U.S. secretary of state to conduct five-nation trip to Mideast next week

AMMAN, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Jordan next week as part of a five-nation regional tour, the U.S. embassy in Amman said Thursday.

Tillerson will travel to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egyptand Kuwait on Feb. 11-16, the embassy said in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by Xinhua.

In Jordan, the top U.S. diplomat will meet with King Abdullah II and Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Al-Safadi, the statement said.

Tillerson will underscore the enduring strength of the U.S.-Jordan relationship, engage with the Jordanian leadership on the conclusion of a new Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral assistance, and discuss key regional issues such as the ongoing crisis in Syriaand Jordan's support for Middle East peace.

During his stop in Turkey, Tillerson will meet with senior Turkish officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues, the statement said.

The two sides are expected to touch upon the rising tensions in the U.S.-Turkey ties due to the Turkish military operations in Syria to fight the U.S.-backed Kurdish militias.

In Beirut, Tillerson is to meet with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri. The visit will emphasize the U.S. support for the Lebanese people and its armed forces.

In Cairo, Tillerson will meet with senior Egyptian officials to discuss the ways to further strengthen the U.S.-Egypt partnership, and coordinate on key regional issues.

He will also lead the U.S. delegation to the ministerial meeting of the global coalition to defeat Islamic State (IS) and the Iraqi reconstruction conference to be hosted by Kuwait.

This is the third time Tillerson will gather with his counterparts for a meeting of the anti-IS global coalition.

He will discuss with his counterparts how the 74-member coalition can ensure an enduring defeat for IS in Iraq and Syria, while sharpening its focus on denying IS's global ambitions.

The three-day Iraqi reconstruction conference will showcase the private sector's investment opportunities and the international support for Iraq after defeating IS.

[ Editor: meng ]
 

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