In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, drew up a report on the reform shaking up his ministry.

He reported to Congress that nine of the 66 special envoys that were in his department, will be removed as their mission has now come to an end.

Special envoys will still be in place for women in the world, surveillance and the fight against anti-semitism, the issue of hostages, international religious freedom, the global war against Aids and questions relating to the Holocaust.

Other issues have been handed back to the Department’s normal offices. These include: the environment and natural resources, Tibet, human rights in North Korea, global food security, disability rights, international trade union issues, climate change, the Arctic, the region of the Great Lakes and the Congo, Sudan and South Sudan, Burma, Libya and the Iranian Mujahideens of the People, relations with the Syrian Opposition, IT, use of the internet, freedom to access the internet, disputes over diamonds, the application of the Minsk Agreements, Haiti, the policy on sanctions, Afghanistan and Pakistan, foreign combatants in Syria, the Iran nuclear agreement, the global partnership and energy affairs.

With respect to the Levant, you will observe that relations with the Syrian opposition have deteriorated and have been incorporated into the activities of the Bureau for Middle Eastern Affairs (with just two officers and 379, 000 dollars remaining for this mission). The task of dealing with the jihadist issue, has been transferred to the Office for Counter-Terrorism without any personnel nor a corresponding budget.

Anoosha Boralessa