Tillerson to talk Syria, North Korea during swing through Europe

Tillerson to talk Syria, North Korea during swing through Europe
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Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonNikki Haley fires the first shot in the GOP's post-Trump war State Dept. watchdog: Official's firing was case of political retaliation Steve Schmidt: 'Overwhelming chance that Trump will dump Pence' for Haley MORE will depart Washington for a four-country swing through Europe next week that includes stops in London and Paris as well as Davos, Switzerland, and Warsaw, Poland, the State Department announced Thursday.

In London, Tillerson is set to meet with U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and U.K. national security adviser Mark Sedwill to discuss issues ranging from Syria to North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

It's not yet clear if Tillerson will pay a visit to the newly opened U.S. Embassy in London. The secretary told reporters Wednesday that he hoped to stop by the facility, but hadn't yet seen a detailed itinerary for the trip.

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From there, Tillerson is expected to meet with senior French officials in Paris to discuss Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Libya and North Korea, among other issues, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a press briefing.

Tillerson is also set to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE and a delegation of other senior U.S. officials.

During his final stop in Europe, in Warsaw, Tillerson is expected to meet with senior Polish officials about regional security and cooperation.

The news that Syria will be a key focus of the secretary's trip to Europe comes after Tillerson on Wednesday called for indefinite engagement in Syria during a speech at Stanford University.

In his remarks, Tillerson warned that a military withdrawal from Syria could have devastating consequences in the region, and also called for a political solution to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.