Quotes from the news wire:
We call on Israeli and Palestinian officials to act decisively to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence, it is absolutely critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount -- in word and in practice.
India is enduring a deeply concerning outbreak and the entire country has been affected. We obviously do have a large diplomatic presence within India, it is tantamount to the deep engagement and partnership we have with India, but I'm not in a position to speak to any cases within our staff or embassy community.
We condemn any violence against the people of Burma and reiterate our calls on the Burmese military to refrain from violence against peaceful protesters, we will work with partners and allies to press the Burmese military to reverse its actions and to help the people of Burma realize their aspirations for peace, democracyand the rule of law.
We continue to be seriously concerned over the treatments of American citizens David Whelan and Trevor Reed. Both men traveled to Russia as tourists, were arrested, and were then convicted without credible evidence, we hope Russia will do the right thing and return them to their families in David Whelan. They have been deprived of their freedom for far too long. We'll continue to speak out on behalf of those cases.
Among those taking part will be representatives of the Department's employee affinity groups as well as members of the workforce from different bureaus and career tracks. Participants will also be in different stages of their careers -- some very senior and some relatively junior -- and will represent many of the functions that are so critical to our operations, whether that's custodial support or policymaking.
There has been no substantial progress since transition officials spoke to the intransigence of the Department's political leadership late last week, as we said then, The Department is more pivotal to our national security than the Department of Defense, and an unwillingness to work together could have consequences well beyond January 20.