Administration

Tillerson receives lifetime achievement award from oil industry

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson received a lifetime achievement award from the oil industry on Sunday, months after leaving his role as CEO of ExxonMobil Corp. to join President Trump’s Cabinet.

Tillerson accepted a lifetime achievement award in Istanbul, Turkey, from the World Petroleum Congress and in his speech called the industry “marvelous.”

“I miss all of you,” Tillerson said, according to ABC News. “I miss you as colleagues, I miss you as partners, I miss you as competitors.”

{mosads}Tillerson said he found out he would receive the award before he was chosen by Trump to lead the State Department and joked that he thought at the time he would be accepting it in the middle of his retirement.

“It didn’t quite work out that way,” Tillerson said, according to ABC News.

He also used his speech to talk about the benefits of energy production.

“Energy is fundamental to economic growth and prosperity; it’s fundamental to lifting people out of poverty the world over,” he said.

Tillerson accepted the award after traveling to the Group of 20 summit with Trump last week. During the summit, Tillerson was the only American official besides Trump to sit in on Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Afterward, Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, gave conflicting accounts on what was discussed during the meeting. Tillerson claimed Trump pressed Putin on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, while Lavrov maintained that Trump “accepted” Putin’s assertion that Russia did not.

Tillerson used part of his appearance to mark the anniversary of a coup attempt in Turkey.

“Nearly a year ago, the Turkish people – brave men and women – stood up against coup plotters and defended their democracy,” Tillerson said, according to Reuters.

“I take this moment to recognize their courage and honor the victims of the events of July 15, 2016.”

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