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US Secretary of State to skip North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting, visit Russian Federation

27 March, 2017, 00:15 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks with High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy during the Meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition on the Defeat of ISIS Wednesday M

So far he has navigated his first official trip to meet with G20 foreign ministers in Bonn, Germany in mid February, a March trip to Asia where he shored up America's relationship with China, and a Trump budget that proposes to slash $10bn (£8bn) from his department.

The decision to schedule a visit to Russia, not meeting officials in a third country or the United States, comes the day after a House of Representatives hearing with FBI Director James Comey, who confirmed the agency is investigating ties between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia in the context of Russian interference in the election.

In one of his first detailed interviews with the USA media, during a trip to Asia last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed he did not wanted the job of Trump's highest ranking diplomat - his wife told him to do it. US officials also said Tillerson would visit Russian Federation later in April. "When he asked me at the end of that conversation to be Secretary of State, I was stunned", Tillerson said.

Despite Mr. Trump's repeated statements that NATO's Cold War mission was "obsolete" and that many NATO members have failed to pay their fair share of the defense burden, the US "remains 100 percent committed to NATO", Mr. Toner added. Past secretaries of state have nearly always attended the gatherings.


"We'll take care of the representation".

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the meeting earlier Tuesday.

Mr. Tillerson is set to join President Trump in Florida for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping April 6-7, then travel to Sicily for a G-7 meeting, and then on to Moscow for bilateral talks with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation chief Jens Stoltenberg travelled to Washington on Monday for the first time since Trump was elected, and will hold talks with members of the US-led coalition working to defeat the Islamic State group.

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