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State Department Official: Talks on Syria Right Direction

Dean Pittman

September 12, 2013 – A high-level official from the State Department told Georgetown students this morning that the talks in Geneva between the United States and Russia over control of Syria’s chemical weapons are a step in the right direction toward a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The lecture by Dean Pittman, acting assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, focused on the United States’ role as a global actor at the upcoming 68th U.N. General Assembly, scheduled to begin Sept. 17.

“The crisis in Syria and ongoing challenges on complex issues such as nonproliferation and human rights remind us that our values are not universally shared and that our national interests are at times viewed as competitive in nature, and not complementary,” Pittman said. “But in the multilateral world, that’s the deal we have. This fact is not often in such plain view but often colors and shapes multilateralism and reminds the U.S. of the important role we must play in leading and guiding global action.”

The university’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program and its Mortara Center for International Studies sponsored the visit. Professor and MSFS director Anthony Arend introduced Pittman to an audience of graduate students.

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