Sunday, 26 February, 2017

Tillerson and Lavrov hold first meeting in Bonn

France Germany welcome'useful meeting with US on Syria Tillerson and Lavrov hold first meeting in Bonn
Melinda Barton | 17 February, 2017, 00:52

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met for the first time Thursday in Germany, where they discussed the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

"I didn't leave any such impression", Tillerson told reporters before a meeting with the Argentinian foreign minister, when asked about a report which cited Ayrault as saying the French had the impression that Washington wanted to get rid of the deal.

Tillerson's boss, U.S. President Donald Trump, has pushed a foreign policy vision that prioritizes U.S. interests, particularly when it comes to trade.

In his first public remarks since his arrival speech to State Department employees two weeks ago, Tillerson offered only cursory details about what he and Lavrov had discussed.

Areas of mutual interest might include "counter-ISIS [Islamic State] and counterterrorism" efforts, State Department officials said at a special briefing.

The meeting, on the sidelines of a larger foreign ministers conference in Germany, came amid turmoil inside the Trump administration over Russian Federation and the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn over misleading White House officials on his contacts with Moscow. Tillerson said the two countries can cooperate and disagree simultaneously.

"Where we do not see eye to eye the United States will stand up for the interest and values of America and our allies", he continued.

"We are concerned that unlimited construction of settlements will. make a two-state solution impossible and could increase the risks of conflicts in the Middle East, including possible war", Gabriel told reporters. "At the same time, he fully expects to and wants to be able to get along with Russian Federation, unlike previous administrations, so that we can solve many problems together facing the world such as the threat of ISIS and terrorism". That's something London and Washington are completely at one on. But nor do we want Russian behavior to continue as it is.

The G20 meeting is one of three top-level meetings in Europe this week during which the Trump administration will likely be called upon to clarify its world views on migration, trade, defence and foreign diplomacy.

The officials also said that Tillerson would not soften Washington's stance on Ukraine, a crisis which remains largely unresolved.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Russian Federation on Thursday to help tamp down the conflict in eastern Ukraine, where separatists backed by Moscow are fighting government troops.