Tuesday, January 7, 2020

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Individuals to Key Administration Posts

Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key positions in his Administration:

Charles A. Stones of Kansas, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Public Member):

Charles A. Stones retired as the President of the Kansas Bankers Association (KBA) in August 2019 after 33 years of service to the KBA.  Before being named President in 2004, he worked in Kansas Statehouse government relations and agricultural banking policy.  He served as the industry’s advocate in the Kansas Legislature for several years.

He also served on the Board of Directors of the Schools of Banking in Lincoln, Nebraska, on the Board of Trustees of the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin, and on the Board of Trustees of the Prochnow Educational Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin.

Charles graduated from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas in 1978 with a degree in Communications.

Thomas M. Mistele of Florida, to be a Director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation for the remainder of a three-year term expiring December 31, 2019, and for an additional three-year term expiring December 31, 2022.
 

The GoldFish Report No 425 : Political Theater - Trump & Iran: Sorting Out The Issues


The GoldFish Report No. 425 YouTube Video Link

The GoldFish Report No. 425 BitChuteVideo Link

On The GoldFish Report No. 425, Louisa and Jim introduce a program that is titled "Political Theater" pertaining to all things politics. Today, Louisa and Jim discuss the Iranian military leader's death and its implications and various perspectives including from the Trump administration and from international and domestic perspectives. Louisa will continue the weekly POTUS reports which will be shorter and just focused on POTUS andThe White House. To receive our Reports you can subscribe to our BITCHUTE Channel at https://www.bitchute.com/profile/qrAL... and to become a Patron of The GoldFish Report you can go to our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/user?u=10007100 . You can also subscribe to our "NEW" YouTube channel at, and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO-A..., follow us on Twitter at @ReportGoldfish, www.thegoldfishreport.wordpress.com you can also follow us and like us on our 24/7 research news page at www.facebook.com/thegoldfishreport and to help support these and other programs please visit www.thegoldfishreport.com to make a donation. Thank you for your support and Thank you for viewing. Visit our NEW Vimeo on Demand to view our Educational Country Roads Reports at this link here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thegoldfis... To View our NEW Educational Bullet Points Reports use this link here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/174952 For viewer support of The GoldFish Report's Project "The Road to the White House", Please donate at www.thegoldfishreport.com at out PayPal or become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/user?u=10007100. Jim Website page: jamesfetzer.org Weblink to Moon Rock Books Here: http://moonrockbooks.com/ Jim Fetzer on Twitter: @JimFezer DISCLAIMER The following videos were created for educational purposes only. The content of this material strictly for research purposes, and readily available to the general public via the Internet. Viewing of the GoldFish Reports acknowledges that senders and recipients hereby agree to this disclaimer, thus releasing the source author from any and all personal liability. Also, individuals who alter or deviate from this source material, may be exposing themselves to the full extent of law. THE OPINIONS AND HYPOTHESES OF OUR GUESTS AND GUEST CO-HOSTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE GOLDFISH REPORT POTUS UPDATE. AN OPINION AND HYPOTHESIS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH NEWLY PRESENTED RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE. THE GOLDFISH REPORT POTUS REPORT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR INFORMATION THAT MAY BE UNKNOWINGLY INACCURATE, ALTHOUGH WE DO OUR BEST TO PRESENT FACTS, OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES OF WORLD EVENTS AND HOW THOSE MAKING THE DECISIONS MAY IMPACT OUR LIVES. VIEWER DISCERNMENT IS ADVISED. FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

West Wing Reads Appeasement or War? Trump Proves the Iran ‘Experts’ Wrong Again

West Wing Reads

Appeasement or War? Trump Proves the Iran ‘Experts’ Wrong Again


“Rather than seize Obama’s invitation to ‘get right with the world,’ the ayatollahs [in Iran] and Soleimani stepped up their terrorism. They shot down a US drone. They attacked our embassy in Iraq,” Jonathan Tobin writes in the New York Post.

“Trump chose to deal with reality as it is. Rather than starting a war, he merely recognized that the ayatollahs have already been waging one against Washington for years. The regime counted on Trump to follow the conventional lie that the only choices are abject appeasement or apocalyptic war.”

Click here to read more.
“In a single strike, the president defended American troops and diplomats against attacks, held Iran accountable for killing a U.S. citizen in Iraq and reframed the U.S.-Iran relationship by making it clear the Iranian regime cannot act with impunity,” Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) writes today in The Washington Post.
“Wages for rank-and-file workers are rising at the quickest pace in more than a decade, even faster than for bosses . . . Average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers in the private sector were up 3.7% in November from a year earlier,” Eric Morath and Jeffrey Sparshott report in The Wall Street Journal.
“As a new year dawns in America, many of the nation’s manufacturing sectors are experiencing aggressive growth . . . The steel industry in particular offers ample evidence, with America’s steel companies investing some $13 billion in new steelmaking and mills across the nation. This isn’t what many economists predicted, however. And frustrated by the flow of such positive news, the economics profession is looking for other means to wage their war against tariffs,” writes economist Jeff Ferry in The Hill.

Presidential Determination on Waiving a Restriction on United States Assistance to Bolivia

Office of the Press Secretary

January 6, 2020


 
Presidential Determination
No.        2020-05        




 
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT:       Presidential Determination on Waiving a
               Restriction on United States Assistance to
               Bolivia under Section 706 of the Foreign
               Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, including section 706(3)(A) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107-228) (FRAA), I hereby determine that the provision of United States assistance to Bolivia in Fiscal Year 2020 is vital to the national interests of the United States.

You are authorized and directed to submit this determination, with its memorandum of justification, under section 706 of the FRAA, to the Congress, and to publish it in the Federal Register.


 
                              DONALD J. TRUMP

1600 Daily The White House • January 6, 2020 President Trump: ‘My highest and most solemn duty’

1600 Daily
The White House • January 6, 2020

President Trump: ‘My highest and most solemn duty’


Four days ago, the United States military executed a flawless precision strike that killed the worst remaining terrorist on Earth, Qasem Soleimani. The next day, President Donald J. Trump delivered a statement on the successful operation.

“As President, my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens,” he said. “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”

 President Trump: We will always protect Americans and our allies

“Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous: To terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American, we will find you. We will eliminate you.”

Led by Soleimani, the ruthless Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps facilitated horrific acts of terrorism. Soleimani himself contributed to plots as far-flung as New Delhi and London—and even the United States. In 2011, he organized an attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to America in Washington, D.C.

During the Iraq War, Soleimani’s camps trained killers that were directly responsible for the deaths of 603 American service members. Thousands more were wounded.

In the past few weeks alone, attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq included rocket strikes that killed an American and badly injured four U.S. servicemen, as well as a violent assault on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. All were carried out at Soleimani’s direction.

Americans are safer today because the world’s worst terrorist is dead. The Iranian people are safer, too: Soleimani recently led the brutal repression of protestors in his own country. In the end, more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their government in Tehran. Soleimani’s disrespect for life knew no borders or limits.

These grave facts aren’t in dispute. Every American who believes in the dignity of human life should rejoice at our military’s tremendous success last week. Partisan politics sometimes gets in the way of uniting around good news, however—certain career politicians are too worried about who will get the credit.

Real experts across the political spectrum are setting the record straight. Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic candidate for Vice President, said “President Trump’s order to take out Qasem Soleimani was morally, constitutionally and strategically correct. It deserves more bipartisan support than the begrudging or negative reactions it has received thus far from my fellow Democrats.”

President Obama’s former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson also shot down claims from some Democrats that the Soleimani operation could be unlawful. Based on the rationale presented by our military, “the President, under his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief, had ample domestic legal authority to take him out without an additional congressional authorization,” Johnson said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained President Trump’s position in a series of television interviews yesterday. “The Iranian leadership needs to understand that attacking Americans is not cost-free,” he said. “Terrorism will not benefit them.”

In other words, the expectations are clear. There will be no appeasement. There will be no blank checks from this Administration. America has zero interest in war. But Iran must end the one it started—now.

­čÄČ Watch President Trump’s full statement on Iran.

CNN in 2016Former Secretary of State John Kerry admits that some Iran Deal money would likely go to terrorism

Photo of the Day

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Trump delivers remarks following the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that resulted in the death of Qassim Soleimani | January 3, 2020 

President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate the Following Individual to a Key Administration Post

Office of the Press Secretary
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate the Following Individual to a Key Administration Post
 
Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key position in his Administration:
 
J. David Patterson of Tennessee, to be the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness.

Mr. Patterson currently is Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Opportunities at SMA, Inc., and previously served as an executive with Boeing and the National Defense Business Institute at the University of Tennessee.  Mr. Patterson’s government experience includes serving as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).  Additionally, he was Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.  Mr. Patterson served in the Air Force as a pilot from 1970 to 1993, where he flew as a forward air controller in Vietnam and retired with the rank of colonel.  Mr. Patterson is a graduate of Bethel College, Chapman University and the NATO Defense College.
 

NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE

Office of the Press Secretary
NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:

     Daniel Asia, of Arizona, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2024, vice Bruce Carter, term expired.

     Jennifer Yue Barber, of Kentucky, to be Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.

     Jennifer Yue Barber, of Kentucky, to be Alternate Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during her tenure of service as Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

     Winifred Bingham, of Florida, to be a Member of the National Council on the Arts for a term expiring September 3, 2024, vice Olga Viso, term expired.

     Ramsey Coats Day, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the African Development Foundation for the remainder of the term expiring September 22, 2021, vice Linda I. Etim.

     Ramsey Coats Day, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, vice Linda I. Etim.

     William Scott Hardy, of Pennsylvania, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Pennsylvania, vice Nora Barry Fischer, retired.

     John F. Heil III, of Oklahoma, to be United States District Judge for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma, vice James H. Payne, retired.

     Neil Jacobs, of North Carolina, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, vice Kathryn D. Sullivan, resigned.

     David Cleveland Joseph, of Louisiana, to be United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana, vice Dee D. Drell, retired.

     Brandon Lipps, of Texas, to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, vice Kevin W. Concannon.

     Jessie K. Liu, of Virginia, to be Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes, vice Sigal Mandelker, resigned.

     Katharine MacGregor, of Pennsylvania, to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior, vice David Bernhardt, resigned.

     C.J. Mahoney, of Kansas, to be Legal Adviser of the Department of State, vice Jennifer Gillian Newstead, resigned.

     Edward Hulvey Meyers, of Maryland, to be a Judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims for a term of fifteen years, vice Lawrence J. Block, retired.

     Richard M. Mills, Jr., of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Representative of the United States of America to the Sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, during his tenure of service as Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations.

     Richard M. Mills, Jr., of Texas, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be the Deputy Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and the Deputy Representative of the United States of America in the Security Council of the United Nations.

     Sethuraman Panchanathan, of Arizona, to be Director of the National Science Foundation for a term of six years, vice France A. Cordova, term expiring.

     Cory T. Wilson, of Mississippi, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi, vice Louis Guirola, Jr., retired.

     David A. Wright, of South Carolina, to be a Member of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the term of five years expiring June 30, 2025.  (Reappointment)

     William Zollars, of Kansas, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2022, vice James H. Bilbray, term expired.

BACKGROUND PRESS CALL BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS ON THE VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER MITSOTAKIS OF GREECE

Office of the Press Secretary

BACKGROUND PRESS CALL
BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS
ON THE VISIT OF PRIME MINISTER MITSOTAKIS OF GREECE

Via Telephone
 

1:47 P.M. EST

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Good morning.  Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman.  I just want to thank everyone for being here today.  This call is a background briefing for Prime Minister Mitsotakis's visit with President Trump tomorrow.  Just up front, the rules are: This briefing is on background with attribution to a senior administration official, and there will be an embargo on the contents of this call until the call is completed.

     Here is the run of show for today: Our first speaker will be [senior administration official].  Our second speaker will be [senior administration official].  After he has completed his remarks, we will open up for a few questions.

     So, with that, over to you.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Great.  Thanks.  And thank you for everyone on the line for tuning in.  This is a historic moment for U.S.-Greek relations.  I know my colleague, who has come to join us from Athens, will have more to say on this subject in a minute, but we are at a high-water mark.  The relationship between our two countries has perhaps never been better.  Let me offer you some examples.

     Greece has long been a pillar of stability and prudence in the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean.  This is even more valuable now when they are in the midst of profound changes since the end of the Cold War.  Greeks' example in building its democracy and sustaining its democracy have been critical symbols and offer lessons learned for neighbors in the Balkans and the region.

     In security, the recently amended MDCA demonstrates the increasingly close security partnership between our two countries, which will enhance both the security of Greece and indeed NATO throughout Greece’s region.

     On energy, the United States also supports Greece’s emergence as a regional energy hub that will expand access and enhance the reliability of critical energy sources for Greece and its neighbors.  Reliable access to energy is critical to both economic development and stability in the region.       

     On the business side and private investment, Greece is
taking a number of impressive steps to improve its business climate, which is the key to attracting American investors and bringing closer together the private sector in both our countries.

     The United States and Greece also share a common approach on the security of 5G wireless technology for digital cellular networks, including the importance of using trusted vendors for all parts of 5G and legal and policy frameworks for evaluating suppliers of network equipment.

     Let me close by underlining once again the successes that this country has had in improving its relationship with Greece to a point perhaps never reached before in our history.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Great.  Thank you.  Happy New Year, everybody.  Let me just pick up where my colleague left off and just emphasize, from my standpoint, how much of a watershed moment this visit represents.  Prime Minister Mitsotakis is advancing a vision of a shared future in which the United States and Greece are steadfast partners working together to tackle issues in a critically important region.

     I think especially for the audience outside of Greece, I would emphasize how quickly things are changing in Athens under this government's leadership.  Greece is transforming itself from a source of problems, things that people worried about, the financial situation, et cetera, to a source of solutions and, as my colleague said, a pillar of stability that is a critical part of America's wider strategy for the eastern Mediterranean.

     I think we all take great satisfaction in the notable progress that we have seen in the U.S.-Greece relationship during the Trump administration to the point where, in a poll last year, 73 percent of Greeks view the United States as their ally of choice, and that is a change for the good.

     Prime Minister Mitsotakis, of course, and much of his cabinet have studied and worked in the United States.  They understand our country well, and they also understand the importance of the economic opportunities that the United States offers: the strength of our entrepreneurial culture, the power of our capital markets, and the importance of leveraging that as Greece seeks to emerge from the decade of crisis.

     A major focus, I expect, for Prime Minister Mitsotakis’s visit over the next three days will be to get the word out that Greece is open for business and to inform American investors about how much the business environment in Greece has changed because of steps like the development bill to reduce bureaucratic red tape that was passed last year, the elimination of capital controls, property tax reductions, and the 1.2  billion euro in tax cuts that were ratified by the Greek parliament last month.

     We know that Prime Minister Mitsotakis is thinking big, and American companies are responding, whether it’s firms like Cisco and Pfizer that have already announced plans to expand their footprint in Greece, leveraging the country’s talented labor force and its important geostrategic position, and also the many companies that are taking a new look at Greece, recognizing the strength of its human capital, the importance of Greece’s emerging entrepreneurial and start-up culture.

     We’re also very focused on the maritime and infrastructure sectors.  We were very pleased by the success that we celebrated last month with the grand reopening of the Neorion, Syros shipyard, led by an American company that has invested 18 million euros.  And we are looking for American investors to grow their footprints in port privatizations in Alexandroupoli, in Kavala, and Volos.

     We also see increased American investor interest in the renewable energy sectors -- companies like GE, Ameresco, and Invenergy.  And, of course, one of the great bright spots of the U.S.-Greece agenda right now, which I’m sure will be part of the discussions at the White House tomorrow, is the progress that we have seen in Greece’s role in advancing European energy diversification: the completion of the TAP pipeline; the inauguration of the IGB pipeline; the commencement of U.S. LNG exports to Greece, a very important example of how we are working together to build European energy security and diversification.

     My colleague mentioned already the revised Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement that was signed during Secretary Pompeo’s visit in October.  And I would just underline, from an American perspective, what I see every day: the quality of the cooperation between our forces -- whether it’s Souda Bay, or Larissa, or Stefanovikio -- where we're working together as NATO Allies, but also as countries with shared values and shared strategic interests in terms of the wider region of the eastern Mediterranean.

     I should also note -- because the Prime Minister has already spoken when he was in Florida -- about the importance of the eastern Mediterranean bill, which was signed into law by President Trump on December 20th and recognizes significant U.S. security interests in the eastern Mediterranean.

     And now we have the announcement on January 2 of Greece, Israel, and Cyprus moving ahead with the EastMed pipeline accord.  We see this as a natural complement to what Secretary Pompeo set in motion when he traveled to Jerusalem last March for the first U.S., Greece, Israel, Cyprus three-plus-one.

     We are committed to continuing to invest in this forum, using it as a mechanism to bolster energy security, but also to promote political stability and economic growth in a region where we are seeing resumed great-power competition and where we want to work as closely as we can with our partners and countries that share our democratic values and interests.

     I finally want to note the importance that we place on the fact that Minister of Education Kerameus is part of the Prime Minister’s delegation.  We’ve seen fantastic progress on the education front.  We’re supporting these initiatives because we believe that these kind of economic partnerships and exchanges not only help to educate future generations, but they help our country and help societies to understand each other better.  So this is an investment for the future.  I’m confident Prime Minister Mitsotakis, as a Harvard and Stanford graduate, understands that very well.

     So I would just conclude by noting that this visit is both a recognition of our enhanced strategic partnership, but also a reflection of the Trump administration’s commitment to build momentum for the future at a very propitious moment in our bilateral relationship, at a moment when the stakes are as high as they’ve been in a long time.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thank you very much.  Okay, Operator, at this time, we are -- can open up for Q&A.

     Q    Hello?

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  We can hear you, sir.  Go ahead, please.

     Q    Hi, yes.  My question -- I'm Dimitris (inaudible) from ERT, national television of Greece.  And I have a question regarding the tension that we have right now in eastern Mediterranean with Iran after the action by the U.S. against the Iranian general.  Do you think that this will be part of the discussion?  And do you foresee any role for Greece in this tension?  Because, traditionally, Greece have very good relations with the Arab world, and now the strategy is -- a very enhanced strategic relationship with the U.S.

     And, as you know, it's very tense right now after what happened in Iran with the Iranian general.  And Greece is also a member of the European Union.  And by going to (inaudible), you can say that Prime Minister Mitsotakis is the first European leader of -- country member of the European Union that will be in the White House after what happened Iran and during the tension -- the high-rise tension in the region of Greece, the eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Good afternoon.  Thank you for the question.  This is [senior administration official].  We have been maintaining a large number of very intensive conversations and briefings with all of our NATO Allies, including Greece, about this issue.  So I do expect it will come up when the President meets with the Prime Minister.  And we will continue the dialogue that we have with our allies to promote the highest degree of our shared security.

     Q    My name is (inaudible).  I'm representing (inaudible) from Athens.  I would like to ask you if you are more afraid now, than three or six months ago, for the possibility of a heated incident between Greece and Turkey.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I never make speculative comments about what's going to happen in Greek-Turkey relationship -- relations.  What I would emphasize is the high degree of convergence between Washington and Athens on these issues; our shared interest in seeing that Turkey remains anchored in the West; for the part of -- on the part of Washington, our appreciation for the steps that Prime Minister Mitsotakis and his cabinet have taken to maintain open lines of communication with Ankara.

     It's important that the first phone call that the Prime Minister had after his election to office was with President Erdo─čan; that Foreign Minister Dendias, the Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos, the General Christodoulou, Minister Koumoutsakos, Minister Chrisochoidis, have all engaged their counterparts.  A clear signal from Athens that Greece wishes to have a neighborly, constructive relationship with its big and important Turkish neighbor.

     So I think we are -- our focus is a positive one, on encouraging the steps that Greece is taking to manage the relationship, and also our shared interest in working together, as Greece and the United States, to help manage our respective differences with Turkey in a way that does not do damage to our important NATO Alliance.

     Q    Hello.  Thank you for this call.  Kristina Anderson, AWPS News.  On the education piece, will there be any specific announcements relating to STEM education memorandum of understanding or exchanges that are specific in that area?  Thank you.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I don’t want to scoot myself on this, but I think, as I said in my opening remarks, it's a reflection of the importance that Prime Minister Mitsotakis places on our education partnership that his minister is part of the delegation.  She has been very active working with groups like IIE -- the Institute for International Education in New York -- to encourage American educational institutions to deepen their ties with Greece.

     Minister Kerameus has also taken steps to open up the Greek educational market for more students, visitors, exchange visitors, and others from the United States.

     So I will leave announcement to the bosses for tomorrow.  But I think you will see that this issue features in a prominent and positive way in the work that we're doing together.  And, as I said, it's very much from an American policy standpoint.  We spend a lot of time worrying about defense cooperation and our energy cooperation, our strategic work, but education and educational partnerships is one of the best long-term investments that we can make.

     Q    Yes.  Hello.  This is me?

     OPERATOR:  We can hear you, sir.  Please, go ahead.

     Q    Yes.  Hello, my name is Giorgos Christides; I'm the Greece correspondent for German news magazine, Der Spiegel.  My question is this: Should we expect something specific from President Trump concerning what Mitsotakis has said (inaudible) about what he calls "Turkish provocations" in the area, including drilling offshore of Cyprus or the MOU signed with Libya or any of that sort?  Because in the Greek press at least, in the analysis we read ahead of the visit, it appears there's not much hope, and President Trump has already decided not to take sides, or at least that he has good relationship with President Erdo─čan and he wouldn't like to jeopardize this by making any specific statement which would be very important for the Greek side.  If there's any comment on that?  Thank you very much.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thanks for the question.  We have been very clear that all parties in the eastern Mediterranean should be able to work together to resolve their differences and should avoid taking steps which would be seen as provocations.

     As you have noted, President Trump has an excellent relationship with President Erdo─čan, as well as with Prime Minister Mitsotakis, and so we prefer to focus on the things that we have in common and pursuing the common interests we have in security in the eastern Mediterranean region, rather than to look at where there might be provocation.  Thank you.

     SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Okay, great.  Thank you for your time.  It's all we have.  Just so again, on the ground rules, this is -- this was on background, attribution to a senior administration official.  And the embargo is now lifted.  Thank you.  

                          END                2:07 P.M. EST