Tillerson Says No Normalization of NATO Ties With Russia

Tillerson vows no warming with Russia until it leaves Ukraine

Brussels, Dec 6 President Donald Trump is "very committed" to the Middle East peace process, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today amid global alarm at a US plan to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Tillerson also said there was no truth in reports that the White House had a plan to fire him and replace him with Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo.

Tillerson, the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, said his visit showed "the strong commitment the USA has to the European alliance, the important role that the European alliance plays in our shared security objectives".

Tillerson, who met with representatives to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Thursday, said that the Trump administration made clear to the Kremlin from the beginning that settling tensions in Ukraine would be a necessary to forging closer ties between the USA and Russian Federation.

In particular, Mogherini issued a warning to the Trump administration over reports the U.S. may recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and announce plans to move the USA embassy there in the coming days - a move that is expected to draw criticism from key United States allies and potentially jeopardize efforts to reach a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

"The issue that stands in the way is Ukraine", Tillerson said. One of the Trump team's toughest voices on Russian Federation, he said in a speech last week that there was "clear evidence of Russian Federation meddling in democratic elections in the U.S. and Europe", and he called it part of an "active threat of a recently resurgent Russian Federation".

Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster all had previously expressed their reservations about this course of action, telling the president they believed it made more sense to stay the course with the current status quo. We strongly support the open door policy.

"President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital aligns USA presence with the reality that Jerusalem is home to Israel's legislature, Supreme Court, President's office, and Prime Minister's office", Tillerson said in a statement issued by his office immediately following Trump's address.