Tillerson to talk Syria, North Korea during swing through Europe
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 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.
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 Trump 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.