Washington, DC - The United States will convene an international conference on Threats to Religious and Ethnic Minorities under ISIL on July 29, 2016, at the U.S. Department of State, in Washington, D.C.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will give opening remarks to delegates attending the meeting of more than 20 countries, the European Union, and several United Nations offices. The event, hosted by Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein and Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia Knox Thames, will feature discussions on ways to protect religious and ethnic minorities in areas controlled by ISIL. The conference will take place in the Loy Henderson Auditorium of the Harry S. Truman Building at 9:05 a.m.

In addition, religious and civic leaders from the region will attend a civil society meeting co-sponsored by the State Department on July 28 at Georgetown University. Government and international organization delegations have been invited to attend the meeting to hear directly the concerns and recommendations of civil society. The event is open to the public.