Tillerson in Egypt for start of Middle East tour

In Egypt, as well as in Kuwait, Lebanon, and Jordan - the tour's other Arab stops - Tillerson will nearly certainly hear misgivings about President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Cairo on Sunday to kick off his Middle East tour that will include Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Kuwait to discuss the Syrian crisis and Middle East peace. He is slated to meet King Abdullah and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Al-Safadi in a bid to strengthen relations between Amman and Washington, the State Department said. -Egyptian relations, the recent efforts to counter terrorism, as well as the regional and worldwide issues of mutual concern. "The secretary's visit will emphasize USA support for the Lebanese people and the Lebanese Armed Forces", the statement read.

Turkey is one of his stops, where he will tackle bilateral ties and regional issues with senior Turkish officials.

Tillerson travels to Kuwait next to lead the USA delegation at two worldwide gatherings - that of the 74 members in the US -led, anti-Daesh coalition and a conference on Iraqi reconstruction. The Secretary and his counterparts will discuss how the 74-member Global Coalition can ensure an enduring defeat for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, while sharpening the Coalition's focus on denying ISIS's global ambitions. The Secretary will participate in events that highlight private sector opportunities to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure and modernize key sectors of its economy to improve the lives of the Iraqi people.

Given the news, Tillerson has "not ruled out" adding a stop in Israel in order to help diffuse the situation, a State Department official said.



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