Tillerson to join Asean meeting in Manila

Tillerson Says Trump's Twitter Use Not a Hindrance to State Dept: 'I Don't View It as an Obstacle'

"They agreed to have a discussion of the prospects for collaboration on settling these problems and the current state of Russian-U.S. bilateral relations on the sidelines of the ASEAN regional security forum on August 6-8 in Manila", the ministry said.

The question, he said, is whether relations are "getting worse or can we maintain some level of stability. and continue to find ways to address areas of mutual interest, and ways in which we can deal with our differences, without those becoming open conflicts".

Tillerson also conceded that the new US sanctions, which the American congress recently voted for, would pose a new obstacle, adding that neither he nor the US President, Donald Trump, are "happy" about it. "I don't expect to see that happen", Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in a teleconference previewing his upcoming trip. At a House Committee on Armed Services hearing in March, several experts said US counter-propaganda efforts are disjointed and lack a strategy tailored to specific threats. They met a day after the president had fired FBI Director James Comey over what Trump later said the Russian Federation investigation.

Tillerson's inaction on Global Engagement Center funding is especially egregious, officials say, because the office is supposedly the US government's primary vehicle for mitigating terrorist recruitment campaigns and anti-American propaganda from adversarial governments.

The U.S. has been pushing for talks with North Korea over ending its nuclear program but says conditions for talks haven't yet been met by Pyongyang.




"This is an extraordinary example of the dysfunction that is ripping through the State Department". He rejected criticism that his failure to fill many positions has weakened the agency.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that Asean member-nations meant to complete the COC framework by middle of 2017 in order to fast track its completion.

Washington still maintains economic sanctions on Tehran for its ballistic missile program, its support for terrorism and its human rights abuses.

Tillerson said that Washington could "tear it up and walk away" or stay in the deal and hold Iran accountable to its terms, which he said would require Iran to act as a "good neighbour".

Although global monitors say Iran remains in compliance with the nuclear accord, Trump came close to abandoning it last month and may still do so. He said Trump often calls him late at night, on weekends, whenever "something comes into his head".

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