Washington, DC - John J. Sullivan Deputy Secretary of State: "As spring arrives, I wish the people of Iran and everyone who celebrates this wonderful tradition a happy Nowruz.

Washington, DC - The United States is deeply concerned over reports from Afrin City over the last 48 hours. It appears the majority of the population of the city, which is predominantly Kurdish, evacuated under threat of attack from Turkish military forces and Turkish backed opposition forces. This adds to the already concerning humanitarian situation in the area, with United Nations agencies reporting a displaced population in or from Afrin district in the hundreds of thousands, who now require immediate shelter and other assistance to meet basic needs. We are also concerned over reports of looting inside the city of Afrin. We have repeatedly expressed our serious concern to Turkish officials regarding the situation in Afrin.

New Delhi, India - The Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Maureen K. Ohlhausen will participate in the 17th annual International Competition Network (ICN) conference in New Delhi, India, March 21-23, 2018, along with Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

Washington, DC - Four years ago this week, Russia held an illegitimate, fabricated “referendum” in Ukraine in a futile attempt to legitimize its purported annexation of Ukrainian territory. Crimean residents were compelled to vote under scrutiny by heavily armed Russian troops. Russia’s claim that Ukrainians made a free choice in that sham “referendum” has always lacked credibility.

Washington, DC - We, the leaders of France, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, abhor the attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, United Kingdom, on March 4, 2018. A British police officer who was also exposed in the attack remains seriously ill, and the lives of many innocent British citizens have been threatened. We express our sympathies to them all, and our admiration for the United Kingdom police and emergency services for their courageous response. This use of a military-grade nerve agent, of a type developed by Russia, constitutes the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

Washington, DC - Director for Policy Planning Brian Hook will lead the U.S. delegation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Joint Commission meeting in Vienna on March 16. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.