In between dealing with the Ukraine war—the gravest strategic confrontation since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis—and supervising the apparently final stages of negotiations to revive the Iranian nuclear agreement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken took time off to speak to the heads of the two most powerful human rights non-governmental organization (NGOs) in the world. And Blinken made sure that the conversations were made public by posting the information on Twitter:
“Spoke today with @HRW’s @KenRoth and @Amnesty’s @AgnesCallamard on human rights challenges, including in Ukraine, Russia, China, and the Middle East. Human rights are central to U.S. foreign policy. We support the important work of human rights defenders.” The link at the bottom goes to a November 2021 generic State Department document.
This cryptic post is the only information provided—it does not explain the apparent urgency of Blinken’s conversations with the two NGO officials, the objectives, or the twitter post. And there is no clue about the content—unusually, Roth’s hyperactive and self-promoting twitter feed made no mention of this conversation. Responding to a journalist’s questions, the State Department refused to comment on the substance of “private discussions.”