Washington, DC - Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he met with President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and other senior government officials. Ambassador Shannon underscored the strong partnership between the United States and Afghanistan and reiterated our continued commitment to Afghanistan’s peace, prosperity, and security.

Washington, DC - Vice President Joe Biden called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to express gratitude for his leadership and friendship over the last several years. Both leaders praised the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance, which serves to increase stability, prosperity, and security in the region and around the globe.

Washington, DC - Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host a trilateral meeting with his counterparts, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama and Republic of Korea First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam January 5 in Washington.

Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I congratulate the people of Sudan on 61 years of independence and send our best wishes for the year ahead.

Washington, DC - The United States welcomes the December 31 signing of an inclusive political compromise agreement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and opposition party leaders. By paving the way for peaceful, democratic elections in 2017, this agreement marks an important and historic step for the DRC and the region of Central Africa. We commend the willingness of President Kabila and opposition leaders to compromise on key issues, thereby laying the groundwork for the country’s first democratic transfer of power.

Washington, DC - The United States congratulates Prime Minister Hariri on the Lebanese parliament's approval of his cabinet on December 28.  We look forward to working with Prime Minister Hariri, his government, and all our partners in Lebanon who have committed to address the pressing challenges facing the country.