Tillerson sees tough talks with Turkey, others on Mideast trip
- 10 February 2018
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expects to have tough talks during a five-nation trip of the Middle East next week, including in Turkey, U.S. officials said on Friday, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Briefing reporters on Tillerson’s Feb. 11-16 trip to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Kuwait, U.S. officials acknowledged there would be difficult conversations at each stop.
Jordanian leaders were upset when the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and suspended some aid for the Palestinians.
In Kuwait, Tillerson will attend an Iraq reconstruction conference at which Washington does not plan to contribute any money. Still, he hopes to make headway toward ending a dispute between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Kuwait has sought to broker an end to the dispute triggered when the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut off travel and trade ties with Qatar last June. They accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and their arch-rival Iran. Doha denies the charges and says the countries are trying to curtail its sovereignty.
Turkey, a U.S. ally, has launched a military air and ground operation into the Afrin region in northwest Syria targeting the YPG terrorists despite U.S. objections.