our contributions. State Department’s first responsibility is to monitor events on the ground in China where they have the presence of U.S. diplomats and to give clear and accurate advice to American citizens and, in particular, American travelers considering visiting or staying in China. The second responsibility that Deputy Secretary of State said that is to assist U.S. citizens in the affected areas as much as possible. Lastly, the core mission of the Department of State is to work closely with our international partners. 

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli also explained the situation from the custom border perspective.TSA, the security, and the engagement with the airlines are critical. Our chief medical officer in the department is in CWMD, and we were providing medical support at the airports. “ Mr. Cuccunelli said. He also added that FEMA continues to prepare and support HHS preparations themselves.DHS will be implementing a funneling effort at the airports. It will be done under the authority of the Customs and Border Protection, and it will include seven airports. Incoming flights from China will be funneled through seven airports starting by 5.00 pm on Sunday, Eastern Time,. Those airports are JFK, Chicago's O'Hare, in San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Honolulu, and LAX. 

Confirmed Cases increasing day by day 

The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in China climbed to more than 11,800 as of Saturday morning,

Limited Travel to China

Many countries airlines announced that they stop flying to China for at least a month. American Airlines, Delta, and United would suspend all remaining service to mainland China after a State Department warning put a damper on demand for flights there.

Big Fear at the Fortune 500 Companies-Negative impact on global trade?

Many American companies announced that they gave an order to restrict restricted their employees’ Chinese business travel. There is a big fear that global trade would be affected negatively.

Dow Jones also fell 600 points on coronavirus fears as the US declares public health emergency,

President’s Presidential Proclamation, using his authority according to Section 212(f) of the Immigration and National Act, temporarily suspending the entry into the United States of foreign nationals who pose a risk of transmitting the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Details: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Published in Latest
Subscribe to this RSS feed