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HighlightsFriday, November 12, 2004 

Death of Yasser Arafat
Secretary Powell (Nov.11): "On behalf of the United States, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies and support to the Palestinian people at this time of grief and sorrow. Our condolences go out to the family of Yasser Arafat." [full text]

Visit of NATO Secretary General
Secretary Powell (Nov. 10): "[The Secretary General] is the first visitor from overseas to meet with President Bush. And as President Bush said a short while ago, this is clear evidence of our commitment to NATO, our belief in NATO, and our intention to work even more closely with NATO on common issues and challenges--as well as the opportunities--we face throughout the world." [full text]

Secretary Powell shakes hands with Mexico's Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez during the opening of the 2004 U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Commission meeting in Mexico City, Mexico.  AP/Wide World Photos U.S.-Mexico Binational Commission
Secretary Powell (Nov. 9): "Whether guarding against terrorists, stopping drug traffickers, arresting those who prey on migrants, or moving our vast commerce, our two governments are engaged every day in a cooperative effort on behalf of our peoples." [full text; more on the Secretary's trip]

Members of the predominantly Islamic Ferghana Valley community meet outside their community center, recently built with assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Photo courtesy USAID--Saskia Funston.Community Center in Ferghana Valley, Krygyzstan
Members of the predominantly Islamic Ferghana Valley community meet outside their community center, recently built with assistance from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). [more

Assistant Secretary Holmes at the Uruguayan riverine MONUC contingent in Kindu [State Department photo].UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC)
Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes visited the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) October 24-28, 2004. The peacekeeping operation was established by the UN Security Council in late 1999 and currently has over 10,000 peacekeepers.
In Other News
The United States is launching a $100 million hurricane recovery program as part of our commitment to helping the nations of the Caribbean hit hardest by Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

The Kingdom of Morocco agreed to host the first "Forum for the Future" on December 11, 2004 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Rabat. [press statement]

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) is at the center of the international community’s broader efforts to preserve and promote peace and security by preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. [more]

In addition to our popular electronic subscription services, the Bureau of Public Affairs now provides Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds to provide the latest State Department news.

Background Notes are factual publications that contain information on all the countries of the world with which the United States has relations. See the whole collection.

Is your destination the U.S.? This brief video explains new visa policies and procedures for visitors to the United States--a nation with secure borders and open doors. [DSL/Cable; dial-up; audio; transcript]

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